Introversion's Chris Delay speaks to Will Porter about all things flat and pixelly in Multiwinia...
So exactly what is Multiwinia?
Chris Delay: Multiwinia is a kick-arse wargame set in the world of Darwinia - a totally digital world that exists within a vast mainframe.
Different tribes of digital life-forms called the Darwinians are fighting for control of their world, and this fighting is becoming faster and more brutal each day. You take control of one of those factions and battle up to three other players.
How does the Darwinia storyline fit into what's going on here?
Delay: Multiwinia takes place after Darwinia. Darwinia tells the story of how the Darwinians learn to defend themselves (with your help) and fight off an evil invading viral force.
But things have not returned to normal - the Darwinians are now warriors, with their own weapons and fighting skills, and with more of a sense of awareness of their surroundings.
Their innocence has been lost as part of their survival. As their population grows, disagreements begin to form in their ranks, and the situation in Multiwinia is that several different tribes in the world of Darwinia are now at war, fighting over the resources and locations of the world.
How are you adapting the tenets of Darwinia into multiplayer form? Have there been many changes to the original plays?
Delay: It's been extremely difficult, but very rewarding. We always wanted to do multiplayer Darwinia but never had the time, and it's a huge amount of fun. The Darwinians really are unique in the way they fight, and just watching massive battles unfold is entertaining in its own way.
We've built a set of multiplayer games within Multiwinia, each of which has different objectives and play styles. Of course you can play a standard tactical fight for control of the map, the simplest game type we support, and there is a lot more possibility for craziness in some of the game ideas we've implemented.
Darwinia was story driven and carefully paced, but Multiwinia is all about multiplayer action. It's really a very different game to play.
We've not been afraid to rework or even throw away things that didn't work, and we've always considered this game to share only the setting with Darwinia - not the game or the mechanics. Multiwinia is a much faster, more aggressive and more visceral experience than Darwinia ever was.
What new viral units and buildings are entering the fray?
Delay: The virus from the first game does occasionally make an appearance, but for the most part Multiwinia is about the Darwinians.
That said, players will sometimes see external forces entering the fray, but we're keeping quiet about the details so as not to spoil the surprise.
How 'multi' is Multiwinia? Will there be anything special in terms of leagues, tournaments etc?
Delay: You can play with up to four players in a game. We've arranged our game modes and our maps in order of complexity - we have plenty of simple multiplayer maps for new players (which are still incredible fun), and we've gone all the way up the range and some of our newest maps have fairly complex objectives.
It can take anything from five to 30 minutes to play a complete wargame. During that time literally thousands of Darwinians will fight for their lives, under your command.
What else do those who dearly care for the plight of the Darwinians need to know?
Delay: War is hell! Fans of the Biosphere level in Darwinia will be at home: the carnage that is caused by Darwinians fighting really is something to behold, and the nature of this game is really different to single-player Darwinia.