Inspiration

We like to play board games and multiplayer video games. We have been regularly playing several party games in the same groups for years. Since we all own Alexa and use her in our everyday life we had the idea to develop a party game using the new webAPI for games.

What it does

estiMate allows families and friends to play an exciting game on the couch and challenge each other. Since the questions are almost impossible to answer, the fun factor is increased by misjudgements. On the one hand it is a good possibility to prove your knowledge to the others and on the other hand you can always learn new facts.

How we built it

  • We used node.js, express server and socket.io for the web app.
  • The web app is hosted on Amazon AWS
  • We used Lambda functions for the Alexa Skill and connected it through the webAPI for games to our web app.
  • We splitted the work and developed the skill in parallel to the web app.

Challenges we ran into

  • Connecting web app to Alexa skill.
  • Creating private rooms
  • Handle private room messages
  • Authenticating reconnecting clients which are already registered in a room session

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • We are proud of the design we managed to build in such a short time
  • That we finished the game logic so it's fully working game
  • The possibility to play with one device in multiple room sessions

What we learned

  • We learned to build a web app, since none of us was experienced in web development
  • Cookie functionality to accomplish our goal of authentication registered players in room. Since the connection can be interrupted you have to ensure the reconnection is always possible to continue the game
  • Flexibility of adopting to new libraries

What's next for estiMate

First of all we want to collect feedback and optimise estiMate for the users. We want to continuously update our questionnaire and make it available for more people around the globe. Furthermore we want to extend the game mechanics by including functionality to increase or to enable more ways for competition between the players.

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