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Flex Your Lexicon in Page Chronica, Out Tuesday on PSN

Wee Lit Koh's Avatar + Posted by Wee Lit Koh on Nov 29, 2012 // Producer, Red Hare Studios

During the making of our game Page Chronica, a common question has been “Is this an edutainment game?” Whenever we hear that word, our bodies cringe and we adamantly deny the claim. In the gaming industry, the term conjures memories of boring school educational games that would alienate the majority of our console gamers. So for a long period of time, we would refuse to admit that our game is such a thing. However, we eventually lightened up to the notion. That is not to say that we have fully accepted the classification, but it is more of a matter of tweaking our perspectives. So to all the edutainment-haters out there, we’re here to convince you to withhold judgment and give Page Chronica a try.

Page Chronica is not your average side-scrolling action-platformer. It is an action-oriented word-puzzle game that combines elements of action-platformers with the forming of words. Capture letters and form words of various lengths and complexity to gain the power to unleash a variety of Spells and Attacks. The stronger the words formed, the more powerful you will be.

Page Chronica on PS3

Page Chronica on PS3Page Chronica on PS3

Most people ask, “So this game is meant to teach players vocabulary and spelling?” The game does have a spelling and vocabulary element, but that does not mean the aim is to teach people how to spell. This is first and foremost a video game — entertainment and player experience are the most important components.

There is a fundamental underlying factor that differentiates many games from “edutainment”: Purpose and design. Games like Scribblenauts are not explicitly designed for educational purposes; rather they have incidental or secondary educational value. While the word-forming mechanic in Page Chronica is the core design element of the game, its purpose is not to teach people vocabulary or spelling, but to provide players power-ups. This in turn affects numerous other gameplay elements to invoke a sense of entertaining interaction; keeping in mind that half of Page Chronica is still an action-platformer.

Page Chronica on PS3

So, why would any sane game designer combine such different genres into one game? We constantly ask ourselves that question too. But it all boils down to the idea that we had when the game was first conceived: Your words have power.

We normally do not realize this, but the words we say or write or think have a great impact on our lives and those around us. Words are so simple, yet it is always difficult to conjure the right words at the right moments. Words can inspire or discourage, heal or hurt and give or take. In fact, a myriad of worlds are created and destroyed on words alone. It is this message that we wish to drive into players as they play the game. Page Chronica encourages players to constantly form any word at any time at any point of the game to effectively complete a level. The length of the words formed goes into supplying the player a variety of attacks and support abilities like double jumps and healing, without which the player would be at a great disadvantage. The words themselves are constructed of letters of different strengths that can be captured on screen, so the words also affect how strong a player’s attack can be.

Page Chronica on PS3Page Chronica on PS3

Various puzzles exist in the game that challenge players to form words of specific lengths and strengths, but the general rule is the longer or more complex the words formed, the better the player will be. Combine these with classic platforming elements from games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man, and you will have a game that alternates between thinking and action button-mashing to create a stimulating and invigorating gameplay experience. In addition, because the words that players form in a level are always different due to the random generation of letters on screen, every level will feel refreshing, even if the player replays a level.

Hopefully, this is enough to convince you to give Page Chronica a try. If you are vocabulary buff but lack fantastic hand-eye coordination, your masterful control of words would still put you at a strategic advantage. If you are a platforming fanatic but lack an extensive vocabulary, your top-notch skills would still compensate the added challenge. If you are good at both then kudos to you, but if you are short on one or the other, rest assured there is an extra mechanic to ease you into the flow of the game.

//Add Your Own

29 Comments   27 Replies

1

+ DJNorthSky on November 29th, 2012 at 9:10 am said:

I love word puzzles and I love action side scrollers! The game looks very clean and crisp. Any chance of a demo to try it out first? I would definitely be interested in this if I could just get hands on with atleast part of a level!


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:23 pm said:

    Thanks for the like! There will be a demo that shows the platforming and action aspects of the game. However the demo will only be released in Jan-Feb 2013. Keep a look out for it!


2

+ Attababyitzaboy on November 29th, 2012 at 9:12 am said:

This does look amazing but one question, why are none of these recent games you are showing coming to Vita as well? Push it Sony!!! This game would look amazing on the Vita. Grrrraaahhhhhhhh!!


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:32 pm said:

    We are definitely keen to consider to consider VITA version, but we will like to look at the player’s response to the blend of game mechanics before deciding!


3

+ saintaqua on November 29th, 2012 at 9:20 am said:

The video is private. :(

This would be perfect for the Vita, are there any plans for a port? I think it might do well on the system.


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    + Justin Massongill on November 29th, 2012 at 10:01 am said:

    Scheduling mishap, fixed now. Sorry for the confusion!


4

+ ZeroSection on November 29th, 2012 at 9:21 am said:

This look like an interesting game from the screenshots, but the video above isn’t working anymore for me. It says its private now.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:33 pm said:

    I believe it should work now, please enjoy.


