Inspiration

It is the first time I have built a skill all for everyone to play including kids who are even below 13. I had played a really fun game on the Android platform and it seemed like it'd be fun to create a similar game for all age groups on a VUI device like Alexa.

What it does

It's a simple yet engaging skill. It will ask you amusing questions which can even help to start a conversation with your friends. Some questions are quite a thinker so you can pause the game at any point in time or just stop and return back to the same question where you have left. And once you give your answer in the form of a "yes" or "no", you can see how many of the people think like you.

Users will be able to say things like:

  • "Alexa, open party game" This will begin a new Alexa skill session.

Alexa will begin a new session and ask you what if kind of questions:

  • "Welcome back! To begin with the game say begin"
  • Reply: "begin" to start the game or "stop" to end the game.
  • "What if Pokemon is for real but all the normal animals are extinct"
  • Reply: No
  • "Booya! 60% of the people think just like you Isn't that amazing?"

How I built it

I mainly used node.js to write the whole code as I recently learned how to develop Alexa skills in an Amazon workshop using node.js. The functionalities that I needed could easily be satisfied with Node.JS and hence, I went for it. Along with that, I needed a database to store the last step of the session for each user. For that, I used DynamoDB as it is very quick and reliable and as the skill didn't really need a schema, DynamoDB seemed like the best choice.

Challenges I ran into

I had never worked with DynamoDB before but it was an important part of the skill to save the session. So, I had to learn that from scratch.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I feel much more comfortable with DynamoDB and I am going to learn it even more as it can be extremely useful for other skills that I am working on right now. I had also developed a basic skill previously using an API but I had never worked with the database. So, while building this skill, I definitely got to learn a lot more about DynamoDB.

What I learned

Apart from DynamoDB on the technical side of the skill, I also got to learn a lot more about the behavior of kids and so I tried to make the skill as fun and engaging as possible.

What's next for What if...? - Game

Right now questions can only be added by the developer. In the next versions, users will be able to add their own questions and keep an eye on the statistics of those questions. Also, questions will be categorized into sections like kids, funny, adventure etc.

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