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Abstract template for 2nd International Conference on Art, Craft, Culture, and Design - Faculty of Art
and Design, Institut Teknologi Bandung
Subtopic: Technology and Enviromental Sustainability
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF
EDUCATIONAL GAMES FOR LANGUAGE SCRIPTS
Ahmad Ade Nugraha1, Alvanov Zpalanzani Mansoor2.
1Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia, email@example.com
Corresponding address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Along with the increasing use of smartphones in adolescents and children, mobile games in
the form of educational games have been developed by Indonesia and other countries as a
learning medium to increase student motivation, including learning scripts. Indonesia is an
archipelago country with several aksara/scripts, such as the Rejang script from Sumatra
island, the Jawa script from Java Island, the Bali script from Bali island, and the Lontara
script from Sulawesi island. Still, there are concerns that some aksara/scripts in Indonesia
will become extinct. There are several educational mobile games designed for children using
aksara/script recognition content where the game can be used as a supporting medium for
learning the script while playing. The author analysed the contents of several educational
mobile games comparatively to gain insight into how educational mobile game developers
educate players about aksara/scripts. This study used a descriptive qualitative approach
with game design theory as a reference for comparative studies. From this research, it is
expected that readers will gain insight into approaches to learning letters or scripts through
mobile educational games. In addition, these findings can be used as a foundation for
developing educational games about scripts.
Mobile Games, Educational Games, Aksara, Learning Media, Comparative Studies
Indonesia has a lot of diversity in languages, but not many of these regional languages have
scripts/aksara. There are 718 mother tongues or traditional languages in Indonesia but there
are only 12 languages that have scripts as published by Kementrian Pendidikan dan
Kebudayaan (KEMENDIKBUD). The 12 scripts are the ancient Javanese scripts and
Sundanese scripts from the Java island, the Balinese script from the Bali island, the
Bugis/Lontara script from the Sulawesi island, the Rejang script, Lampung script, Karo
script, Pakpak script, Simalungun script, Toba script, Mandailing, and Kerinci/Rencong
scripts from the Sumatera island. Basically, script/aksara can be interpreted as a collection
or set of letters with a particular writing system .
Figure 1. Various Scripts in Indonesia
However, the preservation of regional languages does not seem to be as expected. A
number of previous studies have discussed the decline in the existence of regional
languages, including their scripts/Aksara. One of them was explained by Madeamin 
through the Regional Language congress in South Sulawesi, held in 2007 and 2012. From
the congress, known that the existence of and traditional scripts were starting to be
abandoned. The use of scripts is still used only for specific purposes. One of the most iconic
is its use in street names and government offices in various regions in Indonesia . On the
other hand, children or the younger generation have already begun to leave their local
language/mother-tongue due to the powerful influence of globalization . Of course, it also
impacts the use of traditional scripts that are increasingly common among them.
Another example is the learning of the Lontara script in South Sulawesi, precisely in Pinrang
Regency. Bugis traditional language was a field of study in the past. Now, these subjects are
combined in local content. So it is not required to be taught by the school anymore , which
can lead to the lower literacy of children towards their traditional script.
One of the conservation efforts continues to be carried out by several parties in various
ways, including in script-themed competitions. the Department of Education, Dinas
Pendidikan, Pemuda dan Olahraga (Disdikpora) Denpasar City, Bali held a Nyurat (writing)
Balinese script competition, as quoted in the digital newspaper Republika. Elementary and
junior high schools followed the competition in the context of the 231st Anniversary of
Denpasar City in 2019. The competition aims to educate and introduce the Balinese
language, script, and literature from an early age. Anak Agung Made Wijaya Asmara, the
Secretary of Disdikpora, said the activity was an effort to preserve and develop the Balinese
language as described by the locals .
In digitizing the script/aksara field, this is being done by the Indonesian Internet Domain
Name Manager (PANDI) so that Indonesian scripts/aksara are registered on Unicode.
Yudho Giri Sucahyado As the chairman of PANDI, the aim of the digitizing script is that the
younger generation of Indonesia can recognize and understand the original scripts of the
previous regions, which are now increasingly being eroded by time .
