This was my entry for the challenge: Build the Ultimate Game for Amazon Alexa. I decided to do this project not only to get my hands on developing for IoT devices, but also to try designing for this completely new game genre.
For inspirations, I researched and played the top-rated games on Alexa. I came across the interactive adventure game The Magic Door and was impressed by the voice interaction within the game. But at the same time, I felt restricted by the limited options and the robotic responses. Thus, I was eager to build an interactive game without such restrictions.
The solution is Below, an interactive narrative game played by talking to Jesse through the "radio", asking questions, and making selections that would affect the ending of the story. It was an adaptation from a text-based adventure game created by Emily Nguyen, one of my classmates from Game Design class at Georgia Tech: Original iOS game Demo
The story is about Jesse (voiced by Alexa), who is facing some serious problems in a submarine, hundreds of thousands of feet below the surface of the Philippine Sea. Her companion Dr. Lee was unconscious due to a mysterious infection. The player’s job is to use the radio (i.e. Alexa device) to communicate with Jesse, give her instructions on how to save Dr. Lee, and discover the secrets of their research along the way.
Analyze the entire scripts, identify the possible intents that could be used to advance the dialogs, such as “HelloIntent”, “WhereIntent”, as well as Amazon built-in intent such as “NextIntent”.
Rearrange the scripts, identify the dialogues that could be triggered by certain intent. For example, “This is Jesse Harper…” will be triggered by asking “who are you” at any point in the game.
Create the custom intents according to the intent sheet, group similar intents into classes. For example, “AskHappen” and “AskExplain” are included in “AskSituation” intent.
Divide the story into 5 acts, define the logic of how the story proceed differently in each act.
Program the game in Alexa, write a specialized game engine that handles Alexa intent and dialogue selection.
6 built-in Intents, 13 custom intents, 3 slots and 14 different slot values was defined in the game: