Create a Trivia Action using Templates

The Trivia Action template lets you create Actions without writing a single line of code. The template lets you choose a personality and specify the questions, answers, and configuration for the Action in a Google Sheet. Then, after completing these quick steps, you'll have a fully working Action that you can test and submit for approval.

Build your Action

To build your Action using a trivia template, do the following:

  1. Go to the Actions Console and log in with your Google account.
  2. Click on Add/Import Project to create a new project. The Add project window appears.
  3. Select which language you want your Action to support. You can add additional languages later on if you'd like; this decision isn't final.
  4. Give the project a name and click on Create Project.

  5. Under More options near the bottom of the page, pick Templates.

  6. Click on the Trivia option. You'll now be taken to an Overview page where you can enter information about your Action.

  7. Click Build > Actions, followed by Add your first action.

  8. In the Create Action window, you should see the Trivia option appear. Click Build.

  9. In the Personality section, select one of the available personality options and click Next.

    Use the players below to hear audio samples of each personality. Note that not all personalities are currently available in every language.

    Voice Sample
    Regal Queen
    Mr. Montgomery
    Beeps the Robot

    Each personality has different spoken prompts and sound effects that users hear as they play the game.

  10. In the content section, click on Bulk upload the content for your Action using Google Sheets. You will see the following prompt:

  11. Click on the Make a copy of the pre-filled Google Sheet for editing link and click Make a Copy.

  12. Update the Questions & Answers tab of your sheet copy with your own questions and answers. Try adding fun follow-ups that give users extra facts about the answer.

  13. Update the Configuration tab of the sheet with the name of your Action. You can further customize your game by optionally assigning a difficulty and/or category to each question, and provide custom sounds via audio URLs. For more information on custom configuration options, see the configuration parameters section.

  14. When you finish filling out the sheet, go back to the Actions Console and click Next to move on to the Connect Sheet step.

  15. Copy and paste your Google Sheet's URL into the Add your sheet's URL to upload your content field and click Upload:

  16. Click on Create App. The Overview page appears, showing you a notification that says Created. It might take a minute before the page refreshes and the notification appears.

Add question difficulty and/or category

You can optionally configure your trivia Action's questions to be grouped by up to three difficulty levels, custom categories, or both. When users invoke your Action, they will be prompted to select the difficulty and/or category level at the start of each game. On a device with a screen, the user is presented with suggestion chips to select the category or difficulty level.

You can use this example trivia game sheet with both question difficulties and categories to get started.

The following sections describe how to add difficulty levels and/or categories to your quiz:

  • Difficulty levels - To add difficulty levels to your questions, add a column to your sheet's Questions & Answers tab titled "Difficulty/Grade Level", then add a difficulty or grade level to each question in your sheet. You can denote up to three different difficulty levels, e.g. "Easy," "Medium," and "Hard."

    • You may also want to set some custom configuration parameters, namely DifficultyOrGradeLevelPrompt, DefaultDifficultyOrGradeLevel, and DifficultyOrGradeLevelSuggestionChip1/2/3.
  • Categories - To add categories to your questions, add a column to your sheet's Questions & Answers tab titled "Category/Topic, then add a category or topic to each question in your sheet. You can denote up to three different categories, e.g. "Science," "Math," and "General Knowledge."

    • You may also want to set some custom configuration parameters, namely CategoryOrTopicPrompt, DefaultCategoryOrTopic, and CategoryOrTopicSuggestionChip1/2/3.
  • Difficulty levels and categories - To add both difficulty levels and categories to your questions, follow the instructions above to create and populate both the "Difficulty/Grade Level" and "Category/Topic" columns.

Edit the content of your Action

If you want to change your Action's content, navigate to Overview on the left navigation bar, then hover over Actions and click the pencil icon followed by Trivia actions.

From there, you can follow the instructions under Content again to re-upload your sheet to reflect any changes.

Add additional languages to your Action

Once you've successfully uploaded a Google Sheet for your first language, you can add additional languages by uploading additional sheets for each new language. On the Overview page, click Modify languages to add a new language, then navigate to Build > Actions and select the new language from the dropdown.

You'll be prompted to select a personality and upload a new sheet, so follow the Build your Action instructions above to walk through the setup for each language.

Configuration parameters

You can customize your Action with categories, difficulty and grade levels, or even custom audio files to build your own personality. To configure a custom option, type the key and value in the Configuration tab of your sheet.

