“So, like, SpyParty, WTF?” IndieCade 2014 Talk

I gave a talk yesterday at IndieCade 2014 about the state of SpyParty. It was titled “So, SpyParty, like, WTF?”  There have always been a fair number of questions about the length of time the game is taking to develop, and how that impacts the impression people (and by “people”, I mean me & John, current and prospective players, and the press) have of the game, how I’m funding a game that takes this long to make, etc.  I wanted to talk about these topics and how I see them.

Topics include:

  • the various types of fatigue experienced by us developing the game, players hearing about and playing the game, and the press covering the game’s development
  • financials, including some estimates of how much the game has cost to make so far1
  • how much longer, what’s left to do, etc.

It was wide ranging, and I could have talked for hours about the past 5 years of my life, but I think it turned out okay and has some hopefully-useful information it.


  1. which I’m kind of in denial about []


  1. Doug Sharp says:

    Wonderful talk, Chris. I wish I could play SpyParty. I’m proud of you for creating such an brilliant game.

  2. Epona says:

    On Animalia we had about 30 people doing the equivalent amount of work your team of 2 has been doing for the last few years. A HUGE amount of animations, playthroughs, tweaking, retweaking, lighting, texturing, aaaarrgggghhh so much work. 

    And it’s just you guys doing what it took 30 of us to do! That doesn’t even take into account the design work (we had insane time restraints and nooooo budget, but the benefit of working in an episodic television format). 

    What you’re doing is bloody impressive, has been during the whole of SpyParty’s development, and I’ll continue supporting you guys through release. 

    Thank you for being awesome. 

  3. Great talk Chris. I love it when devs bare it all and talk about even their detailed financials. I took a super-long time making Natural Selection 2, although I never thought of making that graph showing what the ACTUAL work was like! Cuts right to the heart of it.

    I do think Minimum Viable Products can work great in games though. They don’t have to have crap art or aesthetics, it’s really about realizing what the core of your game/product is, where if you removed any more, it would stop functioning, or no longer have the “spirit” of what you’re building. I think you’re right that it becomes a lot harder with an aesthetic experience like a game though.

    Keep up the incredible and inspiring work man!

    • checker says:

      Thanks Charlie! Yeah, I think if you define Viable the right way for the game you can make an MVP that’s true to the aesthetics, it’s just not very Minimal according to most observers, so I’m not sure the concept has much value at that point. But, certainly, I agree you want to ship as early as you can, especially for an Early-Access compatible game, like a competitive multiplayer game. I’m just very lucky the game got fun so early so I could do that, often that doesn’t happen until closer to the end. Of course, then you have the fatigue issues, which I talk about in the lecture, but on balance I still think it’s a win if you can do it.

  4. Peter says:

    Will you marry me?

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