Cycleblob, an addictive browser game created by Israeli developer Shy Shalom, went live today. The game ports light cycles, the futuristic vehicles from the legendary 1982 film Tron, to the browser. Nerd power! Of course, seeing as Tron was recently upgraded with a new sequel, it’s only fitting that light cycles should be given a more contemporary setting in which to compete — especially if that backdrop takes advantage of modern web standards and contexts.
In the original Tron, light cycles were matched against each other on a flat grid and were limited to making 90 degree turns, so Cycleblob has set its light cycles in motion on a rotating 3-dimensional field (really, a blob) that floats in space. Just as in the original, if you hit the wall of light left by your or your opponent’s vehicle, it’s game over.
A prime early example of WebGL at work is the Google Labs’ Google Body browser, an interactive 3D model of the human body. Like Cyclebob, it’s a bit buggy, but the ideas behind it are amazing. Next thing you know, Google will be releasing a WebGL/HTML5-enabled map of the human genome.
Shalom said that he created Cycleblob to learn how to best use WebGL and other new open standards and specifications in creating games and to generally explore its applications. Though the applications of these browser technologies are still largely incipient, it certainly looks like Cycleblob’s plumbing could eventually spell doom for Flash. Maybe not. You be the judge. And who wants to bet that, when Shalom develops a mobile app for his 3D game, Steve Jobs pastes it all over the front of the App Store?
To see the game in motion, check out the video below: