The inspiration behind this project was a TV show I used to watch on the BBC! It was a fun history show designed for kids the incorporated some questions. I felt this would make a really good trivia game for kids and the family to enjoy!

Horrible Histories Website

What it does

The skill allows users to have a choice on 1-3 players. The players chosen take it in turn to answer 5 questions from different eras in history. Players then get their final score to see who has won.

Answer questions about History, filled with fun facts! You can choose to play between 1 and 3 players! Answer 5 fun filled history questions. Find out who the winner is?! Questions range from the Rotten Romans, The Measly Middle-Ages, The Terrible Tudors and much much more!

How I built it

I built the app using Node.js and made use of Alexa's APL language and APL for audio. I also made use of the Alexa CLI for the first time. I first started off with just one player and was made just for the non APL devices. Then I added score logic, ensured questions didn't get asked twice and the right amount of questions were being asked.

I slowly started to integrate the APL to make the skill more interactive as well as adding multiplayer options to make the game more enjoyable with a competitive edge. This meant a lot of multiplayer logic had to be added. This included ensuring the appropriate responses matched the current game play i.e number of players playing.

Finally I added some finishing touches including additional APLA for feedback as well as a repeat intent.

Challenges I ran into

I found managing APL screens sometimes tricky with the in-game dynamics. There was a bit of learning curve in how to manage the gameplay to suit the different APL screens which was also dependent on how many players were playing.

I also ran in to issues with using the S3 bucket when I needed to retrieve audio sources frequently. Sometimes there was a delay or I was receiving a timed out URL.

I had sometimes had to find an alternative flow to the gameplay to enable better user functionality.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am proud of connecting with a new community of voice devs, submitting and getting my first APL Alexa app live.

I am also proud of seeing the process through, creating a finished product with learning lots about Alexa skill development along the way!

What I learned

I learned lots about how to write a proper Alexa app introducing more classes to manage my code better as the program got bigger. I learned about how to use the Alexa CLI which enabled easier development on my IDE.

I met a lot of great Alexa developers from the Slack channels who I now communicate with on Twitter. I learned all about the APL and APL for audio libraries and S3 cloud storage. I learned a lot about how communicating with a voice interface is unique compared to a normal app. I sometimes had to think of a voice conversation differently for example avoiding 'barge-in' problems.

I also learned a lot about the process of creating an idea and bringing it to fruition within a deadline!

What's next for Horrific Histories Trivia Quiz

I would like to add the option of more players, add more questions. Continuously seek feedback in order to improve the product! Perhaps adding different types of questions!

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