Multiwinia Multiplayer Now

By Kieron Gillen on October 26th, 2008 at 9:59 am.


We’re a little late with this, but Introversion have released a new demo of Multiwinia. And, listening to the major complaint about the last demo, they’ve released it with online multiplayer. In other words, download it and you can play any of the demo levels. Also, if joining a LAN game set up by a player with a full copy of the game, you can play anything. Also, they’ve included Rocket Riot as a new demo game mode. And finally – which is why being a little late is bad – they’re also offering a special deal on Steam where you can buy it for a mere $9.99, and it comes free with the splendid Darwinia. This weekend only though, so hurry if you fancy it, like.

Anyway – gotta run. Back later for the Sunday Papers. You’ll find the press release – including an admission of being wrong on the demo point – beneath the cut.

Sometimes at Introversion we make mistakes and we’re not averse to holding up our hands, admitting we’ve ballsed up and offering a solution to the problem.

Last month we released our fourth fantastic stand-alone PC title Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest. A retro-arcade multiplayer extravaganza, set in the gorgeously pixellated Darwinia universe with hours of guaranteed gameplay, 49 beautifully unique maps and fantastic reviews from the crème-de-la-crème of gaming press, Multiwinia seemed a sure-fire success.

One big problem. The demo did not contain multiplayer.

Whilst it may be great to crush the AI bots in one fell swoop, nothing beats the guaranteed fun of Multiwinia multiplayer which is why we have been working round the clock to create a Multiwinia demo that gives players more, much more.

The new demo provides a fantastic online multiplayer experience with the available demo maps and also allows demo players to join full games when hosted by a fully paid up player over a LAN. That’s not all – the demo also now contains an extra mode from the full game called Rocket Riot!

Players can now bask in the glory as their 1000-sprite army marches towards an opponent’s vulnerably defended statue, or look on in horror as their enemy retaliates with a 10-tonne killer airstrike on their one remaining spawn point.

To celebrate this great new demo release, Multiwinia is now available on Steam for a special price of $9.99 and for this weekend only Darwinia comes free with any Multiwinia purchase!

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51 Comments »

  1. Professor says:

    I really do feel sorry for them, they seem quite desperate, and yet, multiwinia didn’t really do it for me.

  2. Sam says:

    Well, it’s true that part of the reason Multiwinia isn’t doing well is that it hasn’t reached multiplayer critical mass yet – there’s very few games visible at any point in time, and most of them are full…
    …however, yes, there’s also something missing from it, with respect to Darwinia. The move to hectic multiplayer from a more thoughtful (and more atmospheric) game has lost some of the best parts of Darwinia in the process.

  3. Larington says:

    Yeah, sam has pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Plus its busy season in the gaming markets, so I haven’t even given thought to buying the game even with special offers left-right and centre as theres so much else coming out now.
    Anyone who says PC Gaming is dead? Tell them to go to the coming soon section of any major game retailer or the likes of play.com, then tell them to come back and try saying PC Gaming is dead again.

  4. Mark Cooke says:

    Is there a Mac version of this? I loved Darwinia and made sure to buy it directly from Introversion so they could reap maximum profit. Right now my primary gaming machine is a Mac though. There is a Mac version of Darwinia – not Multiwinia though?

    I was ready to put down my credit card information at $9.99 without even playing the demo but I can’t buy something I can’t use. As a small developer I don’t blame them if there isn’t; OSX being a small market and all. Just curious.

  5. Pox says:

    Mark: there’s no Mac version out yet, but the folks at Ambrosia are porting it, and they’re at the beta testing stage now, so I’d say it’ll be out fairly soon.

    Also, I think Introversion made a good choice here, but maybe too late: a demo of a Multiplayer game with no Multiplayer component is fairly silly, and a lot of people will have seen it and passed by now.
    My hopes are high, I’m pretty sure that ongoing sales will see them make enough money to get Subversion out the door. ;)

  6. James G says:

    Hmm, I haven’t played Darwinia yet, I remember being put off by THAT demo. At $9.99 with multiwinia I’m tempted, even if the dolar is currently worth a fair chunk more than it was a month ago. Shockingly perhapse I don’t own a single Introversion game, and would hate to be one of those responsible for its downfall.

  7. toonu says:

    I downloaded the Multiwinia demo on Thursday just gone, and I can safely say that after playing it for sometime it didn’t really do anything for me. Is it meant to look retro? because it is too polished to look like some Atari polygonal game.

    Just a bit too much blob to here, do it faster than the AI, blob here, screw the AI over with meteor showers. So no, I won’t buy it. At least I tried it though.

