At the time of creatig this skill I was still in school and often played online games with my friends via Steam and I was very interested in Alexa. After my first skill I searched for more options to build an Alexa skill for and this seemed as a useful option. I really used this skill for some time while I still regulary played online games and I was eligible for an Alexa Developer T-Shirt and a free Echo Dot because the skill got 100 unique users in the first month after publishing.
The skill is built with the flask-ask framework and deployed via zappa to AWS Lambda to provide easy serverless hosting without maintanence. DynamoDB serves as the backend database for storing users, the links to their Steam accounts and their preferences.
How it works
When you first activate the skill you get a notification into your Alexa App with a link to a setup Page. When you click on the link or enter the url manually into your browser you have to enter the PIN Code previously given by Alexa via voice and as notification. After you linked your setup page to your Alexa you enter your steam ID and choose the friends you want to be informed about by Alexa. After the setup the skill works as simple as asking the example utterance or just opening the skill and responding with yes when prompted by Alexa. It also supports Stop,Cancel and Help intents as specified in the Alexa Guidelines to help new users or prematurely stop.
As this was my second Alexa skill that everyone could use I put in more effort and included a custom setup flow. The increased effort payed off and as it serverd a real purpose contrary to my Trump joke skill it was used by considerably more users. Because of it’s real world use and ease of use it didn’t even face the problem of user retention quite as much as my first parody skill face. It still mantains a steady use of a few dozen daily unique users.
(The spike of utterances and customers is on December 25 so probably many people got an Alexa Device as a gift that year, installed many Alexa skills but did not really come back to them)