Be Beside The C-Side: Darwinia Source Code

Happy=HP=HP Sauce. Does that work? No, clearly not. I'm going to write a new title line gag. And it doesn't even fit! Man! I suck!
Lewie, when marching into the purely-conceptual RPS office to deliver his beautiful Bargain Bucket also brings news that Introversion have made their source code for Darwinia and Multiwinia available. For thirty quid at the Introversion store you gain access to the full source code to nose at and mod to your heart’s delight, the ability to add your own branches to share, access to the dev-forum. Also, there’s going to be a meta-server for Multiwinia. I have no idea what that means. I hope it means there’s a superpowered server. That’d be amazing. Anyway – good news, I think. Those interested can buy here.


  1. Nova says:

    I get the impression that they are in need of money. No wonder since Multiwinia apparently flopped and a release of Subversion still seems far off.

    • scoopsy says:

      I agree this seems like an bad financial omen for Introversion.

      However, as a developer, I’d love to see this business model catch on. I can understand protecting art assets to a certain degree, but it’s hard to imagine there’s any competitive advantage in the Baldur’s Gate or Populous source code at this point. Seems like a logical revenue stream.

    • Andreas says:

      i think you’re reading a lot into this. They did it with Uplink, seems natural to do it with Darwinia too.

    • NukeLord says:

      Yeah, I think they’ve been planning to do this for quite a while. They mention releasing source code for all their games in the future, on their blog.

    • Nova says:

      Ok, didn’t no they’ve done that before.
      But I still wonder how they manage to survive as a small indie company (they are a little bigger than your usual indie if I recall correctly) if Multiwinia really was a flop. The more so as it was released in 2008 and before that Defcon in 2006. Do they still live on the success of Darwinia?

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      Darwinia was a mega success, and you’re forgetting that all indies start from nothing in the first place – they’re not big high maintenance companies

    • DrGonzo says:

      I get the impression with Introversion that any new game they make has the risk of sending them out of business due to how small a company they are.

      Bought their pack in the Steam sale but it will take me a long while to get round to it. I’m very excited to play Defcon. Does anyone still play that online?

    • Heliosicle says:

      Also, Introversion recently released Darwinia+ on XBLA, which probably drew some more money in.

    • medwards says:

      As of 2 years ago people still played Defcon, but they were fucking sick hardcore at it. Practice *a lot* and by now some of the common strategies may be nicely formatted into a PDF somewhere (like creating in-the-air bomber queues)

    • Tertiee says:

      “The sales of Darwinia + have thus far met the expectations of the team. Mark explained they couldn’t reveal the exact figure as Microsoft put such data within an NDA. It has provided them with enough funding to continue with their next project, Subversion.”

      link to

    • Bret says:

      Well, that’s good news. Very good news indeed.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nathan says:

      It’s worth noting that that was from a talk given all of a week after Darwinia+ got its XBLA release. I don’t know how much the sales have tailed off since (it was apparently on promotion a couple of weeks ago), but they might no longer be selling as well as projected?

  2. Red Avatar says:

    Multiwinia was a bad buy by me since no players could be found online. I hope they stick to single player games in the future because those don’t rely on others to play and enjoy.

  3. bakaohki says:

    Hope someone now will be able to implement the terribly complex algorithm called “path finding”…

    • Colthor says:

      Or even decent keyboard binding. I’ve got Multiwinia, but it’s impossible to play with a Dvorak layout, and switching’s a PITA.

      Interestng thing to do, and as (almost) always, I hope it does Introversion some good.

    • cliffski says:

      are you suggesting path finding is simple to program?

    • qx says:

      Or a volume slider.

    • bakaohki says:

      @cliffski: A* search algorithm is not rocket science; I know that “so many things” in Darwinia are “by design”, but probably that’s why I never liked the game in the first place.

    • Mo says:

      @bakaohki: yes, AStar is a relatively simple algorithm, but making it performant is not trivial. That said, I’m sure someone will manage it. I’m sure IV could manage it too, but as you said, it was a design decision they made.

