The in-universe description of RetroWar:
Retro War is a compilation of the best multiplayer games faithfully ported, pixel by pixel, from two of the most popular 8-bit home computers that never existed: The Commodore 256 and the VIC-30.
RetroWar came about as the convergence of several opinions we have formed about games.
Fantasy consoles like Pico8 are great for gamers because they apply limitations to creativity. This forces the creator to focus the majority of their effort on to the thing that really matters, gameplay, and not divert effort to graphics and sound. It also allows a single auteur to directly author an entire game - his vision is not filtered through artists and level designers.
(This is not to say that great artwork does not improve a game, but the effort required for each improvement in artwork is exponential, and thus the sales figures required to support prettier games also increase exponentially. Meanwhile the improvement in player experience only scales linearly. This is a poor tradeoff for the small studio or solo developer.)
However not all the limitations of the old systems are beneficial. In particular, for professional programmers and artists, we want to use the most modern and advanced tools available to create games. We also want our games to support modern controllers and frame rates. Thus RetroWar could not run on a console (fantasy or otherwise). Instead we developed an open source library, (RetroWar-common) to easily implement the features we want from a fantasy console.
In our opinion, the most fun games are couch multiplayer games. So we made one. But not just one, because that can get boring. Instead we made a system to make it easy for us to create and tweak a whole host of such games. And we documented it so other people can add their own games to the system.
UniBlaster is the engine that powers most of the games in the first release of RetroWar. Some videos of early development versions:
The main focus of the second release would be to create a meta-game that ties together the mini-games, in the way that Mario Party or WarioWare does.