You can add the following optional keys in the Configuration tab of the Google Sheet to further customize your Action:

Key Description Value
AudioDing The "ding" sound that is played after each question to prompt the user for their response. Audio URL
AudioGameIntro The intro music played when the game starts. Audio URL
AudioGameOutro The music played at the end of the game. Audio URL
AudioCorrect The music played when the user gives a correct answer. Audio URL
AudioIncorrect The music played when the user gives an incorrect answer. Audio URL
AudioRoundEnd The music played when the round ends. Audio URL
AudioCalculating The music played while the game calculates the score. Audio URL
RandomizeQuestions When value is set to 'no', the questions are serially asked in the given category/difficulty or grade level. Useful for testing the pronunciation, grammar, and time-length of the question. This parameter only works when the total number of questions is less than 50. This parameter should only be used for testing purposes. Yes / no
GoogleAnalyticsTrackingID To record analytics associated with the Action using Google Analytics. Note that you can also use the Actions Console to track analytics for your Action. Add the Google Analytics tracking id
QuitPrompt To customize the exit message used when the Action exits. TTS message
DifficultyOrGradeLevelPrompt To customize the prompt presented to the user about the difficulty selection. A string, e.g. “Which difficulty do you want to start with?”
DefaultDifficultyOrGradeLevel To customize the default difficulty level. A string, e.g. “Easy”
DifficultyOrGradeLevelSuggestionChip1 To customize the first selection chip displayed to the user for the game's difficulty. A string, e.g. “Easy”
DifficultyOrGradeLevelSuggestionChip2 To customize the second selection chip displayed to the user for the game's difficulty. A string, e.g. “Medium”
DifficultyOrGradeLevelSuggestionChip3 To customize the third selection chip displayed to the user for the game's difficulty. A string, e.g. “Hard”
CategoryOrTopicPrompt To customize the prompt presented to the user about the category selection. A string, e.g. “Which topic do you want to work on?”
DefaultCategoryOrTopic To customize the default category. A string, e.g. “Science”
CategoryOrTopicSuggestionChip1 To customize the first selection chip displayed to the user for the game's category. A string, e.g. “Science”
CategoryOrTopicSuggestionChip2 To customize the second selection chip displayed to the user for the game's category. A string, e.g. “Math”
CategoryOrTopicSuggestionChip3 To customize the third selection chip displayed to the user for the game's category. A string, e.g. “General Knowledge”

Test your Action

Click on Simulator in the left column to test your Action via a web interface. To invoke your Action, say or type Talk to my test app in the simulator. You can also test your Action via Google Assistant on your phone or voice-activated speaker if your device and Actions project are using the same Google account.

If your Action is set up for multiple languages, you can test each language by toggling the Language dropdown menu in the simulator.

Submit your Action

When the Actions section is complete and you have tested your Action, you may submit your Action to Google for review. If your Action is approved, it will be available to Assistant users.

To submit your Action, do the following:

  1. Go to the Overview page for your project in the Actions Console.

  2. Navigate to Setup > Invocation.

    1. Invocation name: Enter your Action's invocation name. This name is how users invoke your Action.
    2. Directory title: Enter your Action's name for the directory. This name is presented to users in the Assistant Directory.
    3. Google Assistant voice: Pick which voice you would like your Action to use. You can hear audio samples of each voice on the Languages and Locales page.
  3. Navigate to Deploy > Directory information.

    1. Details: Add your Action's introduction, short description, and a full description that clearly explains what the Action is used for and what it does. You also need to add useful sample invocations,
    2. Images: Add two images, one for the banner and one for the logo.
    3. Contact details: Add an email contact. Our review team uses this email address to give feedback on your Action. Users can also see this email address to contact you.
    4. Privacy and Consent: Add the URL to your Action's privacy policy. The privacy policy explains how you handle user data and appears publicly.

    5. Category: Select the most appropriate category for your Action to live under in the Assistant Directory.

    6. For Families: If you would like your Action to be targeted to kids and families, select Yes.

    7. Alcohol and Tobacco: If your Action references alcohol or tobacco at all, select Yes.

    8. Testing Instructions: Add any specific testing instructions if required. These are only visible to our review team. Generally, for Actions that you build with the trivia template, you can leave this blank.

    9. Transaction: Template Actions don't perform Transactions, so you can leave this blank.

  4. Navigate to Deploy > Release.

  5. If there are any error messages on the top, you should follow the instructions provided to address the issue. Otherwise, click Submit for production.

Troubleshooting

If your Action isn't working, see if you're running into one of the issues below and try following the recommended troubleshooting steps:

  • Change the default title in the Configuration tab of your Google Sheet

    Go back to your content sheet and open the Configuration tab. Change the name of the Action by using a new title instead of The Fun Trivia Game. Go to the Actions Console and connect the sheet again.

  • Unsupported Google Sheet Configuration tab key

    This error means one of the key-value pairs in the Configuration tab of the your content sheet is incorrect. Refer to list of Configuration Parameters and make sure your keys are all spelled correctly.

  • Failed to get conversion

    If you see this error, refresh the web page and try again.

