DEV Community

Cover image for Build an Animal Crossing party line in 5 minutes
Kelley Robinson for Twilio

Posted on • Originally published at

Build an Animal Crossing party line in 5 minutes

How did you spend your weekend? When I wasn't feeding my sourdough starter, I spent at least 4 hours playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons and doing chores for my raccoon landlord. For those unacquainted with the game: Animal Crossing is a social game where you build a town on a deserted island full of friendly animals, fruit trees, and homemade furniture. Once you set up your town, other players can visit you, bring you gifts, and help you weed your garden.

On Sunday, my coworker Christine invited me and our coworker Megan to an Animal Crossing party. We exchanged Switch Friend codes and set up a time to play.

Unfortunately in-game communication can be tough: there's no in-game voice chat and saying something specific is a hunt-and-peck nightmare with the Switch keyboard. Video chat seemed like overkill since we'd all be looking at our screens anyway.

Luckily, we work at Twilio, so we knew the best way to immediately set up a conference call.

text exchange where christine suggests a twilio conference call

I found a tutorial for setting up a conference line in Twilio Studio and responded 8 minutes later with a working conference line. But it's a new day and there's an even faster way to set up a conference line with basically no code.

And don't worry about breaking the bank - we talked for 1 hour and 26 minutes and the total rang up to a bit more than $2 USD.

How to build a conference line with Twilio

You'll need a few things to get started:

Create a TwiML Bin with conference instructions

Next, head over to the Twilio Console to create a new TwiML bin. Paste the following TwiML in the bin, give it a Friendly Name, and hit Create.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <Conference>Nook Inc</Conference>

image from twilio console showing twiml bin

Connect your TwiML to your Phone Number

Head back to the phone number you purchased in the console. In the a call comes in section, select TwiML Bin and the name of the TwiML Bin you just created. Hit Save.

And that's it! Up to 250 people can now call your party line.

What's next?

Christine hooked me up with pears and oranges, the last of my fruit needs. Megan's just getting started, so I'm excited to check back in on her island in a bit. As for technical solutions? You can add SMS support to your bot, so it can respond to messages with facts about your favorite Animal Crossing characters.

tom nook is a capitalist crook

Maybe upgrade this to an SMS responder to share friend codes, or an SMS notification to friends when your airport gate is open, or an Autopilot bot for an FAQ. Questions? Find me on Twitter.

Top comments (2)

ryantenorio profile image

Love this! My friends and I are pondering something similar to the airplane notifications! We also track the turnip STONKS so being able to text a number to track and share my turnip prices would be splendid too :O

meganspeir profile image
Megan Speir

Let us know when we can get that Dodo code! 😂