After having used Duolingo and Quizlet in the past, they have inspired us to incorporate gamification to make learning a new language more enduring. Simple and addictive games like Flappy Bird have inspired us to create a language learning game that encourages repetition for the user, which is useful for practicing and memorizing vocab.

What it does

A simple game where the user is a racecar driving down a road whose goal is to collect all the appropriate letters to match the current chosen word. Picking up one wrong letter will cause the user to lose the game.

How we built it

We used Processing, which is a Java based scripting IDE that is more focused towards implementing graphics with its built-in libraries and unique styled format that is different from a standard IDE.

Challenges we ran into

The format of Processing focuses a lot on the way the methods setup() and draw() are used. It took time to get used to the way those methods ran because we're so used to making standard Java programs for class assignments. The features were also something we had to get used to and make use of for efficiency. Initially we had many different ideas, but being that this is our first hackathon, our scope of actually developing those projects were limited.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The amount of learning we had to do from a lot of trial and error with not only Vernacular Racer, but for our previous ideas. Even though our project is nothing compared to the caliber of others, the experience is the most valuable part for us.

What we learned

We learned a tremendous amount, from the small successes in getting our code working, to a clearer realization of just how expansive the knowledge is out there besides the classroom. We tried many ideas including our attempts to setup and implement camera tracking for a different idea, and eventually scaled down to a more realistic idea that we can produce.

What's next for Vernacular Racer

Fix bugs, fix more bugs, and fix plenty more bugs. We will also expand Vernacular Racer to include more features such as a user inputted word bank, customizable skins that are unlockable through experience points gained from playing, as well as other small games that implement language learning. Adding other games would turn this application into a hub of simple, addicting educational games.

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