Inspiration

I always wanted to go to Australia and explore its unique wildlife. I decided that now it's a good opportunity for me and for others to “go on that trip” through an APL Alexa skill.

What it does

In this game, the players explore the Australian wilderness. While listening to some native Australian music, they meet their guide Nicole (a robot), which has the Australian Polly voice. The players encounter wild animals that introduce themselves in a funny voice and mention a fact about themselves. These parts are played by an Australian voice actor, who also introduces Nicole at the beginning and explains the rules of the game. The player has to decide if they should stick around or escape from the animal. They get three lives at the beginning of the game and lose one every time they make the wrong choice. When they answer correctly, they get two points. If they want to continue for more rounds, the lives reset back to three, but the points are transferred from the previous round and keep accumulating.

How I built it

I designed and developed the skill with Voiceflow and used APL for displaying the images.

Challenges I ran into

This is my first APL skill, so I had to learn how to properly use it. I wanted the skill to be authentic, so I researched the local dialect and consulted with an Australian friend.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I think this is a fun skill for the whole family to enjoy. It is great for non Australians that would like to explore animals they don’t necessarily know, and maybe would never see in person. Some preliminary beta testing was done, including with an Australian. The feedback suggests that this game will be awesome for Australian users who would like to play a game that is about wildlife in their country. Also I anticipate they will enjoy it because it includes a fun voiceover in an Australian accent.

What I learned

I learned a lot about the fascinating Australian wildlife and about Australian English dialect. Also, my opinion about including human voices in Alexa skills was reaffirmed, seeing how this improves the quality of a skill. I also learned how displaying images throughout the skill enhances the user experience.

What's next for Surviving Australia

I plan to add more animals to the game, some easter eggs and other fun features.

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