I have always loved traveling, as a I Kid I had traveled across the world and learned about different cultures, food, traditions and Histories of the countries I have visited. Not every one gets the opportunity to travel. I wanted kids to get a feel for the real World by having them get involved with other cultures by having the skill ask a series of questions, and completing an adventure game. I hope by playing this skill, Kids will ask questions about world travel and hopefully visit some of the countries from this game. The game entertains by educating kids about facts and figures, and keeps them engaged through out the entire story line.
What it does
The game follows a plot, where the world is under attack by Nero and his Men. Kids defeat each of the Men by answering questions and riddles, as they pass through various countries and travel by Road, Desert, Water and Air. Every Question is unique and gives Kids an opportunity to learn about that country. In the final stage of the game, kids will have to defeat Nero by answering a series of rapid fire Questions. The game can be played individually or in a group setting. The Game keeps track of Individual scores, and tracks the journey of individual players. The game also plays music pertaining to the country they are in, keep them engaged through out the journey.
How I built it
I hosted a C# based Web API in Azure and used a MySQL database to host the questions and keep track of players, scores and questions. I built a website using MVC and hosted the Privacy and About Me pages there. The database keeps track of the players movements in the game, and resumes to the same spot if they get disconnected. The database has all the questions loaded up and adds a new entry every time a question gets answered. Finally, I hosted all the music files in a S3 buckets, all the sounds bytes were royalty free, and were edited to make them comply with Alexa's SSML tags.
Challenges I ran into
My first challenge was finding a set of good questions from each country that players would travel to. It took me a while to find out the path that I would take, and how to make the interactions creative. I wanted to introduce talking Snakes, Camels, Parrots and other animals to make the game fun and engaging, and it took a lot of research on finding the right order of countries through out the journey. My Second challenge was trying to keep track of the game transactions, I had to make the database smart enough to start back up if the connection was interrupted or closed. With a bit of trial and error I was able to solve these issues. Finally, making sure all the story lines line up correctly and are historically accurate was a bit of a challenge, I had to look at every consecutive country and do plenty of research. I also added sound bytes to make the game entertaining.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I think making a game where Kids can learn new things and want to share those skills with their friends and family is definitely something to be proud of.
What I learned
Making Quiz games is a challenge! But I learned a lot about other countries and Historical facts. From a programming point to view, I learned to use transactions and roll backs, as well as proper disposing off of connections, finally building the Alexa Skill itself was a bit of a challenge but fun.
What's next for Foot Soldier
I want to expand the game and add a series of sequels focusing on niche areas like History, Geography, Sciences etc. I also want to add Amazon linking, so kids can see their scores online or even look at their interactions on a google map. Finally, I want to add difficulty levels(Easy/Hard/Expert) and have it keep track of individual scores in a group setting.