With the new rules imposed in 2020, travel and escape rooms are some of the things we have missed the most. Therefore, we decided to bring the joy of both in the comfort of our home. Roughly at the same time we found out about Alexa Conversation, and we realised that was the missing element to build our game. The story of the game was inspired by the adventures of Robinson Crusoe, but we’ve given it a modern twist.

What it does

Escape paradise is like a maze where you need to make decisions at every step. The aim is to escape the Paradise Island, whilst avoiding all of its dangers. In this aspect, the game and the experience is very similar to an escape room. You have to use your logic and take advantage of what’s available, while working towards your main goal : getting back home.

How I built it

Leveraged Alexa Conversations and Lambda functions.

Challenges I ran into

Understanding how Alexa Conversations work was probably the biggest challenge. It’s quite a different experience than building Alexa skills the normal way, where you would rely more heavily on coding. What made this even more difficult is that it being quite a new feature, there wasn’t much material available for us to look at, so it was a lot of trial and error.

The second challenge that’s probably worth mentioning was coming up with the content. It’s surprisingly difficult to make an engaging game about escaping an island, while also limiting the duration of the adventure to only 2 days (in virtual time). For now ,we’ve decided to limit the duration of a round to only 2 (virtual) days as we believe this will give the players the ideal session (in terms of maximum length).

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Being able to actually deliver a fully functional skill on quite a short notice, without compromising in terms of quality.

What I learned

How to use Alexa Conversations and how to write content for strategy games.

What's next for Escape Paradise

There are many improvements that we’re considering. The quick wins are to add more possible paths to the game. Depending on the adoption rates and the feedback that we’ll get , we will also extend the duration of the journey. Last but not least, we hope to include SFX (sound effects and maybe images for some devices) in the game, in order to enhance the user experience and make the game more enjoyable. These will be very useful for the longer sessions, as they will provide diversity and keep the player engaged.

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