Hover Plover Pixel Art by Derek Sneed
In preparation for my presentation on Plover at PyGotham this Saturday from 1:15 to 2:00 in room 5 (check out the whole schedule! It's gonna be a fantastic conference!), I've commissioned some pixel art to demonstrate what Hover Plover will look like once I'm able to get it developed. This is a faux screenshot from the intermediate level game, a 2D platformer that displays both English and steno while you try to keep your broken plovercraft from crashing into the rooftops of an unnamed metropolis long enough to make it to the repair shop on the edge of town. In this game your plovercraft keeps moving forward at a constant pace, and you're only able to control it in brief vertical bursts by typing the steno stroke on the screen, which lifts it briefly away from chimneys, greenhouses, water towers, stray cats, et cetera, before it starts sinking dangerously close to the buildings again. After a while, you'll be able to toggle off the steno hints and just write the words themselves. I think it'll be incredibly fun to play. Now I just need to figure out a funding source so we can get the thing made! But I've already got a couple of irons in that fire. More news on that later. Meanwhile, I've got to finish putting together the PyGotham presentation and also start coordinating some bugfixes with Plover's programmer so that it's in good shape for the next phase of development.
My main steno machine malfunctioned the other day (every stenographer's nightmare), and though I was able to fix it that evening with 15 minutes and a couple of screwdrivers (I think the calibration on a few keys had spontaneously gotten wonky, so the "all keys lifted" state wouldn't register), I didn't have time to tinker with it; I had a class to CART. So I fired up my Filco Majestouch with Plover, set the font size on Gedit to 28, and got through the next two hours. It was a struggle; the Majestouch requires harder keypresses than my proprietary machine, so I'm afraid my speed and accuracy suffered a bit. Plover's translation engine also needs a little more sophistication; it made some spelling errors that my proprietary software wouldn't have made. But it was worlds better than it would have been if I'd had to qwerty the class. Being able to carry two steno machines in my bag at all times really gives me peace of mind, and now that the worst has happened, I know that all is not lost if my main machine ever breaks down again. (Though, of course, I'm going to be getting it serviced in the very near future, so hopefully this was a one-off.) Let's hear it for Plover!