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Three Lessons from “Escape the Room” That Apply to Making Money with Your Alexa Skills (ALX312-R1) - AWS re:Invent 2018

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Games push the boundaries of tech, enabling us to learn from them for a wide range of use cases. Join Gal Shenar, founder of Stoked Skills, in this talk about designing and implementing Alexa in-skill purchasing for “Escape the Room” and “Escape the Airplane” game skills. Learn about optimizing the user experience by soft launching with live updates and implementing a premium content in-skill purchase gate while monitoring user experience flow to increase conversion rates by using AWS Lambda.

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Three Lessons from “Escape the Room” That Apply to Making Money with Your Alexa Skills (ALX312-R1) - AWS re:Invent 2018

  1. 1. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Three Lessons From Escape The Room That Apply to Making Money With Your Alexa Skills Paul Cutsinger Head of Developer Education Alexa A L X 3 1 2 Gal Shenar Founder Stoked Skills
  2. 2. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Three Sections… Intro - Gaming on Alexa 1. Designing your Game Skill 2. Monetize your Game Skill 3. How to Engage your Users
  3. 3. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. …Three Takeaway Lessons 1. Make your game easy to play but hard to master 2. Help should appear when needed, and disappear when done 3. You will not get it right the first time - observe your players and adapt the difficulty level
  4. 4. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gaming on Alexa – Casual Games
  5. 5. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gaming on Alexa – Games Helpers and Reference
  6. 6. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gaming on Alexa – Interactive Stories
  7. 7. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gal from Stoked Skills Who am I How I started My Skills
  8. 8. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Design Your Skill Monetize Engage
  10. 10. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Evolving the Idea Design your story & Create your personas
  11. 11. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Audio Choices Voice acting or Alexa?
  12. 12. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. From Story to VUI To build Escape the Room, we broke down an open ended exploration game into 4 main actions: ○ Looking Around ○ Looking at Objects ○ Using Items with Objects ○ Solving Puzzles
  13. 13. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Modular Building From the beginning we wanted Escape the Room to be modular and easily extensible. Just fill in the story and add your logic and you are good to go. This is the code for a vent object→
  14. 14. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Fail Gracefully Handle the unexpected What if the users say…
  15. 15. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Test and Adapt Beta Testing Find people who have never seen the skill Live Updates Measure and act upon it
  16. 16. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Scale What if your skill gets popular… …really popular? AWS Lambda Amazon DynamoDB
  17. 17. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Design Your Skill Monetize Engage
  18. 18. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Monetizing My Skills Hint hint…
  19. 19. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. When To Offer? “…Monetizing Alexa Skills can be one of the most frictionless purchase experiences a customer can have…” Offer your purchases at the right moments - don’t bother them when they are busy.
  20. 20. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. In-Skill Purchasing - Consumables
  21. 21. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. In-Skill Purchasing – One-Time Purchases
  22. 22. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Entitlement Sample json
  23. 23. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. In-Skill Purchasing - Subscriptions
  24. 24. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Make Money with Alexa In-skill Purchasing Sell Goods and Services Build Skills for Brands Developer Rewards
  25. 25. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Design Your Skill Monetize Engage
  26. 26. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Variety If your skill has repetition in it, make sure to vary your responses so the game remains engaging. Here is a simple snippet you can use to randomize the messages that a user receives
  27. 27. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Sound Effects Listening to speech can be slow and draining, sound effects can convey context to the user with very little time. Use this to your advantage! ○ Escape the Room uses sound effects in solving puzzles ○ Wordplay uses sound to convey letters that are right and wrong ○ Angel Investor uses sound effects for different events
  28. 28. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. SSML SSML is how you make Alexa use natural expressions And you can test it directly in the dev console
  29. 29. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
  30. 30. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Memory Identify and remember your users progress. Don’t repeat every instruction every time. If your user knows how to play, just let them play! AWS Lambda Amazon DynamoDB AWS IAM Echo Alexa skill
  31. 31. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. How To Measure Analytics Measure and iterate
  32. 32. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. What To Measure Find a metric and try to improve it. Can you affect how long your users play by tweaking your intro, or adjusting the voice model?
  33. 33. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Intent history
  34. 34. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Interaction Path Analysis
  35. 35. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Three Takeaway Lessons 1. Make your game easy to play but hard to master 2. Help should appear when needed, and disappear when done 3. You will not get it right the first time - observe your players and adapt the difficulty level
  36. 36. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. What will you build? - Make money with ISP - Adapt your VUI to humans - Build at Scale (AWS can help you) - Use analytics - Play the game! alexa.design/isp
  37. 37. Thank you! © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gal Shenar @StokedSkills Max Amordeluso @maxamorde
  38. 38. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Repeat Sessions Thursday, November 29th ALX312-R1 [REPEAT 1] Three Lessons from “Escape the Room” That Apply to Making Money with Your Alexa Skills 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm | MGM
  39. 39. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Related Sessions Wednesday, November 28th ALX403-R Supercharge Any Alexa Skill by Understanding What Games Do 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm | MGM Thursday, November 29th ALX403-R2 [REPEAT] Supercharge Any Alexa Skill by Understanding What Games Do 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Mirage Thursday, November 29th ALX405-R2 [REPEAT 2] Build a Game for Echo Buttons - an Alexa Gadget! 2:30 pm – 4:45 pm | Aria
  40. 40. © 2018, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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