Maths Monsters was inspired by watching my kids use an app called Times Table Rockstar, which is a really fun way for them to learn their times tables. My kids totally love it, and as a result they're amazing at reciting the times tables. Maths Monsters is designed to be the voice equivalent of that.
What it does
Maths Monsters is a game with the goal of finding buried treasure by answering 5 times table questions correctly. The Maths Monsters are protective of the treasure and they will try and stop you from reaching it. If you get a question wrong the maths monsters will move closer to you. If you get too many questions wrong they catch you and the game is over. If you make it to the treasure then you earn points that get added to a leaderboard.
Maths Monsters also has optional functionality to allow schools to give students a pass phrase which can then be used create analytics to track which times tables the school is strong at, and which needs a bit more practice.
How we built it
Maths Monsters has been built using the ASK-CLI/Node.js. It incorporates APL, Alexa GameOn, DynamoDB to add persistence, and Lambda for the backend. It also uses the new Motion API so when a user invokes the skill it turns to face the user.
Challenges we ran into
Adding motion api was tricky as it was hard to test and be sure that it was actually working. Adding Alexa GameOn as a really good retention tool was tricky to setup initially.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Adding the motion api and convincing an evangelist to test for us on an actual device.
What we learned
How to implement the Alexa GameOn service, How to add and use the motion api, and that testing with kids can throw up some unexpected results, plus kids are brutally honest if they don't like something :)
What's next for Maths Monsters
We want to keep adding to the game experience and add Levels and boss battles. We want to work with schools as well to make Math Monsters a new digital tool for them to encourage kids to practice their times tables when not in school.