Darwinia + Multiplayer = Multiwinia (Updated)

Independent UK-based developer Introversion made big waves with its second title Darwinia, the highly stylized real-time strategy game set in a virtual world. Darwinia only supports one player, but Introversion today announced that it is currently developing a followup multiplayer version of the game, fittingly entitled Multiwinia. Introversion core team member John Knottenbelt will head up the game as lead designer, as company creative director Chris Delay focuses elsewhere, presumably on Introversion's next original title.

"We've always known that Darwinia would naturally evolve into an incredible multiplayer game and right from day one I'd had visions of massive Darwinian armies converging for the ultimate Darwinian death-fest," said Delay. "Multiwinia will be a great game, not only for those who knew and loved Darwinia, but also for complete newcomers."

Multiwinia will feature its own new set of game modes and levels spanning cooperative and competitive play. The game's distinctive and attractive flat-textured visual style will be retained, though various technical upgrades are in the works for the graphics. New gameplay additions include the ability to group Darwinians into large ranked units, focusing and intensifying their firepower in a given direction while leaving their ranks and rear vulnerable. "It's going to get pretty messy, requiring a whole new set of tactical skills from the gamer," said Knottenbelt.

Introversion did not announce an expected release period for Multiwinia.

Update: Introversion confirmed to Shacknews that it is planning a 2008 release for Multiwinia. A company representative indicated that the studio is interested in again using Valve's Steam platform for its distribution but does not yet have any definite plans in that area.