Wright! Magazine is fictional 80's printed magazine about videogames, its reviewer ramblings and a free game on a audio cassette every issue.

Underneath it's dependence-free MIT Licensed game engine written in Javascript, a collection of Open Sourced short videogames you can play on computers and mobiles made using a JSON structure, so you can use them as inspiration for your games (or for learning how to make them) and a collection of articles about what I've learnt in my life.


So what is right and what is wrong? For many people, starting an article with a quote of a '93 Eurosong (What Is Love - Haddaway) is quite wrong. We usually quote big names from the past or someone successful from present days, which globally incarnate popular wisdom. But is 'popular wisdom' always right?

Let's take Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company: in 1923 said his famous "Any customer can have a car painted any colour he wants so long as it is black.". It's not so true nowadays, during the era of customization, and looks like there is no record of Henry Ford having ever said this in a serious tone.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) said "Marriage is but slavery made to appear civilized", which was powerfully progressive during his years but is that very statement still correct and constructive nowadays, when we're working on the meaning of 'marriage' in order to make his statement wrong?

Welcome to the sea of the opinions, where nothing is absolutely right or wrong but the only filter is your own critical sense. Where something is right when you think that's good.

In that sea I started wondering what a 'retrogamer' is.

Wikipedia says that 'retrogaming' is 'the playing or collecting of older personal computer, console, and arcade video games'. If it's so, I'm not a retrogamer. I love from the bottom of my heart how gaming, more than games, looked years ago. I loved the bad formatted magazines written by unknown 'experts' who we started hating and trusting, when reviews considered if the game loaded correctly from tape or not, when the graphics were rarely on-par with designers ideas, when developers tried the impossible for porting something running on a 16-bit 256 colors system on a 8-bit 16-colors system, when gamers were excited by great graphics but by innovative concepts too, giving just sketchy labels to genres.

So what's the best way for being a 'right retrogamer'? Playing Manic Miner (1983) on your ZX Spectrum? And forget what we've understood about videogames today? And forget how a gamer was during those years? I disagree. So I decided to try something different.

The Wright! game engine is a Javascript game engine built for being both wrong and right.

It uses hand-written JSONs as game descriptors, which is wrong in the IDE era, but it's designed to be human-readable, trying to mimic the BASIC era of gaming. It uses DOM elements for graphics like ancient browser games, which is wrong after the canvas and OpenGL Javascript APIs, but stimulates on finding good workarounds in order to improve games performances. (No longer true) It mainly works only with keyboard controls and on Chrome/Safari/Firefox (and somehow WiiU), which is wrong, but you'll play as we used to play in 90's. (No longer true) It uses massively tilemaps, which is right, but there isn't any implementation, which is wrong. But everything still works pretty well. Finally the graphics of the games I'm going to show will be very retro, not for a particular engine limit but because they have to look like blueprints of their original concepts instead of full fledged games.

And the Wright! Magazine? It's formatted badly and it's full of opinions of a perfect unknown, that's me. We'll talk about gaming, from '80s to nowadays. And every issue includes a tape with a tiny never-released game: you can choose any of them under this page. Ah! Now that's what I call 'retro gaming'!

I'll add more tapes? I'll maintain this engine? Who knows. As the old good games, they'll disappear from the basement when you won't like them anymore. Enough talk! Click on a tape and let's go!

Francesco "KesieV" Cottone

PS: You can chat with me on Twitter as @KesieV. Bye!

PPS: I love meta so much that, 2 years later after starting this project, I've decided to turn a previous statement in this editorial into a lie. Wright! now supports HTML5 canvas too and can be played on mobile devices and touchscreens. Obviously, if you want to use them.