WeiLiYu Documentation

Running WeiliYu

Running WeiLiYu is easy. On most computers, just double click on WeiLiYu.jar. You will need to extract the .zip file that you downloaded first. Note that you do need java to run WeiLiYu, so - in the very unlikely case that your computer does not have java - you can download java from java.sun.com. WeiLiYu can be run from the command line, too. If you run WeiLiYu from the command line, you can change the starting directory and other default game settings by specifying command line options, which are documented in the README file included in the .zip file.

Playing WeiliYu

Splash screen

The introduction screen

When you first start the game, you will be presented with a loading screen. This loading screen displays how much of the game has been loaded, a nifty logo graphic, and copyright/credit information.

This game and the graphics/animations in it are copyrighted and created by Mike Jumper. The concept of the game itself, what happens to the fish when you type correct pinyin, etc. came from Aici Kuang and Anne Wong, thus this game would not exist without them.

Game settings

The game settings screen

Once the game loads, the game settings window will appear. You must select which character library (.wly file) WeiLiYu should load. You may select as many as you want, and:

  • Change the speed that the koi will swim (if you think they are swimming too fast or too slow)
  • Change how long the game will last (the default is 2 minutes).

When the settings are satisfactory, click "Start Game" to start playing.

Game in progress

A game in progress

Immediately after the clicking "Start Game", fish will start swimming down the screen.

If you know the pinyin for a character on a fish's head, type it. The pinyin will appear on the bottom of the screen as you type. You must spell the pinyin syllable correctly, and then type the tone number. If you make a mistake, backspace works nicely. Once satisfied with your pinyin, press ENTER, and that fish will be fed if you got it right.

WeiLiYu will not let you type letters if what you are typing is not a Chinese syllable or the beginning of a Chinese syllable, so don't be disappointed when typing "blah" only appears as "ba".

End game screen

Missed characters

Fish will stop swimming after a few minutes have passed. If you did not feed every fish, some of the characters that you missed will be displayed. Study those characters, and try again. If you did feed every fish, a beautiful congratulations message will appear.

From this screen, you can:

  • Show the game settings dialog again, and start a new game by clicking on "New game"
  • Quickly restart the game with the same characters and settings by clicking on "Try again"
  • Save the displayed characters to a file for studying later by clicking on "Save a list of these characters"
  • Quickly exit the game by clicking on "Exit"

Making your own character libraries

A WeiLiYu character library contains all the characters that WeiLiYu must place on the fish, along with their pronunciations. The format is exceedingly simple, and you need nothing more than a text editor and some means of typing chinese characters.

Each .wly file is actually a text file. Each line contains pinyin and the corresponding character, seperated by whitespace (spaces or tabs). The pinyin is simply a single Chinese syllable followed by a tone number. Omit the tone number for a syllable with no tone (or use tone number 5). Fish with the same pinyin will never appear simultaneously, so don't worry if multiple characters have the same pinyin.

You MUST save your character library in plain text! Avoid typing your character library using a word processing program such as Word. Use a standard text editor. On Windows, this would be notepad. On Linux, take your pick - there are dozens.

Once your new character library is saved, be sure to rename it so that it has a .wly extension if it does not already.

Example .wly file:
ling2   零
yi1     一
er4     二
san1    三
si4     四
wu3     五
liu4    六
qi1     七
ba1     八
jiu3    九
shi2    十

Retrying with only the missed characters

If you want to play again using only the characters that you missed, you can do so simply by:

  1. Saving the missed characters to a file with a .wly extension (the format of the text file that WeiLiYu saves is the same as the character library format)
  2. Starting a new game, and selecting that file as your character library

If you wish to put emphasis on those characters, but still have the other characters appear, choose both the original library (or libraries) and the new .wly file. The characters you missed will be loaded twice, and will thus be twice as likely to appear.

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