  8. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    /me wants Multiwinia on Linux, like the rest of Introversion’s games…

  9. Sam says:

    @Jason:
    A Linux version is in the works – however, the only thing you pay for is an authentication key, so you can just download the linux demo when it becomes available and use an existing auth key with it.
    And the Windows versions (Steam and non-Steam) work in Wine, with suitable sound settings. (I spent some time debugging this myself, so I say this with some authority ;) )

  10. Kadayi says:

    You should definitely buy it James, because Darwinia alone is a quite charming game and well worth getting, esp at that price (£7 effectively). Personally I am quite fearful for our introversion chums as I get the impression they banked a little to heavily on Multiwinia hitting big and it just hasn’t lit up the charts as they expected. With so many big titles coming out atm and the massive amount of triple AAA advertising/coverage given over to FC2, FO3, Dead space, BIA:HH etc etc on sites, its easy for smaller titles to slip between the cracks and that seems to have been the case with Multiwinia.

    Also I’m of the opinion that they’d of probably have been better off selling the game as ‘Darwinia 1.01′ or 2.0 a bigger, better, stronger, faster..whatever Expanded Edition, adding a few more levels to the SP campaign (drawing off the Multiwinia developments) and fully incorporating the Multiplayer into the original as a key selling point. Selling a pure multiplayer edition on it’s own of an existing game was always going to be a case of diminishing returns in terms of likely audience interest. Selling an enhanced SP with MP opens up to a wider audience. Certainly now that’s what they are pushing through Steam with this deal, but they’ve arrived at it by necessity, rather than intention.

  11. teo says:

    I thought their complaining about the game’s sales was quite pathetic. If they run a certain type of business that does certain types of games for a certain audience then it’s their job to make sure that it’s a viable thing to do. You shouldn’t buy their games because they ask you to, you should by them because they’re good games that you like.

    Maybe releasing a multiplayer RTS isn’t the smartest thing to do because a lot of people who play RTSes don’t touch the multiplayer. Edge won’t review your game? Well crying about it isn’t going to fix it.

  12. Dinger says:

    I can’t say it’s complaining. It’s more along the lines of being honest: this is an absolute nightmare for them.
    In spite of people like me who played the original demo and weren’t interested, a large number of those who played the demo did buy the game. So there is an audience out there that likes this sort of thing.

    All their other titles saw significant media coverage.
    But fall 2009 is not the ideal time to release a PC game of any size. The current console generation is reaching the “maturing” part of its cycle, where PC games start getting sexier again. And good lord — anyone look at the release schedule? I mean, who here has actually played a MP game of multiwinia, and what was your impression?

    For EA, if Mirror’s Edge tanks, they can absorb the loss with no problems. For a house with less than ten developers, losing a game can be catastrophic. It hurts more when those who play it seem to enjoy doing so.

  13. Down Rodeo says:

    Two Linux gamers? I’m shocked. Even more shockingly I have never picked up Defcon – perhaps now is the time to do it.
    I’m not sure about the Multiwinia purchase… Perhaps later. At the moment, this laptop couldn’t handle it. As such there is little point in me purchasing, but perhaps as a little Christmas present to myself when I’m back home would be the thing to do.
    I did like Darwinia however: very cute, rather fun too. I enjoyed wandering around with a fully tooled-up squad, launching rockets and bombing runs with wild abandon. And multiplayer is very nearly always good, no matter what John Walker says.

  14. lobsterjohnson says:

    Expanded demo will work in the long run I think.

    People are still playing the fucking Quake 3 demo, and they probably will even after Live.

    This game deserves to be a staple, and for the price of a trip to the movies you’re helping to build that foundation.

    It’s not putting money directly into Introversion’s pocket but you can at least grab the demo and play with us for a few years while you make up your mind.

  15. reaver says:

    Excellent news.
    The XBLA version isn’t out yet so if they’re worried I don’t know why. It feels like it’d be more at home there than on PC, and there’s no Company of Heroes etc to compete with it.

  16. Kadayi says:

    Ah so it was EDGE that refused to review them then? I was kind of curious about that. EDGE are pretty picky about what they review though, and they don’t review all the titles that get released by far given they cover all formats. I agree that there is little point whining about it though, and it certainly won’t do them any favours with EDGE in future.

  17. James G says:

    Well I went ahead and brought it. It will probably be a while before I can actually play it though, as I have to prepare my third-year talk for my PhD so free time is at a low. (Procrastination however it at a high, hence why I’m doing things like writing on here and ordering games on Steam. I almost ordered Fallout 3 to give me something to faff over, despite the fact I wasn’t fond of Oblivion and can get it for £10 cheaper on Play.com) I’m also playing the Witcher at the moment, and have a few games on the Wii that I really need to get back to.

