“There’s a Storm Coming.”

This is one of my favorite moments in all of video games as well. The sound of the SNES-noise-generated rain along with the thunder in the distance and the feeling of foreboding set an amazing tone.

From Magical Game Time.

Infinite Complexity in 4096 Bytes

Creative Applications Network:

Worthy winner of the PC 4kB intro competition at Revision 2012 and latest example of the compact-coding tradition exercised within the demoscene, Hartverdrahtet by Akronyme Analogiker is a three minute long audio-visual trip into a procedural fractalverse, compressed into a minuscule piece of software. No bigger than 4096 bytes – less than an empty Word document, as demoscene activists like to point out – the executable file contains all the mathematics needed to generate the unfolding visual complexity and audible ambience upon a double-click. A solo effort by a talented coder who calls himself Demoscene Passivist, Hartverdrahtet reveals a mesmerizing cosmos observed through what could be an electron microscope – ethereal, greenish and a little eerie.

Truly astounding. 4096 bytes.

“King Of Kings”

This is one in a series of images from Okami recently posted at Dead End Thrills.

Seeing games like Okami or Xenoblade Chronicles running in high-definition via Dolphin only reinforces to me that the Wii had some amazing art direction in its games lineup that was hampered by the low resolution of the system’s output.

Not upscaling when using backwards-compatibility on the upcoming Wii U further compounds the error. These games would look great with a little upscaling and full-scene effects love, but we’re not going to get to see it.


My youngest daughter is what can only properly be termed a “free spirit.” This is an example of the kinds of things she draws:

I honestly believe this is how she perceives the world around her. The sun is always shining, and people are incessantly happy. This is because she is incessantly happy. She is the girly-girl of the family, the one who skips through the house while singing songs of her own devising. And thinks ponies are awesome.

It is possible to discourage her, though it is largely an act when she responds and she is never discouraged for very long.

I wish more people had this view of the world. If we did, maybe the world would look more like this.

Old School Color Cycling with HTML5

Mark J. Ferrari, who also illustrated all the original backgrounds for LucasArts The Secret of Monkey Island and Loom, invented his own unique ways of using color cycling for envrironmental effects that you really have to see to believe. These include rain, snow, ocean waves, moving fog, clouds, smoke, waterfalls, streams, lakes, and more. And all these effects are achieved without any layers or alpha channels — just one single flat image with one 256 color palette.

Unfortunately the art of color cycling died out in the late 90s, giving way to newer technologies like 3D rendering and full 32-bit “true color” games. However, 2D pixel graphics of old are making a comeback in recent years, with mobile devices and web games. I thought now would be the time to reintroduce color cycling, using open web technologies like the HTML5 Canvas element.

This demo is an implementation of a full 8-bit color cycling engine, rendered into an HTML5 Canvas in real-time. I am using 35 of Mark’s original 640×480 pixel masterpieces which you can explore, and I added some ambient environmental soundtracks to match. Please enjoy, and the source code is free for you to use in your own projects (download links at the bottom of the article).

Ferrari really was a talented artist in the medium. Monkey Island and Loom are classics partially because at the time they were visually arresting.

The demo of the HTML5 Canvas elements has to be seen to be believed. Show the additional options to see the palette shifting apart from the image itself.

And the code is LGPL to boot.

(via EffectGames.com.)