Hey, you! Boot up your PlayStation®3 (PS3™), log onto the PlayStation®Network, and buy the just-released Slam Bolt Scrappers!  Not only because it’s a crazy and fun mashup of Tetris and Super Smash Bros. made by a bunch of super cool indie developers, but also because the Fire Hose Games guys are totally amazing for letting SpyParty crash in their booth at PAX East 2011!

We had an exhausting but great time at PAX East 2011.  Like the experience at PAX West 2010, we started out without much of a line, but then it grew by word-of-mouth until there was a really long wait to play.  The good news is this gave people time to read the updated manual; the bad news is lines are a drag, so I’m going to try to come up with a plan to reduce the problem at PAX West 2011.

First up, a video of a couple right after the Spy wins.  I really need to figure out how to preserve this level of communication and decompression after a match when the two people aren’t across a table from each other:

Next, a tense newbie game.  The Spy gets shot in this one:

And finally, a giant pile of pictures.

A few things to look for here:



  1. John says:

    It was really great to finally play the game. I made it a point to chat with you a bit sir and shake your hand, as yes I am a fan. As a complete and utter newbie to the game it was difficult to be the Sniper more so than the Spy, or at least it felt like it. I tried camping on either the statues or the bookshelves (as it was too tough for me to spot anything else) but simply was not aware enough and ended up in a draw against my competitor. It was a great atmosphere and yes, the lines (as you tweet’d) were a tad crazy…though I personally would have them be “crazy” than non-existent.
    Also, Slam Bolt Scrappers is tons of fun! I don’t remember his name but one of the guys sat on the Cannon Fodder panel as was not only really cool but he was a wealth of knowledge about games.
    Thanks for all the time and effort, it’s much appreciated.

    • checker says:

      It’s interesting, different people find different roles more challenging.  I tried a new thing at PAX East, which was having the players both do Spy Practice Mode at the same time first to get a feel for the controls, and to save my voice, and I think that actually tipped the balance in the favor of the Spy, whereas at PAX West, the Sniper had an advantage due to people standing in line watching but without the ability to practice the Spy.  I still need to process the metrics so I can see if this is true, but it seemed like it anecdotally.

      That was Eitan Glinert, the head of Fire Hose.  He’s awesome.  I slept on an air mattress in his living room.  :)

  2. Squishy says:

    Hi Chris, I don’t know if you were aware but you got a bit of coverage on GT.TV yesterday. They did a small segment on Indie games and showed Spy Party. It was recent footage because it showed the small balcony level. I got all excited and was saying to my wife “that’s the game I keep telling you about” :)

    Thanks for the PAX coverage.

    • checker says:

      They told me there was going to be a short thing, but I haven’t seen it yet.  It doesn’t look like it’s on the web yet?

      Speaking of, Jonathan Blow, Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, and I are going to be on the Bonus Round in April sometime.  It was taped at GDC.

    • justin says:

      checker: Speaking of, Jonathan Blow, Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, and I are going to be on the Bonus Round in April sometime.  It was taped at GDC.

      hey, man! that’s cool! hope that guy geoff keighley wasn’t a fucking dick! make sure to post a link when its up though!

      happy you could find a spot at pax with the fire house guys… good luck with the game!
      also the girls from the two adjacent booths were cuute! and the fire fighter in picture 11 is on fire: ohh baby!1!

      capcha: answer spy

    • checker says:

      Geoff was great, and the conversation was interesting, so I can’t wait to see it!

  3. Rene says:

    For a non face-to-face, online match, a great way to have some conversation (and a little break) after each match is to display a few performance metrics for the players to read through. Something like “The Sniper really took his time.” or “The Spy is paranoid (checks his watch too often)”.

    Games like Worms and Goldeneye (N64) have included something like this and it worked really well. We would always laugh about these between rounds.

    • checker says:

      Yeah, I already display the quantitative information and was going to do more of that kind of thing, but that’s a great idea to do a kind of silly qualitative analysis as well!

  4. Christian Cassara says:

    I’ve been following your game for a long time now–I love the idea of “psychological” warfare. I really enjoyed the two times I played it at PAX east. In my second round, I had my scope on the spy for about 15 seconds before the round ended, but I was too focused to consider the time. I don’t recall if the time is available to the sniper at all? I personally felt less tense playing the spy, and found that if I just relaxed and took my time doing the obstacles, with short periods of walking around aimlessly, it was going to be really hard for the sniper to discover me. As the sniper though, I found it really difficult to find any obvious tells, though I imagine once you get an idea of all the possible animations, and how the AI is supposed to look it becomes easier. Either way, it’s nice to see your game progressing. I look forward to future demos.

    • checker says:

      Yeah, the time is in the corner of both player screens, it’s just most people are overwhelmed with information their first couple plays.  Some day I’ll try to gather some data on who thinks which role is more and less stressful.  :)

  5. That TF2 Spy Chick says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize just how many people came to see SpyParty. I’m so glad I found the Beta announcement on Kotaku, and that that led me to this page. I must say, from what I played at PAX I am really excited about this game. It’s wonderful to see SpyParty get all this media attention, it deserves it. As someone who aspires to be a programmer, seeing someone think outside the box and create a unique project, which then gets mobs of fans at a convention, is a real inspiration. Also, I must admit, I get a kick out of having my picture up here (I still have one of those blue booklets!). I also get a bigger kick out of seeing SpyParty go to Beta; I heard rumors that development had almost slowed to a crawl, so it’s great to see progress. Man, did I fill out that early-Beta-access sign-up fast. Anyway, keep being awesome!

    • checker says:

      Hah! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! I love the outfit and those pictures. :) Development slowed to a crawl because I was heads-down in this server stuff for the beta. I can’t wait to actually work on the game proper again.

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