SpyParty @ GDC 2010, Prelude

I am still barely functional after a long GDC, but I playtested the heck out of  SpyParty at the show, and I took a bunch of pictures of everybody playing, so I’ll be posting those soon.   In the meantime, here’s a teaser:

Jonathan Mak plays while Daniel Benmergui and Petri Purho observe.

PS.  WordPress is totally fired for not allowing links in image captions without horrible hacks.  Here are their websites:  Jon, Daniel, Petri


  1. Xeon06 says:

    Can’t wait to see those and to hear more about the game!

  2. Naddan320 says:

    Teasersss ahghghgah

  3. aaaffff says:

    Does this game have a release date yet? It looks soooo good

  4. checker says:

    Thanks! No release date yet. It’s going to be a while, probably a couple years…I want it to be really high quality.

  5. John says:

    Dude I just read the Burch review @ Destructoid and I must say it’s AWESOME. A really great idea, I’m looking forward to the (not so far) release day. Keep up the good work!

  6. maria says:

    Hey, just ran across you on stumbleupon. It looks like a really sweet game. I’m down to play it when you’re all done.

  7. Alex says:

    Hiya, I also found this via stumble upon. This game has certainly formed a blip on my ‘to be watched’ radar. I look forward to being able to fire this up on my system in the future.

    Such a fantastic, simple and, as far as I can tell, truly original premise.

    All the best.

  8. Martijn says:

    Will there be any playtest able version soon ? I’d love to give it a test run for you !

  9. checker says:

    Not for a while, but I will definitely post when I need testers, thanks!

  10. Daniyl says:

    saw it on stumbleupon, however i must say im disappointed as i thought i would be pleased by the simple looking picture on destructoid… lemme play that please

  11. Victor says:

    I stumbledupon you and i must say i am very interested ion playing this game. It would be really cool if you released it as an indie game on the X Box. I would definitely buy it.

  12. Josh says:

    I am dying to play this game. It’s great to see someone focusing on all the little things that truly make a game enthralling. When I first read about SpyParty, I had a quick flashback of my favorite level from Mission: Impossible for Nintendo 64, where you’ve got to complete your tasks while blending in at an embassy function. And though I thought the NPCs were watching me like a hawk, I’m sure it pales in comparison to having a living person hunting for you.

  13. checker says:

    > Mission: Impossible for Nintendo 64

    Huh, interesting, I hadn’t heard about this one. I will have to check it out somehow. Thanks!

  14. Charlieee says:

    Hiya, which platforms are you planning to release it on?

  15. checker says:

    > Hiya, which platforms are you planning to release it on?

    It’s being developed on PC, so I’m sure it will eventually be available on PC, but I hope to have it on consoles as well, like XBLA and PSN. WiiWare could be an option as well if the HD Wii has enough horse power to animate this many characters on screen at once. I’m developing it with both keyboard and mouse and with console controllers so I don’t limit my options.

  16. Max says:

    I do contract Alpha and Beta work for Sony if you ever need someone with experience in the testing matter- Looks great so far, and I will be interested to see how it finally turns out!

  17. mark says:

    I take it this will be a online multiplayer game (kinda hard to have it splitscreen :P), will it support lan capabilities? ALso if you can answer this question so early on in the development, will this be peer to peer or designed with a server set up? (btw if you ever need a tester, I have experience working with multiple games and this one intrigues me)

    • checker says:

      It’s peer-to-peer, sort of. Well, it negotiates a peer connection, but then the spy always acts as the server, so as the players switch between spy and sniper, each game is client-server for sniper-spy. Not sure what will happen in the long run. It will need lots of testing over the real internet once I get NAT punchthrough working. Luckily, the design is quite robust in the face of latency.

  18. Nathan says:

    Stumbledupon your site. I love the sound of this game, more about subtlety and cleverness than doing things as fast as possible. Reminds a little of TF2, a spy can disguise as someone on the other team. Usually it only delays their shooting, but occasionally you can act like you think their character would act, and it’s so satisfying when it works. That looks like what this game is. Honestly, can’t wait.

  19. cc says:

    way to go, man!
    where is your donation button?

  20. John says:

    Hey, again, if you need playtesters I’d be happy to volunteer. Have playtested for Blizzard and Mythic. Great idea, am fascinated.

  21. Nick Mendoza says:

    I love the idea for Spyparty. Its brilliant and has loads of potential. I am aware, that this game is still in early development, but I just got so excited thinking about it, that I wanted to suggest some ideas, that maybe youve already thought of yourself, or maybe not. While the 1 v 1 idea sounds fun, I was thinking of making a little deeper. Obviously, this wont be a one room game forever. As you said, you want to make it cover entire mansions. So why not have a team of lets say 5 spys, versus a team of 5 comprised of 2 or 3 snipers and 2 or 3 seekers. The snipers tasks would be the same. But seekers in the game would be searching for the spies from within the party itself. Adding a little cat and mouse game. Seekers could point out potential targets for the snipers and highlight them. The seekers could even take out spies themselves, if they can get them alone, where no one is watching. I just see loads of potential here, and it is a very out of the box idea. I hope everything works out and Im playing this within the next two years!

  22. Nathanael says:

    Just found out about this great project through Gizmodo/Kotaku.
    Added the RSS feed and am looking forward to everything you have to share with us in the future.

