Old School Gamer Magazine chats with MAKERbuino creator Albert Gajšak, who lets us know what inspired the retro handheld console and what the future holds for the project.
Being able to build your own system is no joke, but Gajšak’s console comes with a tutorial and thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign and plenty of satisfied customers, is becoming a trendy new way to get into video game development and to experience a side of gaming many never get to see.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How was this project born?
Albert Gajšak: It all started as a weekend project in 2014. I was playing with electronic components bought from eBay. Attached is a photo of the first MAKERbuino ever made.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Who do you think will enjoy it the most?
Gajšak: Most of our customers are either parents that buy MAKERbuinos for their kids or hobbyists that build 3D printers and fiddle with electronics in their free time.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What are your long-term goals for the project?
Gajšak: We’re working on other interesting kits similar to MAKERbuino. Our goal is to create a lineup of different educational devices that’ll bring electronics and programming to the users in a fun and interesting way.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How easy is it to Download new games?
Gajšak: As easy as clicking “download” on our creations gallery and copying the file to your device’s SD card. (https://www.makerbuino.com/creations/).
Old School Gamer Magazine: What are some of your favorite mods.for the console?
Gajšak: Oh… this is a tough one. I’d say these are my top mods:
Old School Gamer Magazine: What are some of your favorite games on the console?
Gajšak: Definitely the ones made by Yodasvideoarcade:
Also, Zoglu’s 101 starships is a brilliant piece of code:
Old School Gamer Magazine: How difficult is it to design games for the console?
Gajšak: “Difficult” is quite relative 🙂
It depends on your coding knowledge and what you want to do. The games are programmed in C++ and coding something like Pong is not a big deal (https://www.makerbuino.com/coding-pong/) but for coding something a bit complicated, you’ll need some programming background.
We’re working on a graphical programming environment that’s going to ease the process of game creation for newcomers.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What do you think has been the best part of this journey for you?
Gajšak: Hmmm… Probably the fact that MAKERbuino allowed me to quit college, turn my hobby into a living and found a profitable business that pays my bills at the age of 19. This whole experience built me as a person like nothing else in my life.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?
Gajšak: We’re working on a new MAKERbuino-esque device that’s going to be targeted towards a bit different non-gamer audience. We plan to launch a new Kickstarter campaign for this purpose in a matter of months.
As already said, the plan is to create a series of similar products and create a brand of educational devices that are going to teach people electronics and coding in a fun and interesting way.
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the author of the book, “The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers,” from McFarland And Company. Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games–including Deus Ex, NHLPA 93, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam–the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.