The team was inspired by the romance stories seen on mobile in apps such as Episode, Choices, Hooked, and Yarn. We were also inspired by classic adventure games of the 80s and 90s.We wanted to see if we could do the same thing on Alexa.
What it does
Love Clips is a story that can be played in about 20 minutes. Every 60-90 seconds there is a role-playing choice for fun.There are two premium transactions in the game, one early and one late, that allow your character to purchase a new outfit.These outfits impact the story line, unlock extra scenes and choices, and make characters treat you differently. There is no way to lose the game and no choices are wrong. All players, whether they bought the premium items or not, can make it to the end of the chapter. New chapters will be released on an ongoing basis.
How we built it
- We started by creating a story outline.
- Our designer turned it into an interactive script.
- The writer did the final draft.
- We hired Voice-over actors to voice the characters.
Challenges we ran into
- Biggest challenge was people being turned off by Polly voices being used originally. Fixed with human VO in final submission.
- Editing raw json for writers and designers is a big problem.
- Severe funnel drop offs leading up to purchases. Solved by eliminating unnecessary questions and tutorial steps.
- Finding optimal premium item pricing was difficult as we can't do live A/B testing on Alexa easily.
- Testing a large CYOA game is a significant challenge and time sink.
- Finding affordable but high quality VO actors is very difficult.
- Trying to find the optimal session length for an episodic, multi-chapter game is difficult.
- Lots of players hitting the Fallback intent unexpectedly.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- About 5 weeks from first draft to certification
- Increased our story completion and purchases by switching from Polly voices to VO.
What we learned
- Well designed stories are hard to make. Well designed interactive stories are even harder to make.
- People much prefer human voices to Polly voices
- Comprehensive testing of an interactive story skill takes a very long time.
What's next for Love Clips
- Chapters 2 through 10!