I was thinking about different ideas for this challenge, and decided to develop my first game skill for Alexa. The initial idea was to create some game which will teach kids about money, assets, liabilities and investing in general. But then I decided that adults can play it as well. That's how I've started working on the Capitalist Journey.

What it does

As in a real world you get your 9 to 5 job, weekly payroll and you rent your apartment.
Each turn in the game equals to one week, so you get your weekly payroll, once a month you need to pay your rent.
You also can buy businesses and real estate properties, both ways can help you to generate an additional cashflow.

Obviously you need somehow to save money in order to buy these assets.
You can make some money by flipping stuff online aka side hustle :)

Sometimes some event can happen, for example it's your friend's birthday and you need to buy a gift. Or to pay taxes. You need to be prepared for such events as in real life.

Each consecutive day of playing will give users an additional bonus. For those people who want to speed up the process, there are several premium packs available which give a boost to your bank account.

How I built it

Using Jovo Framework + Ruby/Rails API app + MySql

Challenges I ran into

The main challenge is to understand what could be interesting to people. And developing the game can be even more challenging in this area, cause, for the most part, you can't validate your assumptions

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Couple times I was thinking that nobody will play it, I was considering switching to another ideas. So I'm glad that I've finished it.

What I learned

Don't underestimate who long will it take to develop even the MVP of the game. Check the invocation name before publishing the skill. I've used the 'empire builder' name and then realized that there is an existing skill with the same name. So I've removed the live skill and submitted another one with the new name.

What's next for Capitalist Journey

First and foremost I want if it will be interesting for people. But if I assume that people will play the game, then there are many options how I can improve it. Some of the ideas:

  • Scoreboard. Bring some competition to the game.
  • Add more options how users could earn money
  • Develop some kind of 'reputation/status badges', so if you buy some large apartment, your status is increasing and your get more options after that.
  • Make it more realistic and allow to take loans in order to buy business or property.

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