The Fak’ugesi Digital Innovation Festival is coming to a close and even those who attended may have missed something amazing hidden just below the surface.
Local maker Tom van den Bon created a festival pass for the event that is a lot more than you’d expect. To start off with it isn’t a simple piece of laminated paper, it’s a custom printed circuit board in the shape of a heart.
Those who attended Market Hack were taught some basic soldering to connect the PCB to a batteries to turn on the decorative LEDs.
From here the pass could be attached to a band and worn as a regular festival pass around your neck, complete with blinking lights.
More could be done if you dug around, with one person using the board to create a wire loop game.
But the real treat is an Easter Egg that can be accessed by hooking the board up to a PC in the form of a text-based choose your own adventure game written by Liz Dom.
Before getting to the main game you can enter keywords for more information. “Geek”, for example, will tell you about van den Bon’s twitter account “@geekc0der“ and “fakugesi” will provide more information about the festival.
But to access the game you’ll need to enter “Story” which will return an ASCII art heart and the opening to the game. Read your options and enter either 1 or 2 to progress.
Getting to the game is a little tricky and there’s some prerequisite software you’ll need, so you can follow this Google Doc which acts as a guide to access the Easter Egg.
If you couldn’t make it to Fak’ugesi or you didn’t manage to get yourself one of the PCB passes, you may feel a bit left out at this point, but worry not.
The entire game has just been made available online as a webpage on Van den Bon’s site. The “Fak’ugesi terminal“, as it’s been labelled, gives you the full experiance without any of the hardware needs.
If you are missing that aspect of the project, you can find the full details of it on the SiGNL site which explains the festival’s theme, “Brave Tech Hearts Beat as One”, and the collaboration with IBM Research Africa lab which made the project possible.
Getting deeper into into how the passes were made, you can check out their dedicated GitHub page with comes with everything you’ll need to make your own.