Best PC games New PC games 2020 Best graphics cards Best free PC games Best Warzone loadout for Season 5 Best Minecraft shaders for 1.16.3


Plotty Bird is Flappy Bird played on a plotting printer

Hackers making games run on odd hardware is always at least a giggle, and Flappy Bird on a plotter instead of a screen actually adds to it in a way. For our younger readers, I’ll explain a plotter is a type of printer which draws on paper with a pen. For our even younger readers, a printer is a device which ‘printed’ computer documents onto paper. For our youngest readers, paper is a thin, lightweight material made from mashed-up trees, nowadays mostly used to make bags for Greggs sausage rolls. Plotty Bird uses one pen as the bird, leaving lines of its path as it flops and crashes as a delightful record and artifact.

It’s like Dong Nguyen’s 2013 mobile hit (or Helicopter Game before it, or innumerable games named Crobby Bird and such after it), see, only on a plotter. Plotty Bird even draws randomised levels, according to creator Wesley Aptekar-Cassels. What a lovely thing.

“It works by streaming HP-GL commands to the plotter in real time – the game gets around 20 ‘frames’ per second,” Aptekar-Cassels explains for the technically curious.

Should you have a HP7440A plotter lying around somewhere, you can have a go yourself. Plug it into your PC, grab Plotty Bird from GitHub, crank it up, and mash Enter to get flapping. It might also work on other plotters which support HP-GL, and if the possibility of playing Plotty Bird yourself has the slightest relevance to you I trust you already know what that means.

I, like Aptekar-Cassels, am pleased by how the pen lines leave a clear record of successes and failures. It’s like the end of a Super Meat Boy level, where you watch all your failed attempts and final victory at once, only you can stick this to your fridge door.

Tagged with , .

If you click our links to online stores and make a purchase we may receive a few pennies. Find more information here.

New games | Panels | Let's Plays | Industry Insight | Esports tournaments | Livestreams | Tabletop gaming | Exclusive merch | More!

Who am I?

Alice O'Connor

News Editor

When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

More by me

Support RPS and get an ad-free site, extra articles, and free stuff! Tell me more
Please enable Javascript to view comments.

Comments are now closed. Go have a lie down, Internet.