The purpose of WordSwing is to provide effective and limitless ways to practice Chinese. Learning Chinese is a long-term endeavor and so is our mission at WordSwing.

The road so far

For four years we have provided nearly all of our services for free. And while we strongly believe that education should be as cheap as possible (and preferably free), we do need to try and cover some of our costs if we are to survive to see out our mission. Last year we started experimenting by selling audio to complement our first text adventure game. While that helped, we need to find a more sustainable solution that isn't so oriented around the occasional release of pay-only features.

Invitation to backers

Soon we will switch over to a new strategy, allowing our students to become direct backers of WordSwing through a monthly subscription. So if you like what we're doing, and want WordSwing to continue to survive, we are asking you to consider becoming a WordSwing backer.

We see our fate tied closely to whether our students believe in us and appreciate the Chinese practice tools we are building. So although you're welcome to see this simply as a paid subscription for a service, we see it differently.

We see each subscription as a vote of confidence that we are on the right track and we see each subscriber as a stakeholder in our shared fate.

Our next text adventure game

We are nearly ready to release our second text adventure game, 迷雾中, or Into the Haze.

This game takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chinese city covered in a poisonous haze. The protagonist has to leave the relative safety of a settlement and go into the dangerous city to rescue a lost brother.

Into the Haze is more than twice as long as our first game, Escape. And it features more elaborate mechanics, such as random encounters and resource utilization.

When we release Into the Haze, we'll also be turning on the switch allowing our students to become backers. To reward our backers we'll be making our text adventure games only available in full to subscribers. Everyone will be free to play the first part of each game, but to play the full game, one will need to become a subscriber. This also holds for the Escape game. So if you aren't ready to become a subscriber you have a few weeks to continue playing the whole Escape game for free.

Anyone who has purchased the audio bundle will be grandfathered into having the whole Escape game regardless of whether they become a subscriber.

Going forward

We aim to provide a steady stream of new games and activities. Our eventual goal is to release one new game or activity every six weeks (instead of one every six months). But until we get there, we'll be offering an "Early backer discount" to all of our backers, reducing the subscription from $8/month to $3 USD/month. And if you become an early backer now, we'll let you keep your discounted rate as long as you stay a backer.

WordSwing is a labor of love, and it will never by highly profitable. Nonetheless, we hope it will survive and we hope that you hope it will survive too. And the best way to make that happen is to become an Early Backer of WordSwing.

We'll let you know more about becoming an early backer when we release Into the Haze.