5

+ maniveol on November 29th, 2012 at 9:23 am said:

just a note the video is not working(it says it is private)

other then that looks great cant wait to try it


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:34 pm said:

    Thanks for your vote of confidence, we hope you have as much fun playing it as us making the game.


6

+ JamesBlonde777 on November 29th, 2012 at 9:26 am said:

Everyone always asks if the game will be on Vita. Sony, please just have your bloggers note at the top what systems it is for. ie.,

PS3: Yes
Vita: TBD
PSP: No

Easy peezy.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:36 pm said:

    Probability of VITA version + 0.1% !


7

+ Monterossa on November 29th, 2012 at 9:27 am said:

Good to see the first singaporean made PS3 game.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:38 pm said:

    Thank you, although to clarify, Page Chronica is the first original concept for PS3 that is developed in Singapore, and its PSN exclusive.


8

+ islankleinknecht on November 29th, 2012 at 9:43 am said:

Am I the one who remembers “edutainment” games as being awesome from my childhood? Math Blasters, Fraction Munchers, Einstein Jr. Those were some great games.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:41 pm said:

    We have nothing against “edutainment”, we do think that “edutainment games” can be great products. Just that, we wanted rant that we did not design the game to be an “edutainment game” but rather an expression of “Words hace Power”. “Nostalgic” will also be a hit on.


9

+ letherclad on November 29th, 2012 at 9:48 am said:

You guys are really defensive about this game, you spent more time defending its validity as a game than advertising it, to the point where its kind of alarming.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:47 pm said:

    Well, when we started to write this article, we looked at the interviews that were already published on the net. We decided that we wanted to rant about something that is not already expressed by those interviews. Hopefully, this will start some discussion about the game itself; which we are glad that it did!


10

+ ModernNomNom on November 29th, 2012 at 9:53 am said:

I’m curious is this a PlayStation Network exclusive?


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:49 pm said:

    Yes! It is PSN exclusive!


11

+ Vallanthaz on November 29th, 2012 at 10:01 am said:

Vita version would be amazing……


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:50 pm said:

    Vita probability +0.1%, your support will go a long way to help us raise the development funds!


12

+ Ryumoau on November 29th, 2012 at 10:23 am said:

I wouldn’t mind trying it if its less than $9.99. I don’t have any kids and my little sister doesn’t play videogames, so i can’t justify paying more than that for an educational game. But the side scrolling looks interesting.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:53 pm said:

    It is priced at $10.99 ! It has 18 campaign levels and 24 challenges.


13

+ LeeorV on November 29th, 2012 at 10:41 am said:

I join my voice to that of #5’s, I highly recommend giving an “ID card” to every game advertised on PS Blog, and putting that ID on all posts related to that game.

Example

Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale
PS3: Yes
PS Vita: Yes
Cross Buy: Yes
Cross Play: Yes
Cross Save: Yes
Release Date: 20.11.2012
Price: 60$ (40$ for Vita only)

Jeff / Nick / Justin / Grace / Morgan – MAKE THIS HAPPEN! YOU CAN DO IT!


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 4:23 pm said:

    Cross Buy and VITA is definitely something we are looking at with sufficient interest from our players.


14

+ mtnman3888 on November 29th, 2012 at 10:48 am said:

Game looks really good and it’s a nice twist on the platforming genre. Will there be a demo to try? I agree with the consensus above, this would be a perfect fit for the Vita, would definitely buy it for that.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:55 pm said:

    Thanks for the Like, a demo version will be ready around Jan-Feb 2013. Oh and VITA version probability level up!


15

+ FriedConsole on November 29th, 2012 at 10:56 am said:

After watching the video, I still don’t understand. Interested. Hope there is a demo.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:57 pm said:

    Demo incoming Jan-Feb 2013, keep a look out for it and hope you enjoy the game!


16

+ bldudas on November 29th, 2012 at 12:22 pm said:

Looks interesting

And I agree with JamesBlonde777 and LeeorV.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 3:58 pm said:

    VITA probability + 0.1% !


17

+ lisatsunami on November 29th, 2012 at 12:49 pm said:

Platformers in 2012 would be acceptable for Vita since the total library for Vita is so much smaller but I don’t want to play this on my PS3, sorry.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 4:00 pm said:

    You can always try the demo in Jan-Feb 2013 to see if it is something you like, will love to recieve your comments!


18

+ kivi95 on November 29th, 2012 at 12:50 pm said:

5# I still think people should ask if they plan on making a psvita version. I mean if there are a lot of demend in the comments they might consider to make a psvita version. Like Create studios that might now make a psvita version of their new game they showed yesterday.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 4:03 pm said:

    We are also looking for feedbacks and comments about the game! VITA probability + 0.1%, rant about it enough and it will happen!


