Johannes Kopf and Dani Lischinski have created an algorithm that ‘de-pixelizes’ games in real time, resulting in smoother, cartoon-ier looking graphics for classic console games.
The key of the algorithm is that it can detect the intention of curves and adjust the graphics accordingly. Thus removing the blocky look of older games.
There is a downside to the algorithm though. It does not realize when curves are unintended. Look at the Space Invaders example below. Do you think when Space Invaders was created that the designer envisioned the attacking fleet to be Pokemon-esque creatures descending from the heavens? Probably not.
The designer was most likely aiming for sharp edges and wings for the attackers. Limited by the graphics at the time, was forced to make do with what we now fear as the Space Invaders.
The algorithm will work great for games where cartoony effects are desired, but for games like Space Invaders and Doom, it simply won’t have the same revolutionary effect.
The possibility remains for Nintendo to license the code and enable it within their next console…allowing gamers the chance to play Super Mario World in a completely new visual style.
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