Hi all! My name is Savva Osipov and I am a twelve year old maker and a hacker of things :) The story I am sharing with you today is of my first experience creating a gaming gadget of my own. I did all of the 3D printing, assembling, and even soldering by myself.
The inspiration came to me from a simple retro game console we have at home. It went on sale way back in 1984 in the Soviet Union and, fortunately, my dad saved one for his kids to one day play with. Dad was born during the Soviet times and is constantly sharing exciting stories about the country that I’ve never seen. Of course, the stories about Soviet gadgets are the ones most interesting to me.
The gadget was a portable video game called “Nu, pogodi!” (the title is translated from Russian into English as “Wait! I’ll catch you!”). Every Soviet teenager back in the 80’s wanted to own one of these gaming gadgets. (If you are interested in learning more about this gadget, you can read about it on Russian Wikipedia).
Later, when my dad had grown up some more, he learnt that the device actually was a 100% copy of a Nintendo EG-26 Egg. But at that time no one knew about that gadget, people were living behind the “Iron Curtain,” and that information wasn’t something that many people knew.
I was so inspired by the gamepad of the device that I decided to ask my dad if we could make something like that of our own. At that time, in 2016, I had already been playing with gadgets based on Arduino for a while so it was an obvious choice for a microprocessor for the future homemade game console we would be making.
Step 1. Find the game which will be the heart of the gaming gadget
The most important part of the project is of course the game! Dad helped me to find a Flappy Bird source code developed by the gaming enthusiast Themistokle Benetatos. Here’s the source code on GitHub if you’re interested in it.
As we were testing it, we found out we would have to make some changes to the source code that would make the game fit to our screen size. We would also need to rewrite the part that was influencing the game rendering time.
Step 2. Prototype and printing out the body
For this project I used the program SketchUp, which is a free 3D modelling software that let me create and draft the project for the 3D printer. I am good at working with this software, but in this case I had to work with calipers to measure exterior dimensions of all the components: Arduino Nano, a screen, a battery, a charging board, an input and two switches. The project grew in complexity, but we continued. In the end, after a couple of mistakes, my dad helped me print out the body for the gaming gadget. Here’s a .SKP file for the body prototype.
Step3. Getting it all together!
I assembled the device and even soldered the electronic parts of the gadget. I am very thankful to my dad that he lets me do very complex tasks by myself, it really helps to be hands-on with a project and lets you get a better understanding of the process.
The device worked!
Step 4. Market launch :)
I brought my newly assembled gaming pad to school. Kids were so excited about it that somebody actually stole it from me. Seriously. I was very frustrated, but that situation motivated me to create a better version of the Flappy Bird gadget. Version 2 has a speaker and we changed the location of the button on the body and changed the body color.
I am very proud of this project and I decided to make a video for you to see it live in action. Please, if you liked this and the video, a Thumbs Up on YouTube would be awesome :)
Hope you enjoyed the story! Give me some claps!
About me! I am a founder of Cubios Inc. Me and my dad are working on a Kickstarter campaign for the project that is planning to be launched in January. If you are interested in following along, make sure to follow me on a Facebook page . And I have a YouTube channel, please consider Liking and Subscribing!