Hi! I'm Carra, and I am the person behind this project. So far all of the work on Vircon32 (design, software, documents, etc) has been done by me. I am a self-taught programmer and for about 25 years I have been making games and similar projects. But from some time ago I focus exclusively on developing Vircon32 and creating games for it.
Vircon32 is a virtual game console, inspired by classic 16 & 32 bit systems as well as the arcade era. It is designed to be easy to use and simple to create games for. It will be a long-term project in which I create the emulator, development tools, a full specification, tests and tutorials, and of course games.
I am a fan of classic and retro games, especially arcade-style. And I wanted a game system where you can easily play and create this type of games. But when you look at the current alternatives, most of them are impractical or needlessly complex in some way:
Classic consoles are the obvious first option. They are closed systems and very popular. Very convenient to play too: configure your emulator once and you are done. There are also problems: very low resolution, non-widescreen, regional differences... But the worst is that very few new games are being made. That is understandable, since these consoles can be quite hard to develop for.
Another option are fantasy consoles. Pico-8 and TIC-80 are quite popular. It is also much easier to create games for them. Unfortunately they also have important drawbacks: Some emulators or development kits are not free. Console limitations are too harsh in many cases (I wouldn't play any longer games in a 128x128 screen). Also, these consoles tend to work as scripting platforms (mostly in Lua), which feels very different from the experience of classic systems.
So, what about just using current systems? Well, in PC or mobile there is so much variation (hardware, software, versions, settings...) that they will never be able to provide a consistent experience like in closed systems. Also, what is up with all those launchers and stores? What happened to those small Windows games you could just download and play?
Vircon32 attempts to provide a viable alternative to all these options, while giving a solution to the various shortcomings these systems have for the enthusiast of retro systems. It is accessible, by being open source and fully documented. It is convenient to play by working as an emulator with single-file roms. It is simple for game creators to understand and program. And making the console more capable than the 8-bit alternatives will allow for better games that encourage both players and creators.