So, I figured it was probably a good time to start looking into this because I completely overlooked it as I went on my merry way creating games. The research that was originally done into short term memory suggests that adults can retain knowledge of an average of seven bits of information for the short term, or between five and nine. It has been suggested, though, that more recently people are only capable of retaining four or five new ‘informative things’.
I took this test and turns out if I focus enough I can recall ten letters after seeing them briefly (for the last lot I hadn’t even finished reading the letters before they left the screen) the results of which are in this chart:
In any case, it may pay to shrink my kanji amount down to four per level for better retention, because users are having to learn the symbol, the meaning and the pronunciation all at once. This may actually be helpful in the long run though, as remembering information is easier the more you have to connect it to.
Short term memory can be extended through repetition or rehearsal, which is what my game is built on. Overall level sets will still be in ordered sets of twenty.