Word Maker 2.0 Logo
Word Maker 2.0 Logo

So I decided to port my Alexa voice skill to Google Assistant. You may remember I wrote an “artificial stupidity” skill to create novel English nonsense words on Alexa and I thought it could be cross-platform.

Developing Again

The experience was in many ways the same, but in others a night and day difference.

The voice builder is the old api.io and like the rest of the Google Cloud tools, it looks really nice.

The big technical difference in the voice builder is that the Assistant Builder handles contexts natively whereas Alexa expects you to implement that in code.

Firebase is also slightly different than Lambda.  As with everything else Google, it has its own set of tools to deploy with. I had to use the manual tools because Firebase Functions doesn’t allow you to include files (I needed the dictionaries as part of the package). Both are in Node 10 now, as they are aggressively retiring the older versions from only a couple years ago.

I also took the opportunity to redesign the Word Maker logo and banners, in a much more ‘Material’ look and add everything to the Remoggle Web Site.

Going Live

The real difference was when I went live. I checked in the next day and had 20 reviews, a 4.2 rating and 3,000 conversations. I quite honestly thought it was example data but it was true!

Word Maker Analytics with a 4.2 rating and 3500 conversations

Google ended up sending me a Google Home unit, and plenty of development credits, so I have to say they were really rewarding the early developers of Google Assistant. I never really got much from Amazon, although they didn’t promise much, and it was still fun deploying “artificial stupidity” on both platforms.

Nonsense Roadmap

The next feature I want to add to Word Maker is to provide definitions for the fake words it makes. That will take developing another level of ‘artificial stupidity’ in order to make the definition believable. I’ll have to tie in things like a couple large keystores and perhaps some basic language tools — which may take my little app above the Free tier in terms of hosting. At least as part of the Developer program, Google provides Cloud credits, so it may end up a wash. Stay tuned.