Not that I have ever developed anything other than most cursory of games, but development of a fantasy RPG has been a childhood dream.  Of course, what isn’t?  More to point, a game allows me to be both technical and creative simultaneously and be something I can develop entirely for myself and be content.

But if I ever do get something fun to play worth sharing and have an itch to make $0.99 then having an easy means of distribution would be the proverbial cherry on top.  Now, given the end-to-end ecosystem that Apple’s iTunes Store represents along with the fact that iPhone has arguably more horsepower than Nintendo’s Wii, iPhone as a game platform seems like a good place to head.  And getting back to my neophyte status as a game developer, I am happy to discover the Cocos2D API which provides a 2D gaming frameworks for iPhone and iPod Touch.

At this point I am still working through Monocle Studio’s SimpleGame example.  But it is fun to have something very simple to work on that actually works.

Kotoba Goes Radical

Kotoba’s base set of information is nearing another milestone: radicals (部首【ぶしゅ】or ‘bushu‘). Radicals are the base components that can be used to describe an ideogram, often most strongly associated with Chinese characters (漢字【かんじ】or ‘kanji‘).

We have used the source from RadicalKanji to provide the relationships between our Japanese characters. This information allows us to more easily to discover kanji when we do not know one of its readings. The next step is to build a visual search that allows users to select radicals to the search until the desired kanji is found. Till then, discover the many interesting relationships between Japanese characters.

UI Refinements

There are now a few more refinements to Kotoba’s interface.

Of some note is that the character filter is now available from the characters page directly. Just click on “Character Display” in the upper-right to select what type of character family you want to view. This functionality used to be available on all pages even though it only impacted characters.

A more subtle change has been to both the Character and Word of the Moment. Whereas before multiple, common values were shown individually, we now aggregate them by common type. Additionally, the reading of the character includes better styling that should make it easier to read and understand.

Have a word for a word?

It is now possible to add comments to words and characters on Kotoba. This feature allows you to write your own comments about a specific word or character that can be viewed by other users. Ultimately, I hope this facilitates you to share your linguistic nuances or insights that you feel might be appreciated by other language learners and lovers. You can see the latest comments here, or add your own to your favorite word or character.