Week 9

Hello and welcome to our weekly blog post. Today we are covering what we did for week 9!


The first part of the week was mostly preparations for our halves presentation. We developed a working demo to present at EA for halves. Our team prepared and presented following with a demo, that was open to visitors from EA.


We had a few learnings during our Demo:

  • Firstly, the ambient noise due to the sheer number of visitors made it difficult to communicate with Alexa
  • Secondly, the experience we had hoped to develop due to time and technology constraints had to be modified a lot and ended up being less of Voice interactions and more of physical interactions in VR


Based on the feedback we received from Halves, we had a adviser meeting to go over our plans for the future


A few points to note:

  • The teach mechanic and fetch mechanics have worked for us in the past
  • The current demo was lacking in terms of voice interactions
  • Alexa had a lot of issues main one being its reset timer post 16 seconds would break the experience
  • We had a brief look into Lex and think it could potentially provide a workaround to Alexa’s constraints.  Amazon granted us access to this developer preview over our Spring Break (between Weeks 8 & 9)–it’s basically a chatbot service that can be integrated into Alexa Voice Services for speech-to-text and text-to-speech, thus providing much of the same functionality of the Echo device, and frankly more, without the constraints.  We’ve been looking to meet with the team for a few weeks, and we’ve officially set time to meet with them in Week 10.
  • After halves, we officially abandoned the Amazon Echo device due to the constraints inherent in the device.

Things we absolutely needed to sort out on priority:

  • Need to get a better understanding of Lex.
  • We looked back at all the potential recipes we had considered and considered working with soup over sandwich, simply to avoid all the physics issues we kept running into when building a sandwich
  • We looked back at our pillars and iterated list of things we wished to built into the experience were
    • Command and Delegate
      • Verbs
        • Do
        • Fetch
    • Companion / Pet
      • Greeting
      • Relationship
      • Feedback
      • Conversation
    • Teaching an AI
      • Nouns
  • We redid the playspace of the kitchen and created a situation that the player would have to talk to the AI because the player and the AI are not sharing the same space
  • We even considered having the AI be the all in one kitchen module comprising of all the tools that were needed in the kitchen


What we need to do:

The problem we kept running into was the number of different things that were involved made it very open ended. And we had to simplify the game itself the idea and the character were restricting us from doing that. The game needed to be changed to something more simple and something that would comprise of teaching and fetching. We have scheduled a meeting with a developer on the Lex team from Amazon the next week and take some time off to think over the game we want to build.


Thanks for tuning in, we will have more updates in the next week 🙂


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