    • Dr. Derek Doctors, DFA says:

      Pathfinding a large number of units around a dynamically-changing 3D world is non-trivial; doing it between game ticks is *highly* non-trivial, and Chris Delay has admitted that he was never happy with his pathfinding architectures. Perhaps someone can go in and rebuild the design, but that’s basically a full-time job’s worth of work, and if you can do AI programming at that level on an existing codebase you didn’t write, then Bioware’s hiring….

    • Tei says:

      I am not game programmer, and I know the perils of the word “easy” (everyone understand different things, and is poison you end drinking yourself), but A* don’t seems like a hard algorithm to code. Maybe a bit easier than bubblesort.
      You create a grid (a matrix). Trivial. You check every tile. Trivial. Wen a tile is next to a target, the weight is 1. Wen a tile is next to a tile with weight 1, is weight is 2. You finish wen all tiles have weight. Trivial. To move characters, you select the nearest tile with less weight, and move the character towards this tile (ideally, one of the 8 tiles inmediatelly connected). Easy. Done.

      I am tempted to post this anonymous, since I know this post is probably stupid. But I will post anyway with my nick.

    • Tei says:

      ooops… sorry. I sould have read all comments before posting.

    • Tei says:

      Since are simple matrix computing. Can’t the GPU calculate these data?. Maybe AI can be written in shader scripts. In this day and ages, is shocking that you game programmers guys, have limits in the CPU. The CPU has like godlike powers nowdays.

      I dunno.

  4. Ragnar says:

    No mention on that purchase page as to what license you get the source code under. The value of the source code depends quite a lot on the license.

  5. Dreamhacker says:

    Any links to the Uplink source? That’s what I’m interested in, Darwinia is more of an bland 3D tech demo compared to Uplink’s haunting vision of more-glamorous-than-real-life hacking (imo).

  6. Travis says:

    I don’t know their state now, but anyone who wants some insight into Introversion’s financials might want to read this blog from 2008: link to

  7. ynbniar says:

    There are always a few new players and especially so just now with the Steam sale…apart from that there are maybe 12-24 hard core players.

    As such it can be difficult to get into since if you play the hardcore players they will win easily, however it is worth it, Defcon is a game that is worth the effort…check out the IV Defcon forum for some game tips.

  8. Simon says:

    Thats 2 years old, I think their financial status has improved a bit since, mainly due to their game on Xbox.

  9. Kieran says:

    @Dreamhacker: Curious as to what you mean by ‘tech demo’ in this case.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      The way it uses 3D looks a lot like something made by someone just learning to do 3D programming. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it wasn’t what I was looking for (or looking to pay for).

    • Dan Milburn says:


      Surely that’s the precise opposite of what people usually mean when they accuse a game of being a ‘tech demo’? This is most often aimed at Id or Crytek when they release games with state of the art graphics engines but less than compelling gameplay.

      If the game has primitive charmingly retro graphics, then no, of course that isn’t what people will be interested in getting the source code for. If you don’t like the game itself then fair enough, but why not just say that?

  10. bil says:

    I rather enjoyed Darwinia, but I got the impression Multiwina was multiplayer only so I skipped it. Did it have single player?

    • Alex says:

      @bil: Only in that you could play against bots – no Darwinia-like campaign or anything.

  11. The Unshaven says:

    You can play against AIs, and I had fun with that. Did that more than multi.

    – The Unshaven

  12. Henry Turner says:

    Ian Dury quote in the headline for the win. That was on the back of ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’, wasn’t it?

    /30 years or more since i last heard that track, showing my age :(

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Oh, man. I wish I was that cool. I just meant it as a reference to the traditional “Oh, I do like to be beside the sea-side”.


  13. Ryan says:

    Please please please tell me this means someone will make a native linux version of Mutliwinia.. Although if it’s out for the XBLA that means it uses DX which means someone will have to convert the whole thing over to openGL, but there’s gotta be some angel of a person out there willing to do it :)