    Is anyone else ever tempted to take a week off just to catch up on all the games they mean to play.

  18. Sam says:

    @Dinger: I’ve played a multiplayer game of Multiwinia – in fact, it was the first proper game of Multiwinia I played, after the tutorials. (This is mainly because I’d been debugging the issues with Multiwinia on Linux in the #multiwinia IRC channel, so there was an obvious way to test it…)
    It’s okay, but very very hectic, although my impressions are also skewed by it being my first proper game and all.
    It’s worth noting that I’ve not managed to have another multiplayer game since, players and hosting games being so thin on the ground.

  19. teo says:

    @Kadayi no I’m just assuming it was Edge because it seemed like they were implying it was

  20. Larington says:

    “Is anyone else ever tempted to take a week off just to catch up on all the games they mean to play.”

    During Nov-Jan? – Absolutely, after that I’ve forgotten about all the games I was intending to buy previously and start picking up games on budget out of sheer boredom.

  21. RLacey says:

    I’ll confess that I bought this Steam deal yesterday, but I’m still not entirely convinced by the game yet. That said, £7 for it and Darwinia (even if I already have the latter in boxed form) seems like a reasonable deal.

  22. Kadayi says:

    Ah ok. It wouldn’t surprise me though. However EDGE isn’t all that, they’ve just handed a 10 to a ‘game’ that’s going to be either gathering dust on most peoples PS3 shelves, or filling up the GAME second hand bin in a months time. A much overrated magazine imho.

  23. Cooper says:

    The recent release of the Dedicated server (fan-made with help from Introversion, as with Defcon) and the multiplayer aspect of the new demo has massively increased the chance of being able to find a game at any one time.

    I just hope that the deom players convert to purchases. Defcon had a massive problem, in that the demo allowed multiplayer, but without enough limitations to really make it worth buying the full game…

  24. M_the_C says:

    This recent Weekend deal finally convinced me to buy it. Despite the fact I already have a disc version of Darwinia.

    Before it was just too much for me to justify the price.
    Also bought The Ship at the same time for the same reason.

  25. qrter says:

    <blockquoteAh so it was EDGE that refused to review them then?

    Looks like it was PC Gaming? I don’t know. There’s a pic under the original blog (in the comments section, I mean).

    http://forums.introversion.co.uk/introversion/viewtopic.php?t=1528

  26. qrter says:

    Ah bugger. There’s the lovely preview-thingy and I still made a silly boo-boo.

  27. teo says:

    well the post here at RPS said it was a multiplatform mag
    or at least they thought it was

  28. Kismet says:

    I bought the game on release day and loved it. There are plenty of maps and different modes to play to potentially keep the player interested for a while and the mechanics are solid.

    It’s important though to approach the game with the right mindset: it’s the kind of game that should make you laugh when you loose, getting angry because your opponent picked a lucky crate and changed the outcome of the battle is not probably the best way to experience Multiwinia.

    With standard server settings, I think there’s enough space for players-determined outcomes, with crates bona there only mainly to make sure no one can feel absolutely sure to win until the end. Changing server settings, it’s possible to reduce presence/effectiveness of crates or doing the exact opposite: the latter seems more popular than the former, so if you found some exceedingly chaotic game I invite you to persevere and check some other server (it’s possible to setup passworded server too, so should anyone like to have a game with other RPSers for a laugh, just check RPS Steam Group chat room).

    It may be too arcadey for those living of Supreme Commander only (which I love too, by the way) and too fast for those familiar with the single player side of RTS games only, but for anyone else, I think it’s a game worth checking.

  29. DarthS says:

    Having just played the demo I kinda like it, but not enough to run out and buy it (even with the deal).

    Having just finished the excellent World of Goo and with FarCry 2 on the way I’ve hardly the time. But besides Multiwania being a good fun game, it simply isn’t interesting enough as an indie title to get me excited over it, and it suffers for the comparison to the spark and imagination of WoG.

  30. liquidindian says:

    I’m a wee bit disappointed – though not quite at the AIM stage – by the way I don’t get an extra copy of Darwinia to give away via Steam after buying this, in the same way as those who bought The Orange Box were able to. It would have been a great way to spread the word about Introversion, wouldn’t it?

  31. Tei says:

    Again: The game browser is crappy. It reset your setting if you exit (wtf!?), and therese no lobby chat.
    I like the game. Quick strategy deathmatching.

  32. Pags says:

    Does anyone else get the impression that sometimes this game just wants to kill you?

  33. Optimaximal says:

    The XBLA version isn’t out yet so if they’re worried I don’t know why.