19

+ tusunami on November 29th, 2012 at 3:45 pm said:

This is a game that should once again be cross buy. The Ps Vita needs more games for it because the beginning of next year there’s only 4 games coming out. I hope there won’t be a drought.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 29th, 2012 at 4:05 pm said:

    Yes, if we do develop a VITA version of the game, cross buy will definitely be the target. Again, we need to see those “wishlist” for a VITA version!


20

+ SAB-CA on November 29th, 2012 at 6:41 pm said:

Been looking forward to this game, ever since seeing it on PSNStores and Siliconera!

Add me to the “Would like to see on Vita!” list, especially as a cross-buy. But fully intent to assist that desire with a purchase of the PS3 version! I’d love to be able to control that word-cursor with Vita’s Rear, or even Front Touch screens…

The colors and personality of the world remind me of older Neo Geo Arcade games, like Magician Lord, or Athena. The word-based powers are a nice addition, and I have to commend you guys for sticking with such a theme so strongly.

The art also looks nice and charming, hope you have a good gallery feature in the game! :)


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 30th, 2012 at 7:12 pm said:

    Thank you so much for your support! Vita cross buy probaility +0.1%


21

+ Daverost on November 29th, 2012 at 7:12 pm said:

The game looks great, but I certainly do hope you work toward a Vita version (especially if you’re considering cross-buy options). It looks like the kind of game that would really benefit from having both standard controls and a touch screen.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 30th, 2012 at 7:16 pm said:

    Truth is during the games’ development, we were considering MOVE support, but later decided that the later action packed stages makes it quite difficult to control the game using MOVE. When VITA was released, the tpuch screen does complement the game very well. We are considering cross buy for VITA as we speak, but as an indie, we will really like to see the community’s response for the PS3 version too. But hey ! Probability of cross buy +0.1% !!!


22

+ Benzitor on November 29th, 2012 at 9:36 pm said:

This would be the perfect fit for Vita… Not asking crossbuy, but 5$ higher price tag, with crossbuy, and i jump in. I am not buying anymore PSN games on PS3, but i buy absolutely all PSN releases on Vita…. much more enjoyable system for that…

I might buy this one though….but it would be for support…

Vita please…. Vita …


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 30th, 2012 at 7:17 pm said:

    Thanks for your support! Vita version level up !


23

+ DRAQ-520 on November 29th, 2012 at 9:42 pm said:

Looks very interesting, as you can see from my Derrick avatar, I’m a huge fan of these kind of experiences, the best until now is Journey, I will be looking for these alongside The Unfinished Swan for next year, any estimate on price?


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 30th, 2012 at 7:19 pm said:

    The game is priced at 10.99 for 24 challenges and 18 campaign levels. Looking forward to your support!


24

+ S_T_O_N_E_ on November 29th, 2012 at 10:02 pm said:

Guess you don’t want alot of peoples money. Something like this would go great with the VITA, but I won’t buy it for my PS3. If you make it for the VITA it’d be perfect even considering the VITA has a small game library, then i’d personally would get it. I just watched a documentary on indie game developers on netflix and I have to say, gave me a whole new outlook on it.
Looks awesome though! :)


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 30th, 2012 at 7:24 pm said:

    The game was concieved in 2009, before VITA was launched, by the time VITA was announced the game was already deep into production. Budget constraints as an indie company leaves little space for maneuvering. Even if you do not buy the game, we will be releasing a demo version for PS3 in Q1 2013. Do take a look and let us know what you think!
    VITA version is under consideration. Thank you for your support!


25

+ Mister-Nep on November 30th, 2012 at 7:06 am said:

This looks like a really neat game. I’ll definitely be getting this, and if it happens I’d pick up a Vita version as well.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 30th, 2012 at 7:26 pm said:

    Thank you for your support! I am sure you will enjoy it! VITA probaility + 0.1%!


26

+ Wild–Waller on November 30th, 2012 at 8:37 am said:

Mee too. I’ll buy it on Vita.


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 30th, 2012 at 7:27 pm said:

    VITA probaility +0.1%!


27

+ plaztiksyke on November 30th, 2012 at 1:53 pm said:

does the game render in 1080p native?

edutainment can be pretty awesome. someone mentioned Math Blasters, which I liked, but the Doctor Brain series was also fantastic!

Book of Spells is also kind of edutainment, but I’m digging it :)


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    + Wee Lit Koh on November 30th, 2012 at 7:30 pm said:

    I totally agree Book of Spells is a great product, I also hope to see more of such titles!
    The game renders at 720p ! Thanks for your time reading the article!


28

+ PsychoSoldierBR on December 1st, 2012 at 7:25 am said:

Waiting already for the VITA version.


29

+ idDobie on December 2nd, 2012 at 3:29 pm said:

Chiming in my support for vita!

I pretty much impulse buy most sub 20 dollar vita games – You have my sword!


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