Sunday, December 31, 2017

Game for Alexa

I've been wanting to start work on a new game for a while and couldn't figure out which one. I was inspired by the Box Boss game by noodle cake and worked on a unity prototype for the web, while i was working on it i came across an interesting article about how amazon's alexa has become very popular and people are playing games on it and the developers are getting paid for developing interesting experiences for it. This sparked interest in me so wanted to give it a shot. The game that seems to be doing extremely well is Trivia, which isn't that surprising i guess as it's the easiest to get into on the VUI (Voice User Interface).

I thought about this for a while and realized that it would be easier to play a game if the options were limited, thats' when i realized that my Movie Rush game idea could work here.. the idea is to name two characters from a movie and ask the user to guess if they were friend / foe. Seems simple enough for a first try at a platform so i got started. Soon i realized that thinking for VUI is very different from thinking for GUI. The edge cases you handle here are a little different, what if the user says random stuff.. What if the user wants to stop.. these are all well defined and understood in GUI world VUI was pretty new and interesting to learn.

I quickly modified the facts skill that comes out of the box on Amazon Lambda to get the Friend or Foe game running. It was a fun exercise to figure out the experience and put it all together. I'm still trying to figure out ways to make the experience better, i even did a bunch of mocks for the icon for the store and decided on the icon. Currently im' working on putting together enough questions so its' interesting for the users at-least for a couple of hours.

Here are the sketches for the icon..
Sketches for the Friend or Foe Alexa Skill Icon

I finally settled on the Ninja symbol looking structure on the right side and did some experiments in Inkscape
Options i tried for the Icon
 
Final Icon FoF
The idea was to make it look like a two face but minimal, there are problems with this icon as it doesn't always look like a face with two eyes.. rather two swirling ghosts with mouths.. which is still fine till the Friend / Foe idea gets across.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017