Alexa Skills

Hot Tomato

71pqfgkyrelIntrigued by Amazon’s Echo Buttons, we wanted to put them to the test, to see if a real-time game skill would be responsive enough to enjoy.  Amazingly, the Echo Buttons rose to the occasion!

Hot Tomato is our fun-paced skill where you need to “follow” the blinking light around the buttons.  We wanted it to be just as fun for a single player, as with 2 or 4 players.  So, we integrated some very extensive logic into the game, to “trick” your mind.  Just when you think you have figured out the pattern, it changes.  Then as you get better, it speeds up.  Then it slows down unexpectedly!  It’s all about challenging your mind.

The challenge with this skill was getting the timing to and from the echo buttons just right.  While it seems like you’re just pressing buttons, there is truly a lot going on here!  The button is an entirely self-contained micro computer, which marks the exact time of your button press (along with the button color at that moment, etc), and sends it via blue-tooth to your Alexa Echo, which uses your wifi  then Internet connection to send it to Amazon’s Alexa servers, which parse the button press out and send it to our skill, which interprets the press in the context of all your other presses (the game) and timing.  We then send back a response (typically within 300 ms) back to the Alexa servers, which send it via the Internet and wifi to your Echo, which sends it via blue-tooth to the button!  All that happens in approx 1/2 second for each press!  Amazing!

Our reviews have been so positive already on this game!  When you make a mistake, it tells you how far you got, so you can try to beat it next time.  We’ve heard stories of families playing this for hours!

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