It started with a simple conversation between the team. We were exploring the different functions of the Google Assistant, and decided we wanted to create something ourselves.
We started with a game that would be open to any type of user. We had to ensure that the rules of the game were easy enough, whilst still being challenging & fun. The idea for ‘Word Chain’ was born.
The rules of the game are simple, the voice assistant, in this case Google, says a word and the user must speak another word that begins with the letter that the previous word ended with. For example, the Google Assistant says “Television” and then the user would say “Necklace”. A rule was made where words cannot be repeated to include a challenge in the game, and allows the use to say “give up” if they feel that they cannot win. The user will also be told what they scored and how they compare to the Word Chain Masters score. We also gave users the ability to submit feedback by saying “ask Word Chain who is your author”.
In order to create this game, we built it in Actions on Google. We also used Firebase and Dialogflow to assist us with structuring the conversation and how to store the data.
Once the development stage was ready, we had to think about the ‘extras’ that would make the game an even better experience for the end user. We added background music, the ability for the game to remember the users score and the fact that there is ‘Word Chain Master’ status.
One challenge we faced once the game was live, was that users were still trying to use their keyboards to play the game. This game is all about fun, and we want to ensure people get the most from it. We decided to put in a funny response from the game if they were using the keyboard to let them know it worked better using their voice.
At the time of writing, Word Chain has over 1.2 million unique users. The top player has spent a total of 8 days playing the game and it is played in many locations across the world including USA, UK, India and more.
As the game has done so well, we’re currently looking to rebuild Word Chain and make it available on all voice assistants as well as enhance the experience on screen enabled devices.