Voronoid is a multiplayer game of spatial dominance and aggression. Players must compete for control over an unpredictable, abstract playing field that changes with every passing moment. To emerge victorious, the winner must strike a balance between holding the high ground and strategically ramming her opponents into submission.
Voronoid is my attempt to tap into the primal aggression that manifests itself in competitive multiplayer games, distilled into a pure experience with a focus on gameplay over aesthetics.
The core movement and boosting mechanics were initially developed in a simple prototype, called TagNabIt, which I created while attending the DigiPen Institute of Technology, circa 2007. TagNabIt was a 2D, vector-graphics version of the playground game Tag, with one additional mechanic: each player had a limited supply of fuel, which recharged over time, that could be used to boost the player out of harm’s way (or to chase after another player, if that person was ‘It’). I discovered that this simple addition drastically heightened the intensity of the game by providing dozens of close calls. When playtesting among close friends, our inter-game dialogue mirrored the tension of the game with several sudden outbursts of profanity. The rate of acceleration from silence to utter profanity would put a Tesla Roadster to shame.
The unusual division of the playing field into cells of varying colors is implemented using a Voronoi diagram, which distributes the space surrounding a set of input sites in such a way that each cell contains all of the pixels that are closer to that site than to any other. Put another way, each white line segment on the playing field perfectly bisects the space between two sites. Voronoi diagrams are not terribly common in mainstream design and it’s rarer still to see one in motion, so the initial impression is somewhat unsettling, yet remarkably intuitive after interacting with it for short while. They are also highly unstable, since the appearance of a cell is dependent on the location of its neighbors, which lends itself well to a game in which the balance can be upset in a matter of moments.
Warning: Voronoid is a work in progress and currently only supports four players. Keyboard controls are available for solo players to experiment with, but you’ll need three other people and four Xbox 360 controllers for the full experience.
When playing on the PC, the triggers sometimes stop working for players 3 and 4. I’m currently working on a fix for this.