Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

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.

Gallery

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.

gallery2

Hopefully Toby won’t serve drinks out on the sidewalk. Going to have to add that to his AI.


Didn't like the dumpster? Fine, have a restaurant YOU CAN NEVER VISIT.

Didn’t like the dumpster? Fine, have a restaurant YOU CAN NEVER VISIT.

 

29 Comments

  1. theharribokid says:

    Toby should still come outside to serve drinks if requested I’d think, who is he to say no to his guests

    • checker says:

      I think this might be a cultural thing, but it’s usually illegal to serve (or hold) drinks on the sidewalk in the US, if it’s not fenced in. Plus, I think it’ll make for some interesting gameplay, potentially. I also have to make the partygoers like paintings more on this map, they’re ignoring the art!

    • Korey says:

      This actually never occurred to me.  You know, Las Vegas and all.  Also, in Paris you can drink wherever you want.  That was one of my favorite things about being there.

      I like the dumpster right near the entrance to the gallery.  It brings back a lot of memories.  Now all you need is a Duchamp reference.  I mean a toilet.  Stick a toilet in there somewhere.

    • checker says:

      Obviously I need to geolocate the player IP addresses and look up the local ordinances on public drinking and adjust the map rules accordingly. The dumpster and the cones were so I didn’t have to keep using the velvet ropes anytime there was a place you *should* be able to watch. No invisible walls!

    • Scallions says:

      When the Toby/drink stuff is implemented for the sidewalk for AI, should AI also not take the gallery’s books outside? It seems like guests could get away with doing so, but the gallery owners would probably frown on it. Or maybe guests would extremely rarely just forget the gallery’s rule and take a book outside, thus adding another layer to the sidewalk’s meta.

      I do love the potential meta of a whole section of map that spies can only use for time adds, chasing mission targets, and screwing with the sniper. In addition to the diminished focus on conversation all the other maps have, Gallery is looking very interesting.

    • checker says:

      Hmm, good point about books, I hadn’t thought about that…the system I’m going to do for this would allow that pretty easily, though.  I’ll have to think about it.

    • WarningTrack says:

      Re: dumpster. Wouldn’t it make a lot of sense to tweak the other end of the map slightly so it’s evident that the Sniper is looking in from the back? That would make what’s now the front a back alley, which a) explains the dumpster and b) makes more sense, canonically, because it’s out of the way and a safer place for the Sniper to be.

      I think something as simple as a closed door and/or window pane somewhere would do the trick.

    • checker says:

      It’s the front! There are dumpsters all over the place in The Big City.

    • WarningTrack says:

      Whoops, I think my use of the word “evident” was ambiguous: I was floating the idea that it be made into a back alley, along with ways to make that evident, rather than saying it already was and suggesting ways to make it evident. The sentence which precedes this one, by the way, went through like three drafts for clarity, and I’m still not sure it makes sense.

    • checker says:

      Now you’ve done it.  See above.

    • WarningTrack says:

      He looks so sad and empty. When you gaze long enough into a forbidden restaurant the forbidden restaurant also gazes into you.

      But seriously, this second drink-serving location will make my SpyParty fanfic about Toby far richer.

    • Korey says:

      Thanks for ruining it warningtrack.  Now it looks like your average French art gallery beside a restaurant instead of your average New York art gallery beside a dumpster.  This is why we can’t have nice things.  

      I jest, but only mildly.  I preferred the dumpster.

    • WarningTrack says:

      I’ve totally sabotaged the potential for a “Hide the Body” mission.

    • WarningTrack says:

      I forgot to reply seriously: I think the best argument is that all of these maps are supposed to involve swanky dinner parties, and a little sidewalk bistro gives off that vibe a little more than a dumpster, even though I’m sure those are all over Gotham, too.

      Of course, the dumpster *could* be intended as a memento mori. A thematic reminder of the juxtaposition between high-class soirée and brutal murder, like so many flies on the fruit in a Dutch Renaissance painting.

    • Korey says:

      And this was your serious reply?

  2. bl00dw0lf says:

    Someday this map needs a mod to change it to look like a Gamestop

  3. Korey says:

    How many times have we told you Toby?  You only serve drinks directly beside the priceless art which will be ruined if anything spills on it!  No serving to anyone in the waiting area!  I don’t want to have to find a new waiter, but if you don’t shape up, I promise I will!

  4. Alex says:

    Should we sign up for the news e-mail if we’re already subscribed to this RSS feed?

    I enjoy your updates and would prefer not to miss anything, but I’d also rather not get e-mails about things I’ve already read on this blog. I guess it depends on whether the e-mails will contain separate content, or just summarise/highlight key news.

  5. cleetose says:

    It seems the artists in the Spy Party universe are very minimalist. 

  6. EdwardR says:

    I know I am posting in the wrong place probadly, but will there be a giveaway, free registration day or something? I really want to play this game but I can’t pay due to my age and parents not trusting internet payment :C

    O rwill it be on steam anytime soon? That’d the only possible payment option for me, and I really want to play the game D:

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