I must face facts: I am not very good at sending out update emails to the SpyParty beta testers. When you sign up for the Early-Access Beta, you get put on the private “beta announcement” mailing list, which is where I’m supposed to send, well, announcements about the beta. However, the last mail I sent to that list was June 3rd, 2013, about load testing while the beta was still closed! I mean, there’s obviously such a thing as too much email, but one email per year is probably not it. I post in the private beta forums every day, and obviously I’m active here on the blog and on twitter and facebook, but everybody has a different way they like to get information so neglecting the mailing list is kinda dumb of me. Apparently I didn’t send mail about the new character art, or the new environment art, or the Panopticon level, or the Purloin Guest List mission, or any of that yummy stuff.
So, naturally, given my competence in this area, I’m going to start yet another mailing list! Hmm, I need a cute name for it…right now I’m just calling it the SpyParty News.
This new one doesn’t require you to be in the beta to subscribe, so if you’re holding off on joining the beta, but still want email updates on SpyParty, this is the list for you. You can see the place to enter your email address over there on the right side at the top of the sidebar. Oh, too far to move your eyes? Okay, here you go:
There’s more! I’m also going to start actually sending to these mailing lists a little bit more frequently. I’m going to shoot for one mail a month to this newsletter list and see if I can stick to that. Baby steps. Making indie games requires wearing a lot of different hats, and time management is not my strong suit, but hopefully I can handle sending out a mail every month talking about what cool stuff I worked on for the game. I think the mails to this newsletter list will be different from the mails to the beta announcement list, since the former is mostly for people who aren’t in the beta, while the latter can be more specific about build numbers and have links to the beta forum threads and whatnot in it. If you’re already in the beta, feel free to subscribe to the newsletter to receive more of my inspiring prose, but don’t feel like you must to avoid missing things if you actively check the forums and follow SpyParty on the social interwebs.
The other thing I’m going to do is add the 25k people who signed up for the closed beta but that haven’t joined yet, and who I haven’t emailed since the beta opened. These people expressed interest in the game, but if they don’t check the social media outlets or the blog manually, I’ve completely neglected to let them know what’s happening with SpyParty. I’m constantly seeing comments and tweets from people who don’t even know the beta is open and are pleasantly surprised to find it is; as I said in a GDC talk a couple years back: No One Knows About Your Game.
And if you made it this far, here’s a teaser image from the new map I’m working on, called Gallery, that should be out soon, maybe tonight if everything goes smoothly. The idea behind Gallery is to recreate one of those SOHO art gallery spaces, long and narrow, and the Sniper can only see in the end, so there’ll be a bunch of character-based-occlusion. It should be pretty different from the existing maps, which is in line with my goal of exploring the space of maps and missions.