Autumn Pioneer has been working on a rather lovely little project over the past few years, and now the game is on Kickstarter. Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography is a chill, fun, and accessible educational game that combines photography with language learning, and if the Kickstarter is fully funded, the game will be coming to Switch.
Autumn Pioneer is a one-man development studio based in the UK. Ryan Pocock has worked on the development, art, and design of the game on his own, creating an engaging and delightful-looking world to help hone your language skills in. Kenya Abe is helping as the game's composer, but he's also working as the translation assistant and authenticity checker.
Think more TOEM than Pokémon Snap with Shashingo (which means "the Language of Photographs" in Japanese). This isn't about on-rail photography or fast photo reflexes — instead, you can wander the streets of a fictional Japanese street and take pictures at your leisure. You can play in Capture Mode to just take in the sights and learn whatever you want or need to, or hop into Find Mode to test your memory skills.
Every photo you take becomes a flash card for a different word, term, or phrase in Japanese, which you'll store in an album. The photos will be unique to you, and every flashcard will have additional associated vocabulary on the back of it, so you know when to use the word and what situations it might match up with.
If you like taking pretty pictures, too, then you can also use all sorts of different filters to create memorable photos to help you learn the words in your own way. There's no confirmed release date yet, but Autumn Pioneer is hoping to release the game by July 2023. You can find out more info about the game by heading over to the official website.
Shanshingo has been spotted and celebrated by photography publications and video game enthusiasts alike, and we're not surprised. The game has 20 days left on its campaign and is only £3,000 shy of reaching it. So if you're a lover of languages, or just enjoy a chilled photography game, Shashingo might just be for you. The campaign closes on 31st March, and some of the pledges have already sold out.
We took a little look at the game last year following its announcement at the Guerrilla Collective 2022 on YouTube, so make sure you have a little look at that to see what our early impressions were like. It's come a fair way since last year and continues to look fantastic.
What do you think of Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography? Would you enjoy learning Japanese through a photography game? Let us know.
[source kickstarter.com, via twitter.com]
Love the look of this. I generally enjoy photography in games. The scanning in metroid, although not photography, was right up my alley.
I've been learning Japanese for a while and have been searching for Japanese learning games but I could only find a select few on the 3DS which were region locked being exclusive to Japan.. This is perfect though!
I decided to back them on kick starter as it looks pretty promising. I just hope it's an effective way of learning!
Hmm. This actually doesn't look bad at all. I think I'll give it a shot if it ever comes out.
Looks cute! I love comfy, immersive games like this. I tried learning Japanese at one point so this might be fun to try out
すごい！(°▽°) Can't wait till July!
I’m down for when/if it comes out. Always happy to have some fun Japanese-language games anywhere I can get them.
I would love more educational games like this! A game to explore the streets of Paris and learn French, even interact with NPC's utilizing ChatGPT to maintain a light conversation with what you've learned would be very enjoyable!
It's a pity that the educational genre has been neglected for so long within the games industry.
Sounds good, but also a bit too simple to learn any REAL Japanese. Just surface level words. Will keep an eye on it though.
I think learning words for things still counts as “REAL” Japanese, even if — yes — it’s clearly not the same as having an actual conversation with a human being.
The game isn’t purporting to be the sole pillar in one’s language education, but it does look like a charming little tool to help broaden and contextualise one’s physical vocabulary.
As someone who has been studying Japanese for a long time (so much so that it has become my major field of study) I can't help but support anything that can help others learning it, no matter to what extent and even more so if it combines it with my other biggest passion, videogames!
Looks fun. I too wish there were more "games" with this goal in mind, maybe with more of a story where you talk to people as you learn their language. Wish I could learn even some basic Japanese.
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