Plovdiv Game Jam 2024

Plovdiv Game Jam 2024 was an exciting and dynamic event that brought together a diverse group of over 150 passionate participants. Held from January 26 to 28 at the Technical University Sofia, branch Plovdiv, this game jam was part of Global Game Jam.

Plovdiv Game Jam 2024
Ralitsa Kostadinova inaugurated Plovdiv Game Jam 2024

The event was orchestrated by a dedicated team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure its success. Throughout the weekend, participants formed teams and engaged in an intensive and inspiring game development process. As a testament to the collaborative spirit and creativity within the gaming community more than 30 impressive computer and board games were created.

Plovdiv Game Jam 2024
Assoc. Prof. Nikola Shakev delivered the opening address at Plovdiv Game Jam 2024

Plovdiv Game Jam 2024 started on Friday afternoon with six presentations. Leon Anavi had the opportunity to talk about ANAVI Handle, an open source hardware USB-C adapter for connection Nunchuk compatible controller to a personal computer. The printed circuit board has been designed with the open source software KiCad and relies on Seeed Studio XIAO module with Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller. This is exactly the same microcontroller as in Raspberry Pi Pico.

ANAVI Handle with XIAO RP2040 and CircuitPython
Leon Anavi while explaining how to upload CircuitPython on XIAO RP2040

Nunchuk is a peripheral controller designed for use with Nintendo Wii and Wii U gaming consoles. Nunchuk connects to the Wii Remote through the communication bus I2C and a cord. It features an analog joystick, two buttons (C and Z), and an accelerometer. ANAVI Handle comes with an open source firmware written in CircuitPython to adapt a Nunchuk compatible controller as a joystick or a mouse for a personal computer. All schematics and source code are available in GitHub. The slides are in Bulgarian and are available at SlideShare.

ANAVI Handle with Nunchuk
ANAVI Handle with Nunchuk

After the presentations the theme of Global Game Jam and Plovdiv Game Jam was announced. For 2024 it was “Make me Laugh”. Participants registered and formed teams with up to 5 members. After 48 hours of hard work more than 30 computer and board games were presented at the main building of the Technical University of Plovdiv.

Plovdiv Game Jam 2024
Plovdiv Game Jam 2024 Closing Ceremony

Plovdiv Game Jam commenced its journey a decade ago, with its inaugural edition taking place in 2014. The 2024 edition achieved a milestone by breaking records in both participant numbers and the creation of games. The whole event was live streamed on YouTube and Twitch. Plovdiv Game Jam atmosphere buzzed with innovation, camaraderie, and the shared joy of bringing imaginative concepts to life. This amazing event not only provided a platform for fostering talent but also underscored the thriving game development culture in the region.

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Plovdiv – European Capital of Open Source Hardware!

OSHdata is a brand new independent project launched in 2020. The goal is to report the state of the Open Source Hardware (OSH) based on the data from the certification program of Open Source Hardware Association. Recently OSHdata announced a public report for 2020.

All time open source hardware frequent creators as of February 2020

ANAVI Technology made it to 7th place in the hall of fame for OSH Frequent Certification Creators! Absolute number 1 are our neightbours Olimex. We are all from Plovdiv, Bulgaria and this is not just a coincidence!

Olimex is specialized in open source hardware. They are open source hardware pioneers and have hundreds of open source products. The company was established in 1991 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Olimex development boards and derivatives based on them are used in numerous industrial applications around the world: agricultural tractors, 3D printers, huge mining machines, smart traffic lights, variable speed drivers for oil, gas pumps and conveyors, etc. If you are curious to learn more have a look at Tsevan Uzunov’s (CEO of OLimex) talk at FOSDEM 2020.

Several years ago Olimex decided to switch from EAGLE to KiCad for designing their printed circuit boards. They designed complicated devices with multi-layer boards using KiCad like the do-it-yourself laptop Olimex Teres-I and A64-OLinuXino embedded Linux computer. FreedomBox Foundation even relies on Olimex for Pioneer-FreedomBox-HSK!

After switching to KiCad, engineers from Olimex made numerous free workshop to share their experience. KiCad is a free and open source Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tool that runs on MS Windows, Mac OS and GNU/Linux distributions.

Is there any point to make open source hardware with proprietary tools? Not at all! This is why KiCad is a great open source tool for making open source hardware. Back in the days, ANAVI Technology was started and adopted KiCad entirely because of all the knowledge shared by Olimex.

Considering the total number of certified products by Olimex and ANAVI Technology, Bulgaria is the leading country in Europe and obviously Plovdiv is European capital of open source hardware!

Since March 2018, following the recommendations of Drew Fustini, all products of ANAVI Technology are certified by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA).

One more thing: Olimex, Drew, thank you 🙂

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