American Girl: Adventures

Role

  • Lead Designer
  • Producer

Studio/Client

Sony Pictures Television

Platform

Amazon Alexa Echo

Release Date

Q4 2019

Skills Used

  • OmniGraffle
  • Airtable
  • Google Spreadsheets
  • Google Documents
  • Adobe XD
  • Adobe Photoshop

American Girl: Adventures is an original voice-first experience based on the popular toy and book franchise, American Girl, crafted specifically for Amazon’s Alexa Echo devices.

In American Girl: Adventures, the player is invited to join their favorite American Girl characters from across the ages: 1974’s Julie Albright in San Francisco, 1964’s Melody Ellison in Detroit, and other American Girl characters, released periodically as new game content becomes available.

I was the Lead Designer and Producer for this skill, aimed at kids ages 8-13. This involved managing the graphic design for screen-based devices, core game design, and working with our associate producer on the large amounts of writing content we had to produce.

For this skill, we worked closely with the American Girl brand to ensure that their commitment to historical accuracy and authenticity was maintained throughout this unique experience. One of the challenges we had was that, due to tight schedule requirements, we had to build this game upon the framework of another Alexa kids’ skill, Barbie: You Can Be Anything (which our team was working on at the same time). This presented two major challenges for American Girl: 1) altering the user experience from dealing with one recognizable character to multiple historical characters, and 2) setting up a narrative space to allow all of these historical characters to exist in the same place and time simultaneously. To this end, we introduced Julie Albright, American Girl’s most popular character as our host and invited the player to join her (and the other historical characters) on various “sleepovers” where they could play games and “hang out.” Each character brings her own unique minigame to the sleepover as well as joining in the fun of “raiding” the kitchen to make midnight snacks.

The game launched with Julie, Melody, and 2020’s American Girl of the Year, Joss Kendrick. New characters are set to be released every quarter with new content scheduled to be released each month, adding value to the subscribers of the skill.

American Girl: Adventures is live and available on the Amazon Alexa store. Click here to enable the skill.