  • Request Access Error

    You might see a screen requesting access permission when you try to access the pre-filled template content sheet. If this occurs:

    1. Log out of all Google accounts and close all browsers.
    2. Reopen your browser and log back in with the account that you're using for your Actions Console project.
    3. If the error message persists, try using Incognito mode in Chrome.
  • Simulator Not Responding

    If the simulator doesn't show the Test or Authorize button, refresh the web page and try again.

Content Best Practices

  • Question Format:
    • Keep questions clear and short. Don't force the user to hold a lot of words in their heads.
    • Keep the answers even shorter. One or two-word answers work best.
    • Make sure your questions are actually asking the user a question.
      • Try to start with question words such as who, what, or when. Guide users to the kind of answer they should give.
    • Since users can't interrupt a question, it's helpful to introduce a list of answers with "Which of these options…" Users might try to answer a question before they hear them all, so let them know that more are coming.
      • Ordinal answers like first one, 3rd, and second option are understood by the Assistant as valid responses to multiple-choice questions, so your users can respond however feels the most natural to them.
  • Synonyms: If you think there are multiple correct ways to answer a question, you can set multiple synonyms by using the "|" key as a separator. For example, if a question's answer is set to "United States|USA|US", a user could say any of these synonyms to correctly answer the question.
  • Engagement: To vary the questions and keep things moving, try to mix in different types of questions (like true or false).

  • Cultural Reach: To engage the maximum number of users, try to offer questions that many people can relate to, regardless of their ethnic or class background. Remember that not everyone has been exposed to the same classical and cultural references.

  • Understandability: Answers work best when they require three or fewer words. If the user has to give a lengthy response, the voice-detection error gap widens.

  • Efficiency: It's best to use contractions wherever possible ("I'm" instead of "I am") to speed up TTS playback.

  • Age Appropriateness: Determine your target audience before you create your questions and answers. We recommend targeting your content for age appropriateness.

  • Gender Diversity: For maximum user engagement, remember that you're targeting diverse genders. Try to use pronouns, examples, and subject matter that a maximum number of users can relate to.

General Guidelines and Restrictions

  • The maximum question length is 200 characters.
  • Try not to include complicated or very long words that may be hard for the computer speech to pronounce or users to understand. For example, mechanoreceptors or proprioceptors.
  • Do not ask two questions such as "How many x are there? What are they?" as a part of one single question.
  • The maximum answer length is 25 characters.
  • The maximum questions per round is 10 questions.
  • You can add up to 1000 questions per Action. If you have more than 1000 questions, you can replace the content periodically, or create multiple Actions and categorize the questions accordingly.
  • In the absence of a follow-up statement, leave the cell empty. Do not add programming characters such as \n, \n\r.
  • Refrain from using questions with multi-word answers that have overlapping words. For example:

    • Question: What are the necessary ingredients for XYZ?
    • Possible Answers:

      sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water

      sunlight, carbon dioxide and oxygen

      sunlight, oxygen and water

  • Be cautious while using multi-word, non-overlapping answers, because it might be difficult for users to repeat back the whole answer. For example:

    • Question: What are the necessary ingredients for XYZ?
    • Answers:

      sunlight, water, carbon dioxide

      oxygen, nitrogen, selenium

  • Do not include special characters such as "^", ":" , "(" , ")"

  • You may include "&", "$", "#", "@" in your questions and answers. If you do, please test them on a device to ensure they are spoken correctly and the answers are speech-recognized correctly.

  • If you have abbreviations or mathematical symbols as a part of the question or answer, make sure you test each phrase to hear how the Assistant speaks it and if the speech recognition works. For example, "O2" (for oxygen), "NAACP," and "a+b=c+d" may not be spoken or speech-recognized as you expect.

  • To test how the Assistant speaks a single question containing the abbreviations or symbols, update the sheet to contain that single question as the first question, set 'RandomizeQuestions' = 'No', and re-test it with the Actions simulator.

FAQ

What does it cost to create a template Action?

There is no cost; we host everything for you for free.

Do you support categories?

Yes, a trivia game can have up to 9 categories.

How do I add custom audio to my Action?

Use the Configuration Parameters tab to provide audio URLs as key-value pairs. Ensure your URLs use HTTPS links and your audio files are in one of the supported formats listed in SSML audio.

How do I track analytics associated with the Action? Can I customize the metrics?

You can use the Actions Console to track analytics for your Action. You can also use Google Analytics by specifying the Google Analytics ID in the Configuration tab of your sheet.

Can I submit my Action to the Actions for Families program?

Depending on your Action's content, template Actions can comply with the Actions for Families. You just need to submit your Action for the program, as described in the Submitting your Action section of the Actions for Families guide.