Meet the Third Group of New SpyParty Characters

It’s my pleasure to introduce the next five SpyParty characters! Wait, did I say five? I meant six.

Meet the new guests!

Meet the new guests!

It’s true, we have added identical twins in this group, making this group six new characters total! A bonus character, no microtransactions required! More on that below, but first, check out how crowded the whole cast picture is getting:

It's getting crowded up in here...

It’s getting crowded up in here…

I think we’re going to need a riser for them to stand on or chairs or something for the next group shot when we add the rest of the characters.

More Saturated Colors!

One of our big goals for this batch was to really push the color saturation of the outfits. We actually thought we were being really colorful with the second batch, but after living with them for a while, it was clear they were drawn towards the blue/grey/brown video game gravity well.

This time, as you can see in these thumbnails of the progression from left to right, I think we’re finally at a good level of color saturation:

groupShot_origCharacters-higroupShot_newCharacters-hi

I was asked during an interview if I thought we’d go back and modify the colors on the older groups, but I don’t think that’ll be necessary. It’s not that nobody can wear blue/grey/brown, and in fact, those are stylish and sophisticated colors, it’s just that everybody shouldn’t be those colors, so I’m glad we’re mixing in some fully saturated primary and secondary colors now, I think it’ll make a big difference in the look of the game, and also in how quickly the players can identify the characters and manage their attention.

Diversity

As always, having a diverse cast is another goal of mine for SpyParty, and it is really a great game for exploring this. Not only is there the obvious visual interest that comes from having all these unique looking guests, but the gameplay benefits from it as well. The idea of “attention as a resource” is one of the aesthetic goals for SpyParty, and the more distinct and striking the characters are, the easier it is for the Sniper (and the Spy) to keep mental notes about their behaviors and movements during the game, and I can go deeper on the subtle stuff. Plus, did I mention they just look cool?

Meet the Latest Guests to Arrive at the Party

And here they are…as before, these “letter names” are temporary, and we haven’t decided how we’re going to come up with the final names, but I’m hoping we can involve the community somehow. In the meantime, the beta players come up with their own nicknames for all the characters, and then I end up using those too and nobody is going to care about their real names anyway, are they?

Mr. K

He’s a Sikh, and is our best-dressed guest. John Cimino, the amazing SpyParty artist, loves headgear and elaborate hairstyles for making recognizable silhouettes, and a Sikh’s turban is a perfect example of this. We’ll need to be respectful with how we treat the Sikh aspects of the character, so for example his beard is long and untrimmed and he’ll drink water. Hopefully folks will let us know if we make any mistakes here so we can correct them. Update: I was nervous about referencing religion in the game because it’s such a sensitive topic, but looks like it might be okay!
sikh-tweet

Seems like a positive first impression!

MrK

Ms. L

She’s a rocker, think Chrissie Hynde or Patti Smith. We went with the leopard sleeved leather jacket and the silk shirt so we could really push the bright yellow; she’s got our most saturated and brightest primary colors in her outfit of all the characters. She also happens to be based on my girlfriend…I figured John put his girlfriend in the last batch of characters, so it was my turn! MsL

Drs. M & N

Identical twins! How will they affect gameplay! I have no idea! What are they doctors of? I have no idea! As you can see if you look closely, they have a few subtle differences between them, and we’ll probably start out with those and see how they play. We can always make them more or less differentiable to tune them, but I’m hoping we can keep it really subtle. Once I add personalities and propensities to the characters (planned for this year, called “dossiers”), then I’m probably also going to look at adding a draft or pick/ban phase to the game loadout so the Spy and Sniper can negotiate who’s invited to the party, and I’ll be very interested to see how the twins are treated in that environment. Will the Sniper allow them both, then highlight or lowlight one to tell them apart? Will the Spy use them as a diversion, or pick to be one of them? So much stuff to play with here! As a technical side note, I’ve always said we’d have unique skeletons and animations for every character, but I’m breaking my promise for the twins; they’ll be instances of the same character model, so instead of having 20 guests in the 1.0 version of SpyParty, we’ll have 21. We reserve the right to give them different animations for some actions as tells.
DrsMN

Ms. O

John’s “sculpted clay” hair style for SpyParty pays off again! We modeled Ms. O as if she’s of a Mediterranean origin, like maybe Greek or Italian. Again, like with Ms. L, we pushed the primary color saturation on Ms. O. Compare her green blouse to Mr. G’s uniform; she should be much more visible at the party.
MsO-MrG

We thought he was really green last time.

MsO

Mr. P

Or should I say SeƱor P? I will admit Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim was one of the inspirations for Mr. P. The cowboy hat has the obvious positive impact on his silhouette, but he’s also got the bright and saturated color scheme, and that sweet belt buckle. We’ll have to name him “Salvador Perez” or something similar to have plausible deniability that we didn’t put the video game’s name on a character’s belt buckle.
MrP

Group Shots

Here are all the group conversation shots so far, including the new characters mixed in!

convo_02 SpyParty-convo_07 SpyParty-convo_06 SpyParty-convo_05 convo_04 convo_03 convo_01

When will they be in the game?

John is animating them now, so we’re aiming to have them in the game by PAX in Seattle at the end of August, or hopefully before that so we can actually test them! These guys gives us 16 total characters, so we’ll be able to do the Courtyard maps, Ballroom, and almost Veranda (which has 17 characters in the old art version).

I can’t wait to have these new folks at the party!

6 Comments

  1. Happy says:

    I get that everyone’s already expressed their love on twitter or the forums, but I don’t frequent any of those, so I’ll have to be alone in my gushing here.. :b I’m not a very good gamer, but spyparty’s game values are exactly the sort of thing I love reading about, and this beautiful art is just the icing on the cake, so I jump on every update with immense enthusiasm! It’s amazing what a little bit of reference work has done, here – it’s such a small jump to imagine the spyparty characters are *real* people. It’s a believability I don’t feel like I’ve seen in any other game. Please send my upmost respect to John for his phenomenal skill in this regard (and also, a request for any sites with his personal work – he seems to have maintained a very elusive internet presence and let it be known at least one person would love to see more :) )!

  2. AC says:

    Why US Paypal? I want to play this game so bad, but it’s literally impossible to buy it from Hitler’s ass (aka Paypal). Paypal is the most horrible company in the US, they recently had to pay off the CFPB $25 million USD for scamming customers, stealing their money and generally operating a scam in the guise of a legitimate business. I’ll never be able to buy the game while US Paypal is the only option for purchase, how come no support for Square Payments or Google Wallet or Amazon.com (none of which explicitly require being linked to a US bank account)? It’s just terrible because I’ve wanted to play the game for a long time now and its just never going to be an option because Paypal is pure evil.

    • checker says:

      Hi! Sorry about that, I did PayPal first after talking to the Humble folks who said it was 70% of their sales, but I plan on supporting the others soon! You can sign up for the newsletter or follow on twitter or facebook to get notified when I do it.

  3. Matthew Cook says:

    I had a question regarding Mr K. In the final release can we expect to see him wear his Kirpan (ceremonial dagger)? From my experience with Sikh friends, it is a big deal to wear one. So I kind of thought it would be cool if Mr. K was depicted wearing one. (Incidentally I have never gotten a straight answer if it is okay to conceal it, so I wouldn’t know if it would be appropriate given the context to not be seen with one.)

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