  23. Karthik says:

    Hey Hecker,

    I read some articles that others have posted about Spy Party and I am really interested. I think this is a brilliant idea and I am glad that this game is being made. I think this will definitely change people’s view on multiplayer, and it surely changed mine. I am wondering if you are willing to answer a few questions regarding the game I would like to ask. Also would be able to do a podcast? Please contact my email or post a reply. Good luck with the game and I can not wait to try this out. Hopefully you will be able to get it on PSN XBLA and WiiWare. That would be sick. Please get back to me when you can.


  24. Joe says:

    I came across this gem reading an article on gizmodo.com and became very interested! I’m a big fan of your work in Spore (IMO, the only thing that game had going for it was the creature creator!) and I’m a huge fan of board game-esque multi-player games because those provide the best quality entertainment. So please add me to any play-tester list!

    Also, what are your thoughts about making a 3 player mode? One spy, one sniper, one assassin? The spy does his thing, the sniper takes out the assassin, and the assassin takes out the spy? You could even do a 4 player mode where there are two snipers, one for the assassin and one for the spy… Oh man, that would be intense! Just an idea!

    Goodluck with this Chris and I will definitely be keeping on eye on you!

  25. Jason says:

    Saw this little gem off of Gizmodo and just listening to him describe how the game works had me foaming at the mouth. I love these kind of games. If I had the money atm I would definitely donate towards this cause. Even looking at the alphas you have up, I would love to get my hands on a working copy. Even if it’s not the prettiest (In my opionion gameplay surpasses graphics any day.). Also if you need a small army of playteseters (Over 150 active users) that all have playtested for a major game at one point and would enjoy this game. Our site is the website I listed. I’ll see if I can’t get attention brought to this game. And just like me, I’m sure they’ll love it to.

  26. Paul says:

    I always wanted to play the Mission Impossible level since I read about it years and years ago. Only remembered early last year when the suave Gravity Bone came out.

    I’ll be keep a close watch on this development the ideas are really exciting. Your suggestions of where you might take this, large mansion parties with lots of simultaneous, dynamic events… well wow.

    And I never played beyond a short go at the demo, but how do you feel this relates to something like The Ship that came out a few years ago?

  27. jordy says:

    Cause this game reminded me somewhat of the psychology of rock-paper-sciccor, ofcourse tis games seems much better then that, I did some research on that. What I found is that there is a World Championship for Rock-Paper-Sciccor and also tournaments with prize money.
    However to get to my point, an important part for the players in these tourneys is to prepare for there opponents by studying there statistics, like how many times do they throw a hand, in what order and what not. Also there is quite some psychology involved apperently, wich is quite interesting, plus people look for sign on what hand someone might throw, looking for twitches or tells, like I said it seems that RPS has some features in common with SpyParty.

    But well here is my point, since this game is about human psychology and trying to figure out your enemy and get under his skin, it would be cool if you could get some background information about how he plays.
    They way I imagined it is like this:

    Say you got statistics that a player over all his games has played 80% as a man, 70% as a white person, 17% as that or this specific character, 45% choose this goal etc…
    This could be well incorporated into your gameplan, and to not make it dry as in that you have too look into a chart with statistics before the game starts you could incorporate these kind if information into the party gast conversations, or something. And not in a direct way, wich would rune the atmosphere of the game, but more like subtle hints.

    The fun about this could be that, say that you do pick 80% of the times a male, your opponent will most likely need to watch male figures, but on the otherhand, you might just now throw him off and have choosen a woman. But then again, if you choose too many times a woman your statistics will drop and you’re lost you tool to manipulate with it. But then all together, maybe he’ll never pick up that specific clue…
    Could make for some fun meta-gaming maybe.

  28. jordy says:

    Rock-Paper-Sciccor translated to information could be as followed, tho a bit crooked;

    Knowing> Not Knowing

    Not Knowing> Falsely Knowing

    Falsely Knowing> Knowing

    For example:

    I choose to know his goal, if he picks for me to hide his goal I get to know his goal. If I don’t want to know his goal and he picks a false goal I win, cause I will obviously not be distracted by his attempt to mislead me. If I want to know falsely his goal and he picks me knowing his goal I win cause I will be presented with 2 goals 1 obviously false and the other true thus I both know his goal and wich kind of “action” he choose, namely for me to know his goal.
    Other way around, if he picks Knowing and make his goal available for me to see and I pick not to know he wins cause I don’t get to see his goal. If he picks not to show his goals and I pick to know falsely I loose cause I will be presented with a false goal. If he picks for me to Falsely know and I pick to know he wins cause I get presented with an false goal of his.

    Ofcourse goals can really be replaced with anything.

  29. Gay Davy says:

    What’s with the inverted pink triangle — is someone on your team having a good old Nazi laugh at the expense of homosexuals gunned down during the holocaust, or is this just a doozie of a gaffe?

    • checker says:

      Yikes, no, do you mean in the logo image at the top of the page? That’s a magenta triangle, and it’s the (prototype graphics) highlight for the Ambassador. There’s a green one and a yellow one too! You can see the others on the images page: http://spyparty.com/images/

      Thanks for the heads up, I’ll change it!

    • checker says:

      Okay, fixed! A little photoshop prestidigitation, and I’d been meaning to adjust the logo fade part as well so I did that at the same time.

      Thanks again for the heads up!

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