Amazon’s Skill Flow Builder simplifies story-based game development for Alexa
Game developers with a penchant for voice apps, good news: Amazon today unveiled Skill Flow Builder, a tool that enables creators to build story-based game skills more easily, including interactive fiction, branching narratives, and role-playing experiences. It’s now live for Alexa skill developers in all supported locales and languages (with the exception of Hindi), and a reference voice app — Choose Your Own Adventure — is available starting today in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. To launch it, say “Alexa, open Choose Your Own Adventure.”
Doppio Games, creative agency Himumsaidad, and Her Interactive were early beta participants in Skill Flow Builder.
“Skill Flow Builder allows both the content and the development teams to focus on what they do best, and help increase productivity by minimizing dependencies that slow them down,” wrote senior product manager at Alexa Games Chris Morrow in a blog post. “Content teams can focus on quickly prototyping without having to rely on the development team every time they make content changes. In the meantime, development teams can focus on building differentiated features instead of having to change code for every content update.”
As Morrow explains, Skill Flow Builder includes both a desktop app for content creators and a Microsoft Visual Studio Code extension with syntax highlighting, definition jump, and intelli-sense for Skill Flow Builder’s bespoke file format (.abc). Within the editor, content teams can visualize and navigate through a built-in story-tree — narratives are structured as a series of connected scenes — and can write or update narratives and add vi