16 October 2020

Among Us For Language Learning?

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about language acquisition and games. Instead of making a game now, let's use an existing one. And what better game than the currently popular "Among Us"?
Other games do work as well, though. ("Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes")

Why Among Us?

AmongUsSkeldMapGerman
Among Us Skeld Map With Translation
~ by GreenyNeko
So, why specifically Among Us? Despite its fantasy setting, some of the vocabularies are practical outside of the game as well. Compared to other games, players need to describe the situation as detailed as possible while the imposters try to manipulate information believably. On top of that, the game encourages communication, specifically via voice. The fun and popularity play a role in this choice too.



Language Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis

Summarizing the Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis, we learn a language through comprehensible input. In the game, intelligible communication is fundamental to win the game. Whether or not you're an imposter or crewmate. Being unable to get your point across is sus. In this scenario, language production goes hand in hand with comprehensible input. The talker is the teacher, and the listener is the student. The game's context helps to make messages intelligible. Even with limited language understanding, your game's knowledge helps comprehension expanding your proficiency by filling the gaps.

How To Get Started?

Technically you can jump right in and figure things out, but you might lose the first few rounds. Alternatively, you can acquire a language by watching other people play. Similar to how kids don't talk at first.
AmongUsGermanAcquisitionComic
Among Us German Acquisition Comic
~ by GreenyNeko
Possible ways to learn the game's vocabulary would be
  • listen to Youtubers play "Among Us" in the target tongue (preferably with subtitles)
  • change the game's language to the target language (if applicable)
  • translate the game and most relevant vocabulary
  • lookup a list of the words
Now gather learners of the target language and a few natives. Among Us requires 4-10 players, but you know the saying the more, the merrier. Lastly, try to only speak in the target language, even if you only use single words. (report, blue imposter, etc.)

Off You Go!

Continuing to play this way will steadily improve your understanding through active listening and thinking. It isn't limited to this game but feels like it's a better one. Good luck with your language learning journey.

Have I mentioned this Among Us research I have going on?
It only takes 10-20 or 30-40 minutes!
>> Click to check it out!


06 October 2020

Among Us - Can You Find A Venting Imposter On Mira HQ?

Not every research has success, and I used not to post those. Combined with the limited time, having to learn for exams, I didn't write any. Thus, I'll start posting failed research as well. Since you can learn from fails too.


Hypothesis

amongUsMiraHQMap
Screenshot of Mira HQ on Among Us Mobile
With the "Y"-Tunnel circled and the door
log marked ~ By GreenyNeko


Mira HQ is a map in Among Us, that is famous for its Y-shaped-tunnel. Each exit of the tunnel has a sensor, triggering a log when a player passes it, but not when venting. As such, you can't read the imposter from the door logs should be possible. To prove this, we'll look at the Crewmates' sensor combinations and compare them to the possible Imposter combinations. Another question is if the imposter can counter this. But first, we'll organize the information in a useful way. Therefore removing unnecessary details and keeping the relevant (sensors, Crewmate/vent pathing, cardinal areas).


miraHQSimplifiedPathingMap
Ill. 1: Crewmate/Vent Pathing in
Mira HQ
~by GreenyNeko

Simplification

We take the MIRA HQ map and draw in the paths between rooms, between vents, and the sensors. (see Ill. 1) However, we still have more information than needed. We only care about the sensors, so we reduce the paths to the north, south-west, and south-east. The result shows how players will trigger the sensors. (see. Ill. 2) From here on out, I will label south-west as west and south-east as east.


miraHQRelevantVentAndCrewPathing
Ill. 2: Log Relevant Crewmate/Vent
 Pathingof Mira HQ 
~by GreenyNeko


Crewmember Logs

Given the nodes on the crewmate path (shown in green), they can be west, east, north, or in the tunnel. Additionally, triggering sensors puts it on cooldown for the player. Thus doubling back causes only a single log, not two.


So, we get these combinations:

  • WN - The player went from west to north or is in the tunnel.
  • WE - The player went from west to east or is in the tunnel.
  • NW - The player went from north to west or is in the tunnel.
  • NE - The player went from north to east or is in the tunnel.
  • EW - The player went from east to west or is in the tunnel.
  • EN - The player went from east to north or is in the tunnel.
  • N - The player is in the north, or the tunnel. (NN, NNN... N+)
  • S - The player is in the south, or the tunnel. (SS, SSS... S+)
  • W - The player is in the tunnel or the west. (WW, WWW... W+)

We read NWE as:

  • The player went from north to west, doubled back, and went east.

Doubling back makes the logs ambiguous. Thus, we can't tell the player's exact position or path.

We read NWWE as:

  • The player went from north to west and then from west to east.
  • The player went from north to west, doubled back multiple times, and went to the east.


Imposter Logs

The imposter can use the pink and green paths. Ergo, all combinations we found so far count here too, as well as the ambiguity. But if you think a person vented, you can check the logs. Seeing an imposter in the west, but there is no recent combination of SW/NW, and they appear in the log, they vented. Unsuccessful research? We just solved it! Well, you can't tell the difference if the imposter vented and then double backed on the sensor at the target location. Especially since doubling back is not uncommon on sensors.


Conclusion

Since both imposters and crewmates produce the same log combinations, and imposters can hide venting through doubling back. Reading who vented isn't reliably with a good imposter.

I have planned two more blog posts on Among Us, and if you're interested, I got some research going on. It takes 30-40 minutes to complete.

>> To the research

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I'm a junior game developer and software developer and I created this blog to share my ideas, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.