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OpenGL 2D shiny pretty things

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My latest hobby project basically a good old 2D worms/scortched earth clone. The difference this time is that one of our artists from work asked if he could do the art (normally I'm a programmer art kinda guy). He's provided me with some pretty cool character sprites and they look awsome. But they're just 2D. I'm a 3D coder normally, while alot of my hobby games use 2D gameplay I always actually render them in 3D with proper mesh's and geometry worlds and simply snap the characters to Z = 0.0f. Now with that 3D rendering there is ALOT you can do in code to make things look "cooler". Edge lighting, adding a radiosity lightmap to the levels, bloom, the list goes on. I quite like doing that - get the gameplay working in a week, then add a tech demo over the top. And thats where I'm at now .... except I can't think of anything todo to an actually 2D game. The gameplay is virtually done and I'm looking for something funky like rim lighting to add but that doesn't work with plain 2D sprites. Nor does my lightmapper help. Currently I'm just generating 10x more particles than usual and while thats cool its not quite the same as a neat shader effect. So any ideas for 2D effects? Edit: For anyone intersted this is in opengl (useing gluOrtho2D() currently), and I can use GLSL although I've never tried shaders in ortho mode befor!

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Never tried it myself, but I've heard of people using normal-mapping with sprites. Maybe combine that with some bloom/glow, and you could make things look fancy.

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