    Agreed – it just sounds like they were expecting mega sales based on hype and/ore previous uptake of their products and it just never happened.

    It’s completely lacking in the style & charm that made Darwinia, isn’t complex enough under the hood to ape Chaos and just doesn’t seem to have had its multiplayer thought out. Actually, it seems like it was designed from the ground up for XBLA then brought over to PC for money making reasons.

    It’s important though to approach the game with the right mindset: it’s the kind of game that should make you laugh when you loose, getting angry because your opponent picked a lucky crate and changed the outcome of the battle is not probably the best way to experience Multiwinia.

    That’s the problem though – because someone hosts the game, they just quit if they start losing.

  34. Kadayi says:

    @Qrtr

    That was an issue of losing a front cover rather than not reviewing the game, though if they ballsed up the post ‘discussion’ with the magazine I could see them being permanently snubbed as a result. I don’t buy PCgaming though so I’m unsure whether they haven’t covered it.

    What I was referencing was Chris comments in this recent blog post:-

    http://forums.introversion.co.uk/introversion/viewtopic.php?t=1775

    and this comment:-

    “Of the reviews we have arranged with websites and magazines, less than 20% of them have been published at this time. One british games magazine has declined to review Multiwinia at all – ever.”

    I was responding to teos post as he/she seemed to be sure it was in fact EDGE that had said ‘thanks, but no thanks’.

    Personally having ruminated upon it all a bit more today. I’m not entirely convinced the demise of Introversion might not be a bad thing at the end of the day. Chris Delay is quite clearly a very talented designer and I don’t think he’d lack for attractive job offers from larger development houses at the end of the day. However I’ve never been entirely convinced that either Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee are entirely necessary for the equation to work, and that good fortune (Valve putting Darwinia on Steam) more than good management is what’s kept them afloat so far. Every company naturally needs admin/support staff, but Introversion seem more than a little top heavy in that department given their low numbers:-

    http://www.introversion.co.uk/aboutus.html

    Less chiefs, more indians.

  35. qrter says:

    Ah, I see..

    I enjoyed Darwinia, personally I just have no interest at all in a multiplayer version.

    In fact, thinking about it, I’m not really interested in any more Darwinia content. It’s a great, quirky game, but it’s a one-off, for me.

  36. Shawny D says:

    Fucking awesome game…to put it bluntly on the Internets. Picked it up this morning and loving it. Heck, I only played a little of the multiplayer, playing mostly the SP, which I don’t think was made well known enough.

    If people are intimidated to play against others online, you can easily play this in SP against the CPU and still have a ton of fun. Highly recommend. STEAM has this and Darwinia packaged together for 9.99 USD, probably close to double if you’re across the pond(as if our toilet paper is better then your toilet paper)

  37. x25killa says:

    Paid for it. Just a shame it has to fight against all other decent PC games being released in the xmas rush. At least the price is cheap for what you getting :)

  38. Heliocentric says:

    This game had it came out with darwinia would have recieved a massive game spooge. It didn’t it was years too late. Between company of heroes (intimate combat) and supreme com (epic with econo-tastic dirt farming) thq have this wrapped up.

    Sure these are more complicated, but they are less spastic too. In coh i set up an at gun at a bridge it’ll shoot at tanks that cross the bridge. These choices do not exist in multiwinia.

    Been playing brothers in arms(eib), so much meaning in those units and that terrain. That meaning is not in this game.

  39. Heliocentric says:

    I mentioned thq because most of their recent games are on impulse soon.
    But thq are not people that demand the disc in the drive so its not a massive deal. Oddly in the list of games in full spectrum warrior which is already available for free.

  40. noom says:

    I did actually buy this after the original demo did charm me with its retro-flavoured chaos, despite being somebody that rarely enjoys RTS games. I face the same problem with this that I do with many online games though, in that I’m sure I’d enjoy it 20 times more playing against friends rather than intraweb strangers.

    Mebbes getting a few games going on the RPS Steam group would be a good way to enjoy it more. Ima head over there now infact and have a see. I am fairly awful at it, so if anybody’s up for an easy victory they should come along too.

  41. Jose says:

    I am an awful RTS player, i hoped to be a bit better with multiwinia.

    Of course i was wrong. But with MW at least i feel i can get better.

    I hope the best to Introversion. You should have released a

  42. jackflash says:

    For $9.99 I bought it mainly just to get the original Darwinia, which I wanted to go back and play. The Multiwinia demo never did it for me, though. I can’t stand having to hold down the mouse to create a circle just to select units. It’s so freaking annoying and makes it just feel like a game designed to be played on a console.

