Japanese Quest. Your game. Your challenge. You have begun your adventure. Equip yourself. Travel the land. Fight through battles. Conquer bosses. Level Up. Become a Legend. But as with all great games, there is a good system and structure behind them.
The level guide on this site is nice to give you a basic and general path. But it still leaves everything ultimately up to you. You may love an RPG, but if you were told you had to decide how much experience you would get for every enemy killed, every task completed, and how much experience it would take to reach every level, your enjoyment may seriously decline. The fun is in the game, not the mechanics behind it.
You want to play the game. You don’t want to program the game.
Enter XPNAVI. Its sole purpose: make sure that you can focus on the enjoyment of the game. This is a brand new tool which tracks your level, your experience needed to level, and your experience earned for everything you will do on your Japanese journey. It is a simple concept, easy to use, but contains a lot of power behind it. What’s inside?
1. Element Legend
XPNAVI is configured graphically to make it more user-friendly and aesthetically appealing. This legend not only explains what every graphic is, but explains how to figure out what numbers to enter. They vary depending on the element. For example, textbooks are figured out by pages read, while videos are figured out by minutes watched.
2. Level Guide
Levels are broken down by experience required to reach the next level and total experience earned. This is one of the most important areas of XPNAVI and there was a lot of math that went on behind these numbers trying to figure out how to accurately gauge experience with levels. The numbers I used focused on type of material used with level period (ex. you are more likely to use textbooks in your earlier levels, and more likely to use manga in later levels), average active and passive hours engaged in per day at various points in your studies, average days studied throughout a month, typical breaks/vacations/illness, and variation depending on intensity of studying.
Now obviously this isn’t going to be perfect, as there are plenty of variables I can’t account for. But no RPG is perfect when it comes to leveling and experience points, and in the case of studying Japanese, close really is good enough. But really, the XPNAVI is about motivation and keeping track of your progress in a fun way.
This level guide doesn’t coincide exactly with the general leveling guide on this site, so the two may not exactly match up. There was significantly more time and math used in creating the XPNAVI than the original level guide here, so this should be the most accurate. And while this site’s level guide goes up to 99, XPNAVI currently only goes up to 65, since past this level you probably wouldn’t be using it anyway, and the variables get a little out of control. I may eventually update this to 99 as I work this out.
3. Experience Guide
This is the monthly chart that covers on a daily basis every possible form of Japanese studying that you could possibly be doing. Each element is given a point value modifier depending on its effectiveness, difficulty, and time efficiency. Every day you insert numbers depending on your progress, use the modifiers, and calculate your daily experience points and your new total experience. Then you glance over to the leveling guide and add your continuing or newly reached level.
Adding the numbers is a fairly easy process that should take no more than a few minutes of minimal effort.
Paper Option (Manual)
I know what you may be thinking. This version is not a program. It is not an app. It is an old fashioned Word File, with the ability to print it out and write on it with an ancient pen or pencil (possibly colored?!) It’s 2013. Why did I decide to go this route?
– The more in your face the XPNAVI is, the more you can’t leave it alone. Leave it blank, and it will taunt you. It won’t let you get away with ignoring it. Spread out the monthly sheets in your room to keep track of your progress. Plaster them on your wall if you want. Staple them together to quickly thumb through where you have been and where you are going.
– It’s easier to view on a full sheet of paper than on a small mobile screen
– The time difference to manually input numbers is so minimal on your part, but allowed the XPNAVI to be created quicker for you and with less resources required. All you are doing is adding a few numbers, multiplying a few more, and then adding them at the end.
– If you don’t like the pen/pencil concept, you can easily just do everything from within the word file without ever printing anything out, as the input is set up just for that. Just enter the numbers with your keyboard, do the simple math, and rock on. You can then even make it your desktop background . . .
*New* Program Option (Automated)
In light of the fact that it is 2013, shortly after the release of the paper option above, two incredibly generous and talented members of JALUP (Ryan Kemp and Benjamin Gillies) decided to automate the system with some advanced excel programming knowledge. Thanks to them, they created an automated version, with an experience point bar, skill point bars, and more (see screenshot 2 below for a better idea.)
Recommended use of both versions
While either the paper or program versions can be used as a standalone based on your preference, I think using them together gives you the best results. The program version makes the experience and leveling calculations easier, but the paper version provides a better layout of your experience progress in all areas daily and monthly, making it easier to set and accomplish goals. The choice is up to you of course.
What’s Actually Inside?
Paper option: the above three sections are contained in a WORD file with a total of 41 pages: this intro repeated (2 Pages), Element Legend (1 Page), Level Guide (2 Pages), and Experience Guide (1 page x 36 months = 36 Pages).
Program option: 1 excel spreadsheet and 1 short instructions file.
Who is this for?
Any Japanese learner, regardless of your level. While the guide starts from level 1, it is designed in a way that it will balance itself out no matter what level you currently are. When using the XPNAVI, everyone starts from level 1 despite their actual real level or length of study time. Due to the exponential growth system of experience required to reach the next level, those who are already an actual higher level going in will blast through the early levels due to speed, ability, and materials used (that gain higher exp. returns). Eventually your own natural level will be reached and your leveling speed will be evened out.
Think of it like this. If you were level 30 in an RPG with all your abilities and stats remaining, yet you had to progress from level 1, how quickly do you think you could easily get back to your real level?
Didn’t find it to be of use? Not quite what you thought you needed? No worries. Send an e-mail to adshap (at) japaneselevelup (dot) com within 30 days after your purchase date to ask for a 100% refund, no questions asked.
I know. A description with something like this may not exactly be enough. You want to know what it looks like. So I’m including a few small heavily cut screenshots from some of the pages, and blocked out a few parts (ex. bottom screenshot with circles or black space).
Ready to begin?
Let the leveling begin. See you on the other side.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.