Videos: Build Interactive Voice-First Games for Alexa
Akersh Srivasatava May 14, 2019
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As many Alexa developers have shown us, the gaming experience on Alexa is diverse, giving developers a variety of options to build with voice. For example, you can choose the devices, play modes, patterns, and mechanics that perfectly suit the type of game you want to build. While all Alexa games are voice-first, you can decide whether to build for voice-only or to add visual and touch elements for Alexa-enabled devices with screens. And now with the ability to offer in-skill products in Alexa skills, you can monetize your voice games and sell premium content to enhance the voice gaming experience.

To help you learn more about the opportunity with voice games, we recently delivered three gaming-focused sessions during Alexa Live, our free online conference for voice developers. Throughout the conference, we covered best practices for building voice games, how to build multimodal game skills optimized for Alexa-enabled devices with screens, and how to add in-skill purchasing to monetize voice games.

Below is a quick recap of the gaming sessions we shared and videos of the full recordings so you can start building your Alexa game skill.

How to Design Engaging Voice-First Games

It's exciting to think about how game developers can leverage voice to create immersive experiences that transform players to a new world or interactive scenario. And many developers like Matchbox.io and Doppio Games are already embracing the power and simplicity of voice to create a natural interface for games.

Alexa Head of Education Paul Cutsinger and Senior Solutions Architect Justin Jeffress share how developers can leverage voice-first games–as a standalone experience like Jeopardy! and Yes Sire, as an integrated experience like Bandit Buttons or as a companion experience like Call of Duty. Throughout the session, they cover five ways you can supercharge your voice game:

  1. Memory: Leveraging session and persistent attributes and customizing the experience for each customer
  2. Cross-Device Integration: Designing for voice and devices like Echo Buttons
  3. Variety: Creating more immersive experiences with sound effects, Amazon Polly voices, and conversational design
  4. Context Matching: Aligning your web service to the Alexa service to create a seamless experience
  5. Monetization: Adding in-skill products for customers to purchase and extend gameplay

Watch the full session below:

Adding In-Skill Purchasing to Voice-First Games

In this technical deep dive, Senior Solutions Architect Robert McCauley, walks you through how to create monetized game features, like hints and leaderboards. He covers how to add in-skill purchasing (ISP) using the Alexa Developer Console and the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Command Line Interface (CLI). You’ll also learn how to structure your code for ISP and how to leverage design patterns to create a compelling upsell experience. Click here to access the sample code he uses throughout the session. 

Watch the full session below:

Building Multimodal Game Skills

Voice presents game developers with a growing audience they can reach, including customers who have purchased more than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices, from TVs and headphones, to PCs, cars, smart home devices, and more. This includes Alexa-enabled devices with screens, giving you an opportunity to combine voice, touch, text, images, graphics, audio, and video to enhance the experience.

In our final gaming session from Alexa Live, Rob covers how game developers can build voice-first, visual experiences using the Alexa Presentation Language (APL). He provides an introduction to APL and best practices for enhancing the gaming experience for devices with screens.

Watch the full session below: