Inspiration

Legend Sunny is a skill inspired by the real stories and legends around the world. We built it because we believe the ability to appreciate different cultures should be cultivated as early as childhood. The plots are linked with geographical places that really exists. The whole story is adapted from "Ten Suns", which is an old legend of an aboriginal group in Taiwan, Asia. This skill will fill kids with imagination and knowledge of the humanities, geography, history, and natural sciences.

A-Mis is one of the indigenous cultures left in our homeland. We are earnest to present the A-Mis' legend "Ten Suns" through gamification, and to demonstrate implicitly the way our ancestors lived. The Snake Temple and Crescent Bay in our skill are real attractions we are proud of. With this brand new platform, Alexa, we enable our kid users abroad to take an adventure in the first person point of view and to feel they experience the attractions truly by themselves. We hope to bring warmth and joy to every family in the most pure, natural and meaningful way.

What it does

In this skill, kids can go on an adventure to help the little sun to find her family. Kids will choose different story path, and will learn to solve the clues step by step with the guide of the story flow. The wholes skill is connected with immersive music, attractive conversation, and fascinating plots. Besides the education of the humanities, geography, history, and natural sciences, this skill aims to establish the kid's empathy and communication with others.

How we built it

In the tech part, my team and I used Node.js, UI Kit, Lambda function to the S3 storage, and intelligent music matching model.

In the design part, my team went to Hualien City, Taiwan in person. To collect first-hand information and create the best user experience, we visited the aboriginal villages there and interviewed the village head and young people. They were willing to host us with the wild boar hot pot and share their traditional cultures and different perspectives. Afterwards we visited several local B&Bs (bed and breakfasts), they shared their experience of hosting foreign customers and introduced many local attractions. We recorded all kinds of stories and referred to the workflow, script design methods, etc., of many video game productions, but meanwhile shifting the focus to voice interaction in our skill design. We did the voice UX to have foreign users testing, such as the Wizard of Oz testing first.

These local cultures are antique treasure existing in the local Hualien City. The treasure will now appear in a new form with Alexa, and its meaning of transformation will be essentially important to the future of the local people.

Challenges we ran into

To design the excellent voice user interface, we included many music & sound effects. We spent plenty of much time crawling the music & sound libraries to build the immersive scenario experience. We found,however, there were too many audio file (exceeding 5 files) in each SSML audio tag, so we must took our choice.

The perfect combination of voice and visual was a big challenge. It was ,however, very interesting to let the GUI assist the CUI. In the process, we tried to solve the difficulties we encountered, such as how to use the most appropriate GUI to make users more immersed, how to arrange the GUI so that users do not rely too much on the visual but on the arrangement of sound and narrators.

We aim to maximize kids' imagination and bring them a wonderful experience. Within the development process, one important thing is to show keywords and assisted pictures on the screen at the right time so that kids can understand. The arrangement of figures and fonts thus matters. We tried our best to make various pictures match the sound effects and texts, balance the GUI and CUI, and make the sound interaction more rich and interesting.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

With Alexa, we can now present cultures with a breakthrough, a disruptive approach. My team and I are very proud of understanding and utilizing what APL is capable of. We learned from basic to advanced to ensure that every voice action can trigger the appropriate visual elements. We accomplished an engaging skill which can last up to 12 minutes. Our skill, intrinsically, is comprised of old stories, geographical places, local perspectives, and cultural values. We are sure that parents and kids can definitely find this skill very attractive, useful , and full of educational values.

We are glad to complete a full, engaging story and incorporate it into a skill. The story and sound effects were appropriately integrated with the GUI. We mixed various elements that children would love. This is a crucial part of the user journey, regarding our understanding and survey of the kid users. We are very proud of achieving successful presentation of visuals with choice interaction so that kids can understand faster through the screen content and interact timely.

What we learned

I worked with my lovely team to finish this project. There are engineers and designers in our team. It was not an easy task for us to complete Legend Sunny. In the development process, we made great efforts to figure out how the voice interactions be best complemented by the visuals, and become more immersive. We used developer tools including Node.js, Lamnda function, UI Kit, S3, Amazon sound library, SSML, Speechcon, API integration and music&sound intelligent filter. We really enjoyed the building process and expect to bring kids and parents a meaningful experience.

Its is our belief that, to make the skill content glow in a simple way, the story itself ought to have a historical and cultural background with solid reference. Besides, to fully engage and fascinate kid users in our skill, each role in different story plots has to be subtly supportive and build close connection with the kids.

What's next for Legend Sunny

This is a great engaging skill using gamification that allows kids to learn the stories and cultural connotations. The next skills of Legend Sunny will be further released in the future, as the little sun has not yet found all of her family members. In the future skill, the adventure destination will be set to other geographical areas. We are very excited to bring more new, different interactions with the advanced technology and utilization of APL.

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