Inspiration

My inspiration was something a cousin of mine said. They told me that they wished there was some easy way that they could learn about different bird calls and I knew that I wanted to solve that, but I had no way of doing so until I started learning about how to make skills for Amazon Echo products. Because I got an Amazon Echo product so recently, I've been thinking about what I can add to its functionality, you know, being a programmer and all, and their request fit perfectly with Alexa!

What it does

This skill is the recreation and reimagination of old-fashioned teaching methods. With Alexa, teaching kids about animals becomes much more interactive and fun. Safari Adventure has five different categories (Birds, Cats and Dogs, Farm Animals, Sea Creatures, and Grab bag for everything else) that are each split into four levels of difficulty (easy, medium, hard, and expert). Alexa takes the players through three rounds to see if they know which kind of animal makes a specified sound. There are 100+ sounds to discover in total. This makes it so that whether a child or an adult starts playing, the challenge is adequate and the educational factor still remains. If you are a parent, feel free to play along with your child or children!

How I built it

I built the skill using the "alexa-sdk" in Node.js, I used Amazon's beta builder for the interaction model, and to test it all, I used Amazon's beta test simulator.

Challenges I ran into

Intents are hard to work with. That's just how it is. If you want to have the player say "yes" in different intents, it won't work properly. So, I had to work around that.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am most proud of the scale of this project being finished in such a short time. I had only collected the sounds before the start of the new year. I started working on the actual skill logic on January 2nd and was able to complete it by the due date.

I am also proud to have collected 100+ sounds that could be accessed through an Amazon S3 bucket by Alexa.

What I learned

I learned how to use the "alexa-sdk" provided by Amazon for Node.js projects, how to use persistent variables with DynamoDB, and how to add some emotion to the way Alexa speaks.

What's next for Safari Adventure

For the most part, the skill is complete, however I will be looking at reviews and updating it as I see fit. I may even add more animals too!

Credits

Skill icon and project image: Free Vector Graphics by Vecteezy.com.

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