  43. Shadowcat says:

    Good stuff Introversion, getting a multiplayer demo out. Even better move with the LAN option. That’s an awesome way of getting people keen on it. I’m not a competitive multiplayer fan for the most part, but even I’m tempted to get a copy just in the knowledge that I could set up any game type at a LAN meet, and anyone there could join in. Could make for some quick fun sessions between more involved games. I’m not sure I like it enough to buy yet, but I’ll definitely be trying the demo the next time I get togther with some friends.

    Incidentally, I base this decision on having now tried the single-player, which was a feature so un-advertised that I didn’t even know it existed when the first demo came out, despite that demo not having any multiplayer options.

    Final note: Why oh why do you do price-drops on Steam but not on your own site?! $10 is tempting, but Steam is such a pain. I’d happily give that money directly to you, but the game is more expensive on your own site :/

  44. Shawny D says:

    @jackflash

    I agree, I didn’t like holding down the mouse to make a radius, just like most Console RTS, but after an hour or so I actually like it a lot. It does grow on ya, as it did for me. Although I would rather select units by the traditional way, I’m pretty sure they did this since most of the battles don’t require a lot micro management. Setting your officers to tell the other Darwinians where to go takes care of most of the “go here” issues.

    Also, they probably made this decision since this is coming out for Xbox 360, so I would imagine that had something to do with it, to keep it all the same. Maybe they’ll patch in the traditional unit selection method for PC, I don’t think that would be much of a problem though.

  45. Tei says:

    holding down the mouse to select units fit how darwinia world work. is a game about moving a mob, individual units are not important.. so it make sense.

    put that control scheme in a tanks game, and I will hate you

  46. MeestaNob! says:

    Same as many above – have no interest in multiplayer for this but as it comes with both games for half price I see no reason to give it a try. I might like it.

  47. Erlam says:

    “However EDGE isn’t all that, they’ve just handed a 10 to a ‘game’ that’s going to be either gathering dust on most peoples PS3 shelves, or filling up the GAME second hand bin in a months time.”

    Which game was that?

  48. Kadayi says:

    @Erlam

    This is going to go hideously OT now, but you did ask:-

    Little Big Planet. The concept is awesome, but user made content is generally 99% utterly ill conceived trash most of the time, as any perusal of The Sims or the Movies websites will testify. Now that’s not to say giving people these tools is bad, far from it; its entirely worth it because 1% will take those tools and make something fantastic, and I’m all for the democratisation of creativity. But simply giving someone a paintbrush won’t magically transform them into Michelangelo over night. The legerdemain to LBP lies in the fact that the levels included in the game have been polished and honed over months and months by the games designers using serious man hours. How much of your spare time do you think you’re realistically going to need to set aside to achieve vaguely comparable results? 2 hours? 4 hours? 260 hours? All to make a 5 minute long console locked 2D platform level? Most people will have great ambitions (enthusiasm over thought) initially, but when cruel reality kicks in then the appeal will rapidly wear off.

    There’s a common misconception that design is something that comes upon one in the moment much like poetry (looks at Keiron), but the reality is all good design comes through the application of 3 core principals, Concept (the theme), Components (the individual elements that relate to the theme) and composition (the relationship of those components to each other and as a reflection/transmitter of the theme.). Enthusiasm tends to centre around Theme (OMG let’s make an Indiana Jones level!!!) and components (Woo Hoo!! Rolling Boulders!!!), but generally fails when it comes to composition (No!!! the steps are way too big, shit so is the rest of the Tower…damn it…) without serious forethought and planning.

  49. Ed Borden says:

    I agree it’s bad timing for them in the face of all of these monster games out right now. I’m totally enamored with FC2 right now that I wouldn’t look twice at Multiwinia if I didn’t know.

    I happen to just have played through Darwinia, though, loved it, but I haven’t gotten to Multiwinia yet. For $10, you’ve got to just grab it up — such a great dev

  50. RabidZombie says:

    The game is great fun.
    I think Introversion’s biggest problem was that they set it in the Darwinia universe. This creates the unfortunate problem of the game sounding like it’s like Darwinia. It isn’t.

    I also have to stress that, as somebody who doesn’t enjoy the RTS genre that much, Multiwinia is a blast. I’m terrible at the whole resource management, and the ridiculously quick structure building. Absolutely useless. Multiwinia strips the RTS genre down to it’s bare minimum, and makes it pure fun, and very easy to get into. And if you’re not good at the strategy bit, either, you can play some mindless King of the Hill. Rocket Riot and Blitz is for me though.

    Also, Tei, there is lobby chat now (and has been for a while), the settings DO save (and always have), and what’s wrong with the browser?

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