CSS Sprites: Image Slicing’s Kiss of Dea
Back when video games were still fun (we’re talking about the 8-bit glory days here), graphics were a much simpler matter by necessity. Bitmapped 2-dimensional character data and background scenery was individually drawn, much like today’s resurgent pixel art. Hundreds and later thousands of small graphics called sprites were the building blocks for all things visual in a game. Article Continues Below As game complexity increased, techniques developed to manage the multitude of sprites while keeping game play flowing. One variation saw sprites being plugged into a master grid, then later pulled out as needed by code that mapped positions of each individual graphic, and selectively painted them on the screen. And what does this have to do with the web? Everything old is new again, and though the rise of 3D games has made sprite maps obsolete, the concurrent rise of mobile devices with 2D gaming capabilities have brought them back into vogue. How do CSS Sprites work? On to the HTML.