Classical memory training games like "Pairs" were an inspiration for me and I thought it would be cool to play such a game on an Echo device with family or friends.

What it does

After selecting one of three difficulty levels, Alexa shows some random different pictures, which you should remember. When ready, Alexa adds a new picture, removes an existing one, asks which one was included with the last pictures, etc., and you'll have to give the correct answer!

It also includes an "Infinity Mode" as an exiting premium content (only for the US), which has no fixed number of rounds, gets more and more difficult, and only after two mistakes. Additionally, this new mode also includes a high score with which you can challenge yourself or your friends and family!

How I built it

The skill is deployed on AWS lambda using CloudFormation and is connected to a DynamoDB database and to CloudWatch for logging/debugging purposes. The code itself is written in node.js and for enabling visual experiences I've used the Alexa Presentation Language (APL). Furthermore, I used the ASK-CLI and GitHub as my version-control-system. The Alexa-developer documentation, the code samples from alexa-labs, and, last but not least, the Alexa-dev support team were very helpful during the development.

Challenges I ran into

Major challenges were creating variable visual layouts with APL for the first time, handling all possible situations of session attributes during interactions with the user (and saving them persistently), and creating an in-skill-product (ISP).

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud that this big project is finally finished after a long time of development and accomplishing the challenges mentioned above, and the skill is both available in German and in English.

What I learned

Even though I already developed some skills before, this skill was definitely the most complicated one and therefore I learned much about developing skills with multimodal responses, persistent session attributes, developing ISPs, etc..

What's next for Picture memory

I will keep on updating the skill with new content as new pictures, new questions, new game modes, and translate it into more languages, depending on the popularity.

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