Habborator Pixel art

Habbo hotel is, besides a social phenomenon (thousands of people dragging an animated picture around ain’t nothing), something else too. Four years ago or so, I explored the UK hotel (2nd around, after the Finnish hotel) for a while, drooling over the view in hallways and pool. All those ‘tiles’ and ‘patterns’ building a somewhat realistic, yet clearly fictive world. The word is “Pixel art”.

A pixel = the smallest block on your display possible (not necessarily scientificly correct). Still a square block. Pixel art doesn’t try to blur or disguise this, but uses it as a positive fact. The picture is clearly not (foto)realistic, yet can be equally or more expressive.

The icons below lead to a couple of excellent sources of pixel art. Take some time to explore every site; best work is often hidden underneath not always conventional categories, and navigation is often primarily beautiful (read: not necessarily very intuitive).

Another thing is, when you need to fill bigger area's or surfaces, repetition is key. For walls and floors often ‘patterns’ are used, small tiles which can be repeated to fill up a large area. These can be an artform in itself. Some examples:

Most fansites offer ‘goodies’ with such patterns, mostly variations on the background of the Habbo homepages. For fun and to illustrate, here’s a couple of patterns filtered from hotel rooms. Click to see in action:

Shall we extend the illustration a little more ? At some point in time, a Sulake pixel artist called armasK imagined and created a draft of a ‘sauna’ ¹. Intended as an ‘easter egg’, it didn’t make it into the hotel; management considered it potentially inappropiate. Here we’ll virtually mimic the process of building that room in 10 steps (including nudity ;):

¹ A picture of this room was published in the Finnish only ‘Käsikirja’ (‘Handbook’, a book published on all kinda Habbo affairs, our ‘Star-Fighter’ is featured in it ;). We managed to get our hands on it (and Star-Fighter, being Finnish, enlightened us). The picture is a bit small, so it took a torch and foremost a magnifying glass to depict what’s where. We’re fairly sure general setup is ok, but colors are probably not completely correct, nor is the tank with coal (the coal, that is). Do note this picture is not in our screenshot dump; which means we do not want it reproduced elsewhere, as it took several days to get it like this.