Build Rich and Satisfying Voice Games with the Alexa Web API for Games, Now Generally Available
Joe Muoio Jul 22, 2020
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We are excited to announce that the Alexa Web API for Games (Web API) is now generally available worldwide. With the Web API, you can create visually impressive, animated, multimodal Alexa games using HTML5, Web Audio, CSS, and Javascript. You can even create 3D experiences with WebGL. The Web API is supported on all Echo Show devices and select Fire TVs*. To build experiences for all Alexa devices with screens, you can use Alexa Presentation Language (APL) to create your visuals. Get started today and read our technical documentation for the Alexa Web API for Games or check out our Github sample, My Cactus, a cactus raising simulation game using the Alexa Web API for Games with WebGL to display 3D visuals and animations. 

Build Rich and Satisfying Voice Games

Voice games give customers an entirely new way to play, and with the Alexa Web API for Games, you can build visually rich and interactive experiences to delight players even more. The Web API augments the capabilities of Alexa with the power of the web to help you create rich and satisfying gaming experiences.

Check out the following games built with the Web API to see the experiences in action:

Hear from Early Developers

Ryan Jordan, head of LC Publishing and creator of the skill Chess Maven, said, “Alexa offers accessibility like no other voice service can. Being able to expand upon the voice interface by adding a draggable chess board and dynamic visuals enhances and underscores the immersive experience I want to build for customers. With the Alexa Web API for Games, I was able to leverage modern front-end design and WebSockets to create an adaptive and rich experience that allows users to control the chess board however they choose.”

Jess Thornhill, Head of UX at Volley, said, We are really excited to be using HTML5 to relaunch Song Quiz, because we think it's going to completely change the visual experience for users. We noticed more and more users were interacting with Song Quiz on devices with screens, and we want the visual experience to be as engaging and lively as the audio experience. HTML5 is making that possible. We can use a combination of Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, and Alexa SDK to completely transform the visual experience. We are excited to use HTML5 for all our games.”

Who Should Use the Alexa Web API for Games

You should use the Web API if you want to build web-based games that users can play on Alexa devices and utilize features that are not available in APL.

  • Create an immersive game. Your Alexa skill must be categorized under Games & Trivia in the Alexa Skill Store. This ensures that voice is the central mode of interaction in the player experience, adding to the game in an innovative and meaningful way.
  • Use features and components not available in APL. If your game can benefit from rich web graphics via WebGL, more audio control, or you want to use existing web toolchains you’re familiar with, you should consider building with the Web API on devices that support it. For example, you can load and render your existing 3D models, synchronize your visuals and audio to user inputs, or use game development toolkits you’re familiar with such as ThreeJS or HowlerJS.
  • Provide a fallback experience. On speaker devices, we recommend building a voice-only experience that gives customers information about the game. On devices that support APL, you can provide a simplified version of your game’s visuals or give customers information about the game. 

How to Build with the Alexa Web API for Games

Using the Web API, you can connect your Alexa skill to a web application that provides the HTML, CSS and JavaScript for the game. To get started, follow the steps below.

  • Create an Alexa skill. Your custom game skill will start up the web app and handle voice requests. Turn on the Alexa Web API for Games interface (Alexa.Presentation.HTML interface) to start building with the Web API. Learn about building custom skills here.
  • Start your web app. When your customer opens your skill, you can respond with the Alexa.Presentation.HTML.Start directive to display your web app from a publicly accessible HTTPS link. Check out the technical documentation for all of the directives and requests in the Alexa.Presentation.HTML interface.

To see the backend Alexa skill and the frontend web application logic together, you can check out our sample code on Github.

Get Started Today

Get started today and learn more here. We can’t wait to see what types of games you build! Please reach out to the Product Manager, Arun, @aruntalkstech, or myself @JoeMoCode on Twitter if you have any questions.

*The Alexa Web API for Games is supported on Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote, and Fire TV Cube.

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