Full Screen Mario is a meticulous recreation of the classic game, reproducing the graphics, sounds and gameplay that gamers can access anywhere on the web.
The site started as a small project started by Josh Goldberg, a junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who didn’t expect it to blow up in popularity the way it did.
Goldberg told the Washington Post that he started building the game about a year ago. “I was kind of restless. I’m always programming. I always enjoyed “Super Mario Brothers” as a kid. I played it on my Gameboy. I was thinking about doing something impressive. I came up with the idea of old games like Mario.”
Goldberg built the original 38 levels piece by piece, adding randomly generated levels, and the ability to even create your own Super Mario levels with the site’s level editor.
When he first put the game up for review, he got little response. All it took was a single blogger talking about it and it exploded. Now it’s getting 300,000 unique visitors a day, so like a million hits. Just yesterday alone, the 16th, there were 385,000 unique visitors from Google Analytics. If you go on Twitter, it’s crazy. People are really excited. I didn’t expect it to be so sudden.”
The question remains however as to if, or rather when, Nintendo will step in over the copyright issues.
Not that Goldberg seems all that worried. He says he has yet to be contacted by the company, despite the fact the project as been on Github for around nine months.
He told the Washington Post, “Back in October when I started on it, I didn’t care because I didn’t think it would be a big project. I don’t know what Nintendo is going to do. I’ve avoided using any Nintendo assets other than the IP for the game itself. I honestly don’t know what to do in this situation.
“They (Nintendo) haven’t contacted me in any form. I assume that either they’re going to do it within a week or two or they’re not going to do it at all… I think it would be a really jerk move for Nintendo to take it down. To take it down would be a spit in the face to Web developers and game enthusiasts everywhere.”