Open Sourcing Alpha-Beta

Published on Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Alpha-Beta is a simple learning game I made for my children about a year ago that I'm now open sourcing. It's a fun way for kids to learn to write words, and locate keys on the keyboard. The game picks a random word from a list for the user to type. It uses Azure cognitive services like Bing Image Search for searching related images and Bing Speech for reading the word out loud. See it in action below:

alpha-beta

The game is multilingual, just specify the locale in app.config and you're good to go. It should support all the locales that are supported by Bing Speech (see list here), although I've only tested fi-FI, sv-SE, en-US and en-GB. I also tried to make it super simple for my non-programming significant other to add and remove words used in the game. Currently it picks the words from a txt-file, where each words used are separated by a new line. I know that there are lots of similar games out there, but since my kids are swedish speaking, it was hard to find something good. Creating Alpha-Beta also got me to do some hands-on work with Azure cognitive services, which was a pleasant acquaintance.

Source can be found here. It currently only runs on Windows, and you'll need an Azure subscription and have to set up Bing Search and Bing Speech. Guide for setting up Azure cognitive services can be found here. Happy hacking! I hope your kids will have as much fun with it as mine have had.