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Many years ago I played Cantr II. It's a text-based role playing game, but it's different to most: the aim of the game is not to "level up" or kill monsters. In fact there's no specified "goal". What you do is develop an interesting character, and an interesting storyline.

Cantr II basically forces characters to cooperate with each other: you need teamwork to do anything significant. It's also very slow paced, e.g., walking from one town to another could take around 4 real-life days.

Cantr II has multiple spawn points, with different spawn points having different languages. Many people use it for language learning (Cantr II webzine)---the slow-paced nature gives you time to write properly in a foreign language. They used to have a Chinese spawn point, but it wasn't sufficiently popular, and was subsequently removed (link).

I'd be interested to know if there's anything else available. I can't find anything else in English, but it's hard for me to search in Chinese.

Question: Are there text-based online roleplaying games which can be used for practicing Chinese writing?

What computer games provide practice? gives another example "Enter Zon", but it seems to no longer be available.


Update regarding Cantr II:

I asked a related question on LanguageLearning.SE: Is the online role-playing game Cantr II much use for language learning?. I just got an answer from the author of the Cantr Webzine:

I don't see Chinese, but if even one other person can be found (to have someone else to speak with) that may be enough to open the language again, as well as others.

(Emphasis mine.)

(Posting this is a little bit "adverty", so I'd like to declare I'm not affiliated with Cantr II in any way.)

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    I found WordSwing. It has choose your own adventure stories in Chinese. – Becky 李蓓 Oct 29 '19 at 11:34
  • Thank you very much, Becky! I'd really appreciate if you find anything else and post them here. – Enrico Brasil Oct 29 '19 at 15:44
  • @OlleLinge: Judging from this Hacking Chinese post It seems you are (or your company) is the author of WordSwing. Perhaps you could answer this question? I haven't managed to find anything else even remotely similar. – Becky 李蓓 Jan 13 at 9:18
  • @Becky李蓓 Yes, I am. We discussed early on if we should have typing input, but that's just too complicated to get right. Our games are all multiple choices, so it's more reading practice than writing practice. If you think this might answer your question, I can write a proper reply. – Olle Linge Feb 25 at 9:18
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    Okay, posted it as an answer now. – Olle Linge Feb 25 at 12:28
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I have been interested in table-top role-playing games since I was ten and ever since I started teaching Chinese, i've been interested in finding ways of combining the two. While my answer does not fully satisfy your wishes, I believe it might be as close as you are likely to get.

Together with Kevin Bullaughey, I have created a series of text games over at WordSwing, specifically aimed at students of Chinese. They work on the simple basis of presenting text describing setting, actions and dialogue, followed by a number of choices you can make as a player. This would qualify as a role-playing game since you assume the role of the main character in the story. It's akin to choose-your-own-adventure games, but since it's custom-built, there are lots of things we can do that can't be done in a standard interface (such as built in resource handling, options that are hidden, change or appear depending on other things happening in the game). We also provide recorded audio synced with the text (you can even play in audio-only mode, but I know you asked about writing).

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These are several ways these can be said to be for students. First, the text is deliberately kept at a certain level, avoiding difficult language and keeping to common words and easy grammar. Second, choices are meant to actively probe your reading ability. You can't just click on random options and expect to make it to the end, because many choices are outright stupid if you read and understand what's going on.

This is focused on reading, not writing, which is why it doesn't fully answer your question. We did discuss having typed input similar to old-school DOS adventure games such as King's Quest, but we decided this was too hard to implement well and that clever multiple-choice implementation would be more practical and maybe also better.

The first game we created, 逃出去 (Escape) can be played in its entirety for free, so it's easy to check it out and see what you think. You can play in your browser or download the WordSwing app for Android or iOS.

Disclosure: As I said in the second paragraph, I'm recommending my own product here, although 逃出去 (Escape) is available for free. There might be other games out there that come closer to answering the question at hand, but if so, I haven't seen them.

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