As these efforts were carried out, educational games about learning scripts have also begun
to be developed, such as Arabic script, Korean script, Japanese script and several other
scripts. Development of scripts-themed educational games. It is hoped that in the future, the
learning of traditional hands through mobile educational games can be carried out to add
new media in language learning to preserve scripts/characters, especially in Indonesia,
where the use of traditional script is starting to be abandoned.
The research method applied in this research is a comparative descriptive qualitative
approach with game design theory as a reference for comparative studies to know the
essential game elements more broadly. In short, everything the team needs to know about
the design of the game. Tracy Fullerton's theory will be used in her book “Game Design
Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games”.
In a book entitled “Introduction to game Design, Prototyping, and Development”, Gibson
includes Tracy Fullerton's theory as one of the three frameworks most commonly used in
learning or building a game.
Using basic theory because of its more straightforward implementation and ease of
application, Tracy explained that the game’s structure is made up of two elements: formal
elements and dramatic elements. Formal elements are the essence of a game. In this case,
Fullerton categorises it into several parts: the interaction patterns of the players, the
mission/objectives of the game, procedures, rules of the game, resources, conflicts,
limitations, and achievements in the game. While the dramatic elements in question enrich
the formal elements so that players are emotionally involved, the following are dramatic
elements: challenges, games, characters, stories, World Building, and The Dramatic Arc.
Figure 2. Tracy Fullerton's Game Elements theory
The researcher found several studies of educational games about scripts that have been
done before. Several studies on educational games that previous researchers have carried
out include; Learning Arabic with Games , which discusses the design and
implementation of a game framework in facilitating Arabic skills for children to evaluate the
effectiveness of game-based learning. Next is the research entitled Mobile Application for
Learning and Memorizing Japanese scripts using Game-Based Learning , which aims to
help students in memorizing, recognizing the different symbols of Hiragana and Katakana
scripts. Research from  entitled Kurdish Language Learning tool in Serious game, where
they designed a serious smartphone game to learn Kurdish to improve vocabulary aimed at
foreign people who have the desire to learn Kurdish. Uiphanit & Sunandha's research (2021)
is entitled China Word Vocabulary Quiz Game for Promoting Chinese Vocabulary Memory
among 10th Grade Students . This study aims to design a learning game in a mobile
application to learn Chinese scripts and vocabulary aimed at students in class 10th in
Suphanburi Province, Thailand. And  Development Finite State Machine Agent in Edu-
game "Hangug Word" Learning Media of Korea Hangul scripts designed a game that aims to
introduce the Korean Hangul Script to children and teenagers know the shape and
pronunciation of the Hangul Scripts.
From the method used was found that the findings of an approach can be used to develop
game content for learning scripts, especially Indonesian scripts/Aksara that do not yet have
various types of learning media.
3. Result and discussion
Until now, smartphone user data continues to grow. Based on the latest report by HootSuite
and the We Are Social agency until early 2021 in a report titled "Digital 2021”, smartphone
users in Indonesia reached 167 million users or 89% of the total population of Indonesia.
The addition cannot be separated from children and adolescents in Indonesia learning from
home during the Covid-19 pandemic as per circular letter number 15 of 2020 by
Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan. Besides that, The survey conducted by KPAI
(Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia) in June 2020 on 25,164 child respondents and
14,169 Parent respondents spread across 34 provinces in Indonesia found most
respondents as much as 71.3 percent stated that children already have their gadgets own.
The use of Smartphones as educational media through mobile games in the form of
educational games also continues to grow. As a result, many educational games have been
developed in various content areas, including computer science, economics, geography,
history, language, pathology, physics, biology, astronomy, and ecology. However,
research on educational games with the theme of language and script is still being carried
out, so it is necessary to search for approaches taken by previous studies to be used in-
game education development about literacy learning in Indonesia.
