Introducing Math Mania (for echo)

Today I’m happy to announce that my first “official” Alexa Skill, Math Mania, is now available to anyone with an Amazon Echo.

It’s a simple math game where the Echo asks you math problems, and you provide the answers. It’s starts with basic addition and gets progressively harder as you level up.

You level up, and earn points, by providing correct answers. Currently there are 10 levels, and you need to answer 5 problems correctly at each level. There are no time limits or other constraints at the moment, and you can get details about your current streak, longest streak, current score, and highest score just by asking your echo “what’s my score?”

If it looks like people enjoy it (I really hope so), I’ll make some upgrades to the game play, levels, and of course throw in a few more interesting features in a v2 soon.

How to try it out

From the Amazon Echo app, go to the “skills” menu option and simply search for “Math Mania”. You should get a result that looks something like the following (with a button to “enable” where my picture below says “disable” since I already have the skill installed)

image

The Background

For those of you that have been paying close attention you’ll notice that this math mania game is really just a lame verbal take on the latest game mode Timothy and I added to the Color Tap App (please tell me you’ve got a copy and that you’ve installed the latest update!?).

The truth is that I’ve been trying to come up with an idea to play more with the Alexa Skills SDK for awhile now.

My first take was a simple check-in and check-out service (that also randomly insulted the person checking in or out). As is the case with many things I build, it was fairly useless (though myself and my kids were entertained by it) and, though not an initial skill they offered, Amazon actually introduced a number of improved time tracking features to the core feature set.

So the check-in thing never got past the local (kids and I) testing phase and it was back to the drawing board.

Fresh out of solid, easy, and yet-to-be-done ideas for Alexa…I began to think about Color Tap and what casual game learnings from that I might be able to apply…and then it occurred to me a voice driven version of the math mania mode might work just as well.

For some obvious reasons and for some technical reasons I couldn’t make it a direct copy of the game play you find in Color Tap (grab a copy and compare to see for yourself)…but for a v1, I’m fairly happy with what it is and excited that it got approved for the masses by the team at Amazon.

Hopefully you’ll check it out…and when you do, please share your feedback and thoughts in the comments below!

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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for digdownlabs.com and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

Kevin also talks in more depth about many of the these things around twice a month via his drip campaign and has a day job as CTO of Veritonic. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.

If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).