Improving English proficiency, ITS students invent “Word War” game

Game called 'World War', exploiting speech recognition technology as a solution. (photo: IO/Prive. Doc)

IO, Surabaya – In this modern era, various websites provide learning improvement services on a day-to-day basis. But unfortunately, current learning media have not been able to provide mutual response to their users or is still passive. Seeing an opportunity, students from Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) created a game called “Word War”, exploiting speech recognition technology as a solution.

The game creators are Ilham Cahya Suherman from Information Systems Department, Firman Maulana from Informatics Engineering Department, and Diah Rachmawati from Visual Communication Design (DKV) under the Department of Industrial Design (Despro). Although team members do not belong to the same department, Ilham is quite excited to be in the same team in creating a game platform; it takes a programmer and aesthetic experts to make the game feel alive.

Speech Recognition (SR), said Ilham, is a technology used to convert acoustic signals (voice) through microphones, as a form of command in operating a computer automatically. “So players only need sound or speech to control and run the game. So far, this SR technology is only available on Windows 10,” he explained.

According to Ilham, who acted as team leader, this game belongs to the “shooter” category, meaning that players win over opponents by blasting them with ammunition. In the game, the shooter is simulated by a cat inside a plane and the enemies to shoot are represented as monsters.

Technically, there are top, middle, and bottom positions within a cat’s perimeter. Each of these three positions contains English words or phrases. If players want to move the cat, they pronounce English word or sentences in that position, speaking directly. Likewise, for attempts to shoot enemies. “Clear articulation will be vital to bring you glory or defeat,” said the student from Malang.

There are seven levels in this game, where each level has its own difficulties in translating English words or sentences quickly and accurately. “We hope the game could help people to improve English proficiency, especially children to also develop logic and problem-solving skills through games,” said Ilham.

Because of his creative accomplishments, the Word War Game has been exhibited at major ITS events such as ITS Expo and Accessible Technology for Society (MKT). Although already exhibited, those three students were still not satisfied with current state of development. “This game will be further improvised with a better look and more feature enhancements,” added Ilham. (ITS)