Bringing A Modern Touch To Some Retro Sprite Art

HTML5 is, in simple terms, a new language for the web that among other things will allow for videos and animations to play without the need for Flash. It can also breath new life into old video game art styles.

Joe Huckaby over on the Effect Games blog has a great piece up showing a few examples. Taking the work of artist Mark J. Ferrari and applying an old 2D technique known as "colour cycling", we're left with some beautiful backgrounds that show what's possible from games running on platforms like the internet or mobile phones when HTML5 becomes more widely-adopted.

Mark J. Ferrari was a background artist on a lot of classic Lucasarts adventure games for the PC, like Monkey Island and Loom, so there are few better people to use to showcase the technique. The examples here are mere still images; to see them running in all their windy, rainy glory, hit the link below.

Old School colour Cycling with HTML5 [Effect Games, thanks Rich!]


    One obvious way this differs from old style palette cycling is that this seems to be dead slow. It is updating an RGB image to use the new palette colours for each frame and then drawing that to the screen, rather than making use of hardware to do palette lookups.

    Also, sending the data to the browser as JSON arrays doesn't seem like the most bandwidth or memory efficient way of doing things (gzipping might reduce the gap for download sizes, but I doubt it would for memory usage).

    It is pretty cool to recreate these old animated images in the browser, I doubt it represents how future browser based games will do their rendering.

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