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Using AWS Polly to bring our game to life

Screenshot: Askutron - The host lending his name to the game.

When we decided to build Askutron: The Quiz Show Game we had to decide how we would get the voice over for all our questions and answers which are read out aloud by the host. We were planning to have a lot of questions. In fact at this point we have more than 10.000 of them. Being a tiny studio we don’t have a lot of money at our disposal. So we were looking for alternatives to traditional voice over work.

Speech synthesis has improved by a lot in the past decade. These days Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s own Echo are used by many people and are speaking quite naturally. So perhaps we can reduce costs by using speech synthesis? Besides the lower cost this would bring another big advantage in that it enables us to have voice overs even for player-generated content in our quiz. Moreover this way our game’s host is able to say arbitrary player names. Sounds good! So how do we do this?

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