Mage Duel

Target Audience: Government Audience


Description: Mage Duel is a language learning game that uses bleeding edge technologies to improve fluency, and receptive and productive language skills. Mage Duel exists to support military linguists and anyone else seeking to master communicative competency in a new language. Military linguists in the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) train in an intensive environment and are expected to learn and master hundreds of new words and phrases daily. As language analysts, they struggle for years to achieve the right balance of speed and accuracy in their translation work. Mage Duel solves this critical problem and provides USAF and DoD linguists with a cradle to grave solution for vocabulary acquisition and translation competency to complement their formal language

Skills and Ideas Taught: Mage Duel’s learning objectives include building receptive and productive language skills by developing phonological, morphological, and semantic discrimination skills. In addition, Mage Duel builds fluency, accuracy, and complexity through timed language production activities, rewarding the player for semantic accuracy rather than exact formal equivalence. Mage Duel uses a natural language processing, neural network-based, semantic similarity engine to evaluate language production gameplay mechanics and deliver targeted and adaptive language learning content to each player.

Goal: In the fantasy world of Degom, word magic, once the province of Mage Lords, is erupting across the land. Our story begins when a young commoner with emerging word magic is sent on a reconnaissance mission by her Mage Lord. She must gather intelligence about the Northern Warlord’s movements and actions all while navigating complex cultural environments full of diverse threats.
In the first level of the game, our hero T’Lokaa meets her mentor, a Preservationist living in a refugee camp on the border of Vyrangia and Huaxia. T’Lokaa must help this Preservationist retrieve the pieces of an ancient artifact. Threats are everywhere and our hero must collect magic word threads and cast spells using her burgeoning word magic to defeat Mages and as a result earn a precious tool to aid her on her mission.

Primary Audience: The primary audience for Mage Duel are DoD language analysts enrolled in the DLIFLC basic language course.

Assessment Approach: Mage Duel is micro-adaptive and collects high resolution player data in order to measure player performance and optimize player learning. Game content is individualized based on performance and players must demonstrate mastery in order to proceed in the game.

In the Thread Collection activity, accuracy, speed and the patterns of answer selection are measured. The player must select the target word a net of three times to clear it. In the Mage Duel activity, accuracy determines the power of the fireball and translation speed determines the speed of the fireball. The
sentence production task is scored for fluency (as measured by time to translate), accuracy (as measured by semantic similarity), and complexity (as measured by length of target language input). The player must meet the minimum threshold for accuracy. If the player does not meet the minimum threshold for accuracy, the spell fails. Higher translation accuracy and speed scores result in stronger and
faster firepower to use in combat against the Mages.

Player data can be analyzed for patterns of user inputs and advancement and reduction patterns (relevant to researchers and game developers). Mage Duel also collects performance indicators for game world behavior including experience points, mission objectives achieved, and game world progression, all of which will inform our understanding of player engagement.

Game Engine: Unity

Operating System: Windows 10 and Windows 11