Inspiration

The inspiration behind the skill came from my daughter. I recently created another quiz skill called Quiz Champion, and I found that she would often launch it and try to play, even though the questions are too difficult for her age. We then tried some quiz skills targeted at kids, but she lost interest in all of them quite quickly (as kids do!), including with some of the most popular ones currently available. The idea behind Kids Cartoon Quiz is to combine what has to be one of children's favourite subjects (Cartoons) with simple designs, animations, and music, to try and keep them entertained for longer. Every parent appreciates having 5-10 minutes of free time to cook, tidy-up, or just sit-down a bit, and Kids Cartoon Quiz aims to give them that luxury!

What it does

Since it's targeted at a younger audience, the game is pretty simple. Alexa gives the players a question about a cartoon series, along with 4 choices of answer. Once the player answers, Alexa says whether it's the right one or not, and follows with a short factoid.

How I built it

I built Kids Cartoon Quiz using the standard Alexa Developer Console. The skill points to a node.js lambda function connected to a DynamoDB table. The skill also uses the Alexa Presentation Language, as well as the APL for Audio.

Challenges I ran into

While creating the app, the two main challenges I ran into were:

  1. The use of AVG for the vector graphics elements in the APL;
  2. Combining and sequencing the APL, APLA and standard speech output components, to make sure the skill works well whether the device has a screen or not.

In terms of submitting this project, one other element that has proved very challenging was putting together the video. From lighting to editing, it was actually the most challenging thing in this whole project!

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am proud to have been able to overcome all the challenges I faced while working on this skill, and end up with a skill that is very close to what I had in mind when starting this whole project!

What I learned

This was the first time I used the APLA, so that gave me a chance to learn about it, and I must say that it's pretty exciting for someone like me who doesn't have the capacity to record voice over audio clips. It also makes transitioning smoother, so definitely something I'll explore further.

What's next for Kids Cartoon Quiz

I would like to add some background animations taking place on the questions screen, which was part of my original plan, but I still have to find how to do that in a way that would not completely take the kids' attention away from the actual game. Otherwise, I'm planning to have Alexa tell players a joke after every 5-10 questions, which I think would be quite popular with kids, and I'll quite likely add a levelling system too.

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