Production team shennanigans!
our fabulous logo by Ben Greene!
NOTE: our app is waiting to be certified, it's Application ID is: amzn1.ask.skill.a508970b-c0bd-4165-95da-fd6ebc256684
The ship's computer on Star Trek, the fun of x-wings and tiefighers in Star Wars, the silliness of The Last Starfighter, HAL from 2001 and inspiration from existing interactive adventure games like Baker Street Experience and Codename Cygnus.
What it does:
Skill description by Sean Lenhart:
Take command of your own personal starfighter in this thrilling space adventure. You pilot the starfighter, manage ship’s systems and functions, and battle against alien starships, all by talking to your ship’s computer. Immerse yourself in the adventure as you navigate through space, radio back to home base for orders, and save the galaxy.
To open this skill, say “Play Starfighter Adventure”. During the game, follow the prompts from the ship’s computer to progress, or say “Options” to hear the prompt again.
Production Team: Story and Design: Sean Lenhart Sound Design and Music: Bonnie Bogovich Engineering: Mike Lee
Voices: XR 7 Star Computer: Sean Lenhart Captain Maltese: Bonnie Bogovich Atari Commander/Atari Officer: Jim Newsome
How we built it
We built a simple adventure game framework that treats the game as one large story tree, where dialogue choices map to intents that either move you forward in the story or loops back to a previous nexus. We are integrated with S3 for audio file storage and are planning on expanding to use DynamoDB to track progression and let players restore progress midway through the story. - Mike
All of the sound files were recorded at Sean and my home studios, and we did the voice direction for Maltese and the aliens over Discord (Sean directing while Jim and I acted out our parts). We did pickup recordings of missing lines and prompts at my studio during one of our production meetings as well, while Mike and Sean were both here, which made quick changes super handy. - Bonnie
Ditto to what Bonnie said! - Sean
Challenges we ran into
We wanted to make something really neat with pathing and choice options, with recorded audio (by voice actors) for the entire experience. One of the biggest challenges was organizing all of those audio files, and making sure that we had a node/graph structure that worked for the designer, audio person, and for our programmer… - Bonnie
Figuring out how to link multiple story trees and all of their dialogue options together cost me many a late night. In the end I created a Master Graph that outlined the paths taken by eight Subgraphs full of dialogue choices. - Sean
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As a complete newcomer to game design, I had a fruitful and enlightening experience learning how to design a game from scratch. Sitting down, writing the outline of the experience, then digging in and creating the dialogue options and story trees was amazing. A real challenge but with great rewards. Doing the voice acting was, as always, a blast, and it’s wonderfully surreal to play a game with myself as the game. Getting the opportunity to direct the voice acting of the rest of the cast was a real boon to my resume and a great learning experience. - Sean
I had a blast working on “Baker Street Experience” (an interactive story adventure for Alexa by Schell Games) and after which had discussed working again with Mike Lee (programmer) on a game in the future. I’m glad that this contest came up to give us an excuse (and a deadline!) to make something. Also, admitting I am not a designer or narrative writer, I was excited to bring in my friend and acting cohort Sean Lenhart to the team to help us create our world, story, and bring our team together:) OH! And Ben Greene, artist who did the home card art and logo for Baker Street Experience, was kind enough to do our logo design! - Bonnie
What we learned
I had worked on a game before for Alexa, Baker Street Experience, and really enjoyed learning more about what the latest templates Alexa had to offer. Also I got to learn more about how things like the data pulling works, and we’re learning a bit better how to work as a team over one account. - Bonnie
Organizing an enormous dialogue file tracker and the many steps that must be passed before a game system is implemented was a brand new experience for me. I learned a lot about being efficient in finding ways to keep the entire team in communication and up-to-date on the game’s progress. - Sean
What's next for Straighter Adventure
SEQUEL!!! As soon as I can write another in-depth, immersive, fun, easy time commitment, space adventure... - Sean
Also we hope polish the first game even more in updates, and will keep our eyes out for what feedback we get from players and do our best to accommodate them. We would love to be able to also add to our game with the Home Cart Art feature, to provide some extra visuals from our fantastic artist friend Ben Greene. Also yes to hopefully more episodes and sequels, with more voice actors and pew pews!!! - Bonnie
NOTE: as of this submission deadline (5pm EST tues) our app is waiting to be certified, it's Application ID is assigned though, and is: amzn1.ask.skill.a508970b-c0bd-4165-95da-fd6ebc256684