Basically, according to Maulana, a script is a collection of a set of letters that have a certain
writing system . The term script is better matched with the word script which has a wider
meaning than the word alphabet because the script only symbolizes a collection of letter
sets neutrally without further categorization. The usual method for teaching letters in schools
is the phonetic method. The phonetic method is a method that teaches students the sound
of letters, where students will be taught graphically logo symbols of each letter . The
phonetic method is a method that is often used in learning to recognize letters, discovered in
the 19th century. This method of learning about basic knowledge of sounds from
pronunciation, mastery of sounds, and shapes of letters is a very important initial stage
before starting the stages of mastering a language. If further attention is paid to the
introduction of scripts by visually recognizing sounds and letter shapes in several script
games, some examples will be presented in the next presentation.
In 2021 the Game is a medium that is very close to children, teenagers to adults, apart from
the ease of access, the existence of gadgets in the midst of society has become
inseparable, the covid-19 pandemic has also made the need for gadgets higher and higher,
so that school children begin to be facilitated by gadgets in the form of laptops or
smartphones by their parents.
Games have several types, as described by designer Tracy Fullerton who divides them into
several types, namely: action, strategy, role-playing, sports, racing/driving,
simulation/building, flight, and other simulations, adventure, educational, children's, casual,
and experimental . Games are no longer seen only as entertainment tools or tools to
spend free time. Games are also developed in several media, one of which can function as a
medium in conveying knowledge called educational games, abbreviated as Edu-games.
Educational games can mean a combination of educational content and learning principles
that create learning for players .
The use of media games in education aims to provoke participants' interest in learning while
playing so that learning can be conveyed to students. Through these media, learning can be
more fun for the audience, especially children, so that can say that games are an excellent
alternative in learning. This was also explained by Abdillah & Aditya, who stated that creative
educational games could be a solution, where games are very close in the daily life of
students so that it can bring them closer to the lesson to be conveyed .
The authors found several literacy educational games from previous studies, including
“Learning Arabic with Games” , Memory Song Game” and “Match Puzzle Game” ,
“Kurdish Language game” , “China Word Uiphanit & Sunandha”  and "Hangug Word"
Edu-game . These several studies show that Edu-games have a good level of
effectiveness in teaching language or scripts. Here are some studies on the effectiveness of
Edu-game media as a learning medium for characters to determine the success rate of
Table 1. Edu game effectiveness research table
1. Learning Arabic With Games 
To evaluate the effectiveness of game-based
learning. In addition, the supporting platform is
used to devise experiments to assess the value of
These games allow children to gradually
acquire linguistic skills from the letters of the
alphabet to simple sentences. In addition,
players acquire competence in reading, writing,
2. Mobile Application for Learning and Memorizing Japanese scripts using Game-
Based Learning 
Develop games to help students memorize,
recognize the different symbols of Hiragana and
Katakana scripts, and promote better student
understanding using the ADDIE model as a
This project has been successfully achieved,
the majority of respondents are satisfied
because this game is valuable and good in
improving Japanese language learning. It was
found that they enjoyed the challenging part of
3. Kurdish Language Learning tool in Serious game 
Design and implement a smartphone application
to learn Kurdish and increase vocabulary through
serious games. Application designed for Android
devices allows users to learn and improve the
Kurdish language. The main objective is to learn
Kurdish vocabulary using crosswords, solve
hidden words, find and circle crosswords in puzzle
solutions in context serious game.
The aspirations of Kurdish language app users
increase as they have to challenge themselves
to pass all three game levels. In addition, future
versions of the game may include certain
Kurdish language modules in secondary or
primary schools in the Kurdistan region of Iraq
to help students cover module topics and assist
4. China Word: Vocabulary Quiz Game for Promoting Chinese Vocabulary
Memory among 10th Grade Students 
This research aims to develop a China Word
mobile game application to promote Mandarin
vocabulary memorization for 10th graders.
China Word Game has been developed to help
improve the quality of Chinese vocabulary
learning and serve as an alternative classroom
material that can make lessons more engaging.
Games will also increase students' enthusiasm
in class, reduce their boredom when learning
dry, outdated grammar, or prevent them from
avoiding complex Chinese vocabulary.
