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Build Games for Echo Buttons with the Gadgets Skill API (Beta)

By Cami Williams, Amazon

April 4, 2018

Today we are excited to announce the Gadgets Skill API (Beta) for developers to build game skills for Echo Buttons – the first Alexa Gadget in a new category of connected products and developer tools that are focused on fun and playful experiences with Alexa. Echo Buttons deliver a new way for customers to play games with friends and family, and are now shipping to customers in the US, the UK, Germany, Austria, and Ireland. Each Echo Button illuminates and can be pressed to trigger a variety of multiplayer and interactive game experiences on compatible Echo devices including Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Plus, and Echo Spot.  

Start Building Games for Echo Buttons

With the Alexa Skills Kit, you can use the Gadgets Skill API (Beta) to integrate inputs and actions into your game skills. These skills can respond to button presses in your skill and send actions to Echo Buttons, such as animations that will direct the buttons to illuminate. You can access the Gadgets Skill API (Beta) technical documentation to learn more and start building.

How Early Developers Used the Gadgets Skill API (Beta) to Build Echo Button Games

During our preview of the Gadgets Skill API (Beta), developers built Echo Button games that span trivia, action, and choose your own adventure genres. These games include Trivial Pursuit Tap by Hasbro, Hanagram, Button Monte, Don't Cut that Wire, Alien DecoderBandit Buttons, and The Mystery of Thorium Manor. While these game genres work well with Echo Buttons, the Gadgets Skill API (Beta) can be used to build other gaming – and non-gaming – experiences.

A Classic Game Reimagined: Simon Tap by Hasbro (Just say "Alexa, launch Simon Tap")

In tandem with the Gadgets Skill API (Beta) launch, we introduced a new game for Echo Button players – Simon Tap by Hasbro, the Classic Simon game, reimagined. Available in the US at launch, Simon Tap by Hasbro comes to Alexa with a few twists. Players listen closely as Alexa rattles off a sequence of colors, or they can create their own patterns with friends and family.

“We’re excited about Alexa. The Gadgets Skill API allowed us to bring voice-enabled play to our well-loved Simon brand,” said Mark Blecher, SVP Digital Gaming & Corporate Development at Hasbro. “Our vision is that Echo Buttons will enable all new fun and engaging ways for families to interact with Hasbro games by using Alexa, which continues to delight customers through innovative voice driven experiences. We started this journey with the introduction of Trivial Pursuit Tap, and are now excited to bring Simon Tap to Echo Button players.”

More Echo Button Games from the Developer Community

When we rolled out a preview of the Gadgets Skill API (Beta), our developer community published these fun experiences for Echo Button players:

  • Freedom Buttons: Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King's poetic “I Have a Dream” speech, while Alexa lights up Echo Buttons like candles.
  • Alpha Buzz: Players put their knowledge to the test and see if they can put a name to a list of different categories for each letter of the Alphabet.
  • Color Tap: Players test their reaction time and tap Echo Buttons when they turn red. With each press, the lights speed up!
  • Horse Race for Echo Buttons: Players race against each other using Echo Buttons in an epic horse race around the track.

3 Steps to Get Started with the Gadgets Skill API (Beta)

Now it’s your turn. With the Gadgets Skill API (Beta) now available, follow the steps below to start building today:

  1. Get Echo Buttons: Visit Amazon.com/EchoButtons to purchase your two-pack of Echo Buttons! 
  2. Access the Gadgets Skill API (Beta) Tech Docs: Reference the technical documentation, along with this sample code to build your first Echo Button game skill.
  3. Build and Publish Your Game Skill: Log in to the developer portal and start building.

Echo Button players are looking for more games to play! They can’t wait to see what Alexa skill builders will come up with next.

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