Here's what is on tap for the beta running through July and August of 2020. It is a bit more narrow in terms of scope compared to previous beta rounds.
This is our newest game! As the name suggests, it's a shiritori game (a kid's game where you link words together using the last and first characters of each word) run through a virtual chat system that may or may not remind you of the most popular chat app in Japan.
Main features include:
Multiple opponents with different difficulty levels
Both kanji and kana modes (in settings)
A brand new monster set, plus new scenes coming soon
An awesome stamp set used by the computer based on how you're doing!
Pictures that have been submitted and approved by renshuu users will appear in the chat to help you remember and solidify the words that you see. This feature can be disabled in settings if you prefer text only.
Renshuu pro users get their games auto-saved so you can pick them up at any time and play over multiple sessions!
Renshuu pro users also get extended stats to help them keep track of how much vocabulary they are using, along with suggestion lists showing what words they haven't played yet.
Generally speaking, this game is feature-complete. I'm looking for issues with the current system, as well as any other fun stats you'd like to see in the stats panel.
New Sentence Quizzes!
Sentence lists/schedules now have access to the awesome drag-and-drop and JLPT style quizzes that were made available to grammar quizzing last month!
User-made grammar lists
You can now make your own grammar lists using the hundreds of expressions available in the grammar library. If public, these will appear in the study center for others. We are also building (with the help of some volunteers) grammar lists that tie into popular textbooks and test prep books so you can study alongside your paper texts.
I am focusing on improving the visuals in the following areas:
Sentences - removing colored backgrounds and switching over to colored underline based marking
Grammar library layout
Vocabulary terms - unknown kanji are now shown in black, with the furigana over them. This is a change from now when it was shown in grey. I believe this style is more in line with presentation used in other texts/sites, and will be more accommodating to new users.
There is not as much variation, yes, but I think that there should still be the option to have them for beginners to work on. If there is too little variation, then I'll stick with a set of them and not update them each month.
Is it possible to add an option here to grey out unknown kanji as they were displayed before?
I agree that the change to black makes things look a lot more consistent and is probably friendlier to new users who are used to other sites, but in the areas of the site where furigana is always on (quiz answers, term lists) it's now impossible to differentiate between kanji I've studied and kanji I haven't.
Let me think on it! I don't want to add a fourth option to this, but maybe an extension to this would be possible - if you select the first option, a checkbox would appear below and say "Mark kanji grey for extra visibility". I'll toss the idea around!
Yes, I like that idea. I have the same problem that I cannot distinguish between studied and unstudied kanji. Basically I only see that in example sentences.
As for the writing exercise at the beginning of/before a quiz, would it be possible to be able to write all kanji regardless of wether I know them or not? I find it a bit annoying when I hit the write button and get a bunch of hiragana were I'd expect a kanji. Maybe as an option for intermediate to advanced students?
Ah yes, I was meaning to work on that. I was going to fix it when I designed the next game for the site (a kanji writing game), but that is on hold as I work on a standalone app version of shiritori cat.
I'll try to get the writing thing done soon, and I'll keep thinking on the grey text.
1. There is now a secondary setting for marking unknown kanji as grey. It's under the kanji display settings in Vocabulary.
2. The drawing practice for vocabulary now aligns with your kanji display settings. If you have it set to "show hiragana for unknown kanji", you'll practice hiragana. Otherwise (either all kanji, or kanji with furigana) you will get the kanji for drawing practice.