5. Development Finite State Machine Agent in Edu-game "Hangug Word" Learning
Media of Korea Hangul Letters 
Develop a game called "Hangug word" as a
medium for learning Korean Hangul Letters with
Game Agent Finite State Machine based on
Android, which can be exciting entertainment and
learning media and aims to recognize Korean
This research is an Edugagame that uses
random shuffle, which functions to randomize
objects with the aim that players can not only
remember the location of objects in the game.
There is a character in the game (smart agent)
who interacts with the user. There need to be
improvements and additional features so that
this game can appear more attractive.
From the table, it can seem that educational games are quite effective media that can use
for scripts/aksara recognition or learning because they can provide new experiences for
users, not only learning but also playing. we can see also that each game has a different
concept in the design of its educational game, but the game mechanics may have
similarities in both the matching system or the adoption of serious games such as crossword
puzzles but do not forget the educational aspect. The game mechanics of the initial game
may or may not change, depending on the needs of the designer, but its content will be
altered to present the learning aspect correctly. .
Determining the target audience is very important in shaping Edu-games. Tracy Fullerton
offers a "play-centric" method that can be used in designing a game, where the involvement
of players has been done from the start to get feedback and is the key to designing games
that are fun and involve the audience because the game mechanics are developed from the
ground up with the player experience in the beginning .
Tracy Fullerton, in his book entitled “Game Design Workshop: A Play-centric Approach to
Creating Innovative Games”, Tracy Fullerton divides the elements in designing games into
two elements, namely formal elements and dramatic elements. Formal elements consist of
Player, Objectives (objectives), Procedure, Rules, Resources, Conflict, Boundaries, and
Outcome. In comparison, dramatic elements consist of Challenge, Play (Play Pattern),
Premise (Basic / Foundation), Character, Story, World-Building, and The Dramatic Arc
To gain insight from some of these games, the Authors tried to dissect some of these games
using Fullerton's theory to find out some approaches to learning letters or scripts through
mobile educational games
Fullerton explains formal elements are structural elements used in building a game design,
“[Formal elements] are elements that make up the structure of a game. Without it, the game
is no longer a game... This is the essence of the game .
According to Fullerton, games are experiences designed for players. If a player has entered
into the game, they adopt the responsibilities and abilities determined, how many players are
there, and what roles are played. In the game, the player uses the characters provided or
plays the role of himself.
In the game Learning Arabic with Games” , players play a monkey child character with a
single-player type of game. In the game "China Word Uiphanit & Sunandha" , players will
be invited to choose a character for children who wear typical Chinese clothes, but the
selected character is a partner in the game. The character has its mission because the
character saves for questions in the form of words in the game. For example, Chinese
language and players must guess the inscription in Thai; otherwise, monsters will attack the
character and reduce the score. The "Hangug Word" Edu-game  uses a single player,
but the player will be accompanied by a character who acts as a reacting agent when the
player succeeds or fails to complete each level.
In the game titled Memory Song Game" and "Match Puzzle Game"  using single-player,
where this game does not use the player's character being challenged to drag and drop
Hiragana and Katakana script cards according to their respective places using the Drag and
Drop game concept. Single player is also applied to the game “Kurdish Language Game”,
Figure 3 Character on China Word game
Figure 4 Player Without Character on Match Puzzle Game
Objectives are the player-specific steps to win the game, complete stages, defeat enemies,
etc. Goals will motivate players to engage with the dynamics of the game.
Educational games can adopt games that have simple objectives, such as the "Kurdish
Language game", which adopts serious games such as crossword puzzles by finding
hidden words, or in the Memory Song Game" and "Match Puzzle Game"[8 ], Players have to
drag and drop the image on the right square
Figure 5. Kurdish Language game-player have to find hidden words from rondomly letters
Figure 6. Matching the right matching
Educational games aim to provoke players’ interest to learn while playing so that the
learning process occurs in the game. In games have different goals, the goals of learning
also must be fulfilled. For example, in Learning Arabic With Games” , there is background
music in the background music and the sound of the pronunciation of falling objects such as
letters or words. Players indirectly learn new words through the objects collected.
