Play the Fancy New Pub Map!

The latest build is up for your enjoyment, and contained within there’s a beautiful new map called Pub!

The new Pub level, playable now!

The new Pub level, playable now!

Pub was obviously inspired by the cool old pubs in London, with their flowers and patrons drinking a pint on the sidewalk. In fact, if you look at some of the reference images we used, they basically look just like SpyParty levels, complete with conversation circles and everything!

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To be true to this look, there are no conversation circles inside the Pub, they’re all out on the sidewalk. Inside, there are two statues, and window pads looking outside. There’s even a window pad looking inward where the window is open to the Sniper’s right, similar to the one you can see in the second reference image, and yes, you can flirt with somebody through the window!

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A Pint of Wells Banana Bread Beer, Barkeep!

Of course, once we have a pub, we need a bartender, so Toby got a second job, and a whole new behavior…

Toby works two jobs.

Toby works two jobs.

There’s no waiter on Pub, only the bartender, so to get a drink, you need to go to the bar and order it. This also means the Purloin Guestlist mission completely changes on this map. Before, the guestlist would be on Toby’s tray, and you’d steal it (or have somebody else steal it if you got a “green Action Test”) when he served you a drink. Now, it’s on the bar or in his pocket. You can either pick it up yourself, or choose to delegate the pickup to another guest by going into a conversation.

If you delegate, the NPC goes to order a drink and steal the list, so the Sniper has to think back to who was in which conversation and when and with whom, which adds a significant layer of subtlety to the mission.  SpyParty beta testers have even figured out that you can use the delegation to force the Ambassador to go to the bar, so you can get a fingerprint from the drinks later! It’s a good test for the upcoming “recommendations” feature I want to add. More on that later.

The other major gameplay change is some pathing and movement tuning to hopefully eliminate some of the “hard tells” associated with trying to move through congested areas. Time will tell how these pan out and if they help Spies not get shot in doorways.

Irene Adler

Some have asked about the name of the pub, The Irene Adler. My daughter and I are currently reading our way through the Complete Sherlock Holmes, and Irene Adler is an interesting character in one of the stories, A Scandal in Bohemia. It turns out Carole Nelson Douglas wrote some fun books from Irene’s point of view, so we’ve been reading those too. I figured, if Holmes gets a pub named after him in London (you can see it in the reference images above), Irene can have one too!

An Experiment

This build was actually a bit of an experiment with the beta process as well. Unlike previous new art maps, this time I didn’t release the ugly prototype version for public playtest. zerotka and I played it a bunch with internal builds, but I decided to try going straight to the finished art version for the public release. I would say this experiment was a bit of a failure, like I expected it to be. There’s incredible value in getting the prototype level out there for people to pound on, and doing the final version takes a lot longer, so during that time people could have been testing it. Plus, beta testers seem to like getting access to the ugly version and then seeing it hit with the pretty stick. Not that my version of it didn’t have a certain charm…

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Beta players couldn’t have handled this much awesomeness.

From here on out, I’ll probably go back to releasing the prototype version first. I think that’s the better and faster way to get to an awesome level with fewer expensive changes needed to the high quality version.

We’re going to update again early next week with some minor changes and tuning, but Pub and these changes is live online, so if you’re in the beta just hit Play on the main menu and you’ll get them, or join the SpyParty beta and check them out yourself. Or if you want to check it out live on Twitch, you can follow the main SpyParty account, or follow @SpyPartyStreams to get notified when anybody streams!

12 Comments

  1. Varanas says:

    It feels really wrong to read “the cool old pubs in London, with their flowers and patrons drinking a pint on the sidewalk”.

    And on that subject, is it just me, or does the road and pavement (sidewalk) look a bit weird? It doesn’t really match any of the reference photos, plus the lack of road markings is pretty conspicuous. I guess it depends on whether it’s just supposed to be inspired by british pubs, or actually supposed to be in britain too? Also maybe done on purpose to keep the level of detail low for the non-playable area?

    Sorry for the nitpickyness, the actual building itself looks really lovely!

  2. Amit says:

    I think it would be cool if there was a map where a part of the wall(possibly near a conversation circle and a bookshelf) was a big mirror. It would give the sniper a better view on soft and hard tells in this area. That would then make spies more careful around the mirror, which would make snipers more paranoid about areas not next to the mirror, that would make spies do some things purposely there and so on.

  3. CliveAtFive says:

    Hmmmm. That pub sign certainly implies that Boots is a descendant of Irene Adler! Intentional?

    The SpyParty FanFic is practically writing itself!

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