Monday, September 3, 2012

Classic Amiga demos in HTML5

 
After discovering this HTML5/JavaScript demo by Alcratraz a few days ago I have started to look closely at the technology and what it makes possible. When I bought my first Amiga 500 back in the days I quickly started to follow the demo scene, and there especially the music that talented musicians like Dezecrator, 4-Mat, Romeo Knight or Jester produced.

A big part of the demo scene were intros, not only crack intros that were displayed before the actual game as some form of credit and advertisement for a group's bulletin boards, but also intros that were released on their own or as part of disks. Yes, trading back then was not limited to games and apps, but also pure demo-scene productions.

I just stumbled upon We Are Back (WAB), a website that is brining back classic Amiga intros in form of HTML5 and JavaScript conversions. The creators suggest you load the intros in Chrome as it is providing better performance than other browsers. While that is certainly true, I did not experience any issues watching those intros in Firefox.

The website displays a list of 50 or so intros that various authors have converted from their original Amiga format to HTML5 and JavaScript. The majority of intros feature visuals and sounds, while some unfortunately only visuals. Back then, intros did not need to have sound necessarily, especially if space was very limited on a disk. Disk? Yes, games were released on disks back which were limited to 880 Kilobytes.

amiga intros

All available intros are listed on the main page from where you can make your selection. It would have been nice if the original groups were listed on the page. Intros start to play right after you have clicked on one .

You can't change the volume of audio on the page or pause an intro which is definitely something that the operators of the page should consider adding to it to make it a more comfortable experience. It is a trip down nostalgia lane for those of use who experienced the scene back then first hand, and an opportunity for people who missed it all to get a glimpse. Then again, it is likely that the majority will be shocked by the audio-visual quality.

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