Procedures are ways of playing and actions that players can take to achieve game goals.
The procedure of playing, starting from the beginning to the end of the game. How the
players reach their goal, the way the opponent stops them.
In "Learn Arabic With Games", the player’s task is to move the monkey towards objects that
fall from above, such as Arabic letters, words, fruits, monsters, etc. The player must avoid a
lion-shaped monster for player gameplay with object collection.
Figure 7 Monkey's kid have to collect some objects
The purpose of this game is to make basic knowledge as habituation to further knowledge,
and the level will continue with increasing difficulty levels, such as the same letter shape,
writing variations, and others.
4. Rules :
Rules are restrictions that apply and should not be violated in a game. Rules contain lists
that players can and cannot do, such as finishing the game with the allotted time. If it is too
late to finish the game, the player cannot start the next round. The player only has a few
chances. After that, the player must guess the right one, and so on.
In digital rule-based games, the game has been determined at the beginning of the game so
that players will know the rules that have been made. Fullerton added that the players obey
these rules because they are the main structural elements of the game, and without them,
the game will not run .
Resources are resources that players need in playing the game, such as lives, health,
opportunities, food, duration/time, weapons, currency/coins, power-ups etc. These resource
limitations allow players not to have immortality so that the game will take advantage of
opportunities with considerations, and game strategies become more exciting with these
limitations. As in Learning Arabic With Games” , players have resources in the form of 3
lives. If the lives run out, then the player must repeat at that level. On the other hand, the
Memory Song Game and “Match Puzzle Game”  do not limit the resources in the form of
lives/opportunities. Hence, players are free to stop at any time. So that players will get less
pressure in the game.
Conflict is an obstacle or feud faced by players against enemies/opponents in the that must
be through. In the China Word game , they will face several obstacles. If they want to win
the game, the player must answer questions to choose the correct answer. On the other
hand, they must answer the question correctly before time runs out, and some monsters will
attack the character.
Figure 8. Conflict on china word game
The area limitation of the World game that the player can reach has been created, so the
player will not be able to go anywhere other than the area determined. In games that adopt
board game games, the game will only be limited to board games, even though it is a digital
game, unlike games with adventure or racing genres, players will feel the boundaries of a
Figure 9. Boundaries Learning Arabic With Games
Boundaries on Learning Arabic with Games”  is in a forest area and is limited by tree
trunks. Therefore, players can only observe the area and cannot leave the area.
While in the game "Hangug Word" Edu-game . Creating an area is like being in a
traditional area in Korea, but because the game is to match words with pictures, the
characters only work as agents who help players, so they can't move around.
Figure 10. Boundaries "Hangug Word" Edu-game
8. Outcome :
Rewards/results that players will get after playing the game include coins, scores, stars, the
fastest time during gameplay. According to Fullerton, uncertainty in the outcome is one of
the most important for a game based on play centric because it is the main motivator for
In the games "China Word Uiphanit & Sunandha"  and "Hangug Word" Edu-game ,
the results were different, namely in the form of scores and rewards in the form of stars.
Figure 11 outcome on china word game
Figure 12 outcome "Hangug Word" Edu-game
Besides consisting of formal game elements in building a game, drama elements are also
needed. Fullerton explains the dramatic element aims to engage players emotionally by
creating dramatic content. The element of drama helps players understand the rules and
encourages players to have emotional interactions in the game. Here are some of the
dramatic elements in a game.
Challenge in China Word - Game , Players will be given 30 seconds to answer each
game, and if the answer is correct, the character will attack the monster and increase the
score. If the answer is wrong, then the monster will attack the player character and reduce
the score. The player must complete each level to move to the next level. If it fails, then the
player must repeat at that level.
In the “Kurdish Language Game”, the challenge is that this game has three levels Easy,
Medium, Hard. The higher the level, the more words you will find. The higher the level, the
more words that must be found. Unfortunately, there is no time limit given, so that the
Challenges presented focus on completing the game without a time limit.
