Hot on the heels of the success of When in Rome – the worlds first Amazon Alexa powered board game (you can read our case study for that here), Sensible Object began developing their next Voice Originals skill: Word Mine, an anagram puzzle game powered by the voice capabilities of Amazon’s Alexa platform. We were very excited to provide the music and sound design for this game after we had so much fun creating the audio for When in Rome.
As with When in Rome the audio for Word Mine was extremely important with regards to world building due to the lack of a visual component when creating for the Alexa platform. The challenge here was to create a subterranean world which felt magical and beautiful while also conveying the inherent risk associated with digging too deep and too greedily!
We created sounds to illustrate events such as descending into the mine, the digging of letters, the using of items such as sturdy beams to reinforce the mine and UI elements such as success and failure indicators. These all had to sound coherent and complement Alexa’s directing of the gameplay. You can hear some of the sounds in context in the video below:
The music for Word Mine was an interesting challenge – we had to create a countdown of sorts without bringing too much tension to the gameplay. After all this is an anagram game, usually a format that takes place at the leisure of the player. Here we had to convey a sense of the player’s time passing while not making the process so urgent that it became hard to concentrate. The music is also used as a bed to establish the chill nature of the game. In terms of instrumentation we tried to tie it all in with the fairly naturalistic sound effects. We used percussive metallic sounds to create a beat which could be increased in complexity to indicate the progression of time. We also used fairly simple melodic elements made of wind chimes and other metal instruments to emphasise the established feel of the game. Listen to the playlist above to hear examples of the music.
Again we had loads of fun tackling this project, the unique challenge of creating audio for Alexa skills continues to interest us and we’re pretty sure it turned out alright as Word Mine won the Grand Prize in the Alexa Skills Challenge! Have a look at Word Mine and the other finalists here.
And why not give it a play, it’s free!
Client — Sensible Object - Voice Originals
Our Roles — music and sound design
Production Time — August - October 2018
Launch Date — October 2018
Platforms — Amazon Alexa