2. Play :
Fullerton explains that there is a deep and important relationship between game and play.
Engaging with a game system means playing it, but playing itself is not a game.  “‘Play’ is
the amount of movement the steering wheel can make. Interactive patterns that players can
do in a game. If the game is not made interactive, then the "play" process in the game is
In Learning Arabic With Games” , what happens is that even though players have
limitations, players still have the freedom to direct children in the desired direction, choosing
the objects they want to collect.
Premise Is the basis in building a narrative game so that the purpose of the game is made.
Fullerton gives an example of the game’s premise from a “monopoly” board game where the
players are each landlord to become the richest player in the game. They buy, sell, and
develop valuable items by buying, selling, and developing valuable items. real estate 
Unfortunately, some of the journals that we researched did not explain the narrative concept
of the games they made. Some educational game genres focus on the learning they want to
convey, so they don't develop a premise that is one of the dramatic elements so that players
feel they have emotional involvement.
Characters are people or figures who are around the game world and become part of the
game. Some character-making games in a game can be very deep so that players know the
character well, know the abilities, weaknesses, and how to play the function of the character
in a game.
In the “China Word game” , two characters can be identified as a child who wears
traditional Chinese clothes and a monster who is the opponent as a conflict in the formal
elements of the game. While in Hangug Word," Edugagame  tells a character who acts
as a cryptic agent who reacts when the player succeeds or fails to complete each level.
5. Story, World Building & The Dramatic Arc (Plot)
Not all games can be identified without a story in them, depending on the purpose of the
game being made, because some simple games are only made for simple purposes too.
However, games that have story elements will, of course, increase player engagement in the
In some of the game research that we examined also did not explain the story in the game
they made, so if the "story" of the game has not been identified, then the same goes for
"World Building" because “World Building” is the world of the game that was built, if the story
is the part that completes the profile of the character or the purpose of the game itself, then
the world building is even bigger because it is part of the scenario how all these characters
appear like things in making a fictional film.
The Dramatic Arc (Plot) Is a plot or scene that will occur in the game. The plot can display
scenes that players will face from low levels to the next level so that players have a desire or
curiosity to continue the game.
In some elements of society, especially those interested in traditional culture and arts, either
locally, groups or individuals have realized that regional scripts are in decline. Hence, they
try to preserve them in various ways . In the field of design, one of the things that can be
offered is the development of educational games regarding the introduction or learning of
scripts/Aksara. Games are also one of the growing sectors in the creative economy. From
several research results regarding literacy learning, using educational game media has
entirely satisfactory research results. The results have a pretty good impact, especially in
terms of the enthusiasm of the players who use it. It would be nice if there is research on the
design of educational games regarding script recognition using game media in the future.
From the results of a comparison of several educational games about scripts, it can be seen
that if using the theory from Tracy Fullerton, the game can be dissected into two elements
that support in making a game, namely formal elements, and dramatic elements. The more
elements that are fulfilled, the more complex the game, the more conflicts there will be given
will be more challenging and high difficulty of the game. However, if the elements are not
met, the game will tend to be monotonous and flat.
Of the several games that have been dissected, they are very focused on the content they
want to convey, namely education, so some elements of the game from Fullerton's theory
have not been fulfilled. Still, it does not significantly reduce the effectiveness of educational
games. Furthermore, the use of good visuals will also greatly affect the appearance of a
game. Considering how complex the existing games are, educational games should offer an
attractive appearance to attract the target audience's attention.
The use of game media in education can aim to provoke participants' interest in learning
while playing so that learning is conveyed to students. Moreover, through these media,
learning can be more fun for the audience. From this research, it is hoped that readers will
gain insight into approaches that can be used in learning scripts through mobile educational
games so that they can be used to develop learning games for the traditional script in
This research is funded by Strategy Development to Integrate Educational Content for
Improving Children’s Literacy Through Social Media research from P2MI ITB Scheme, fiscal
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