The New SpyParty Tutorial!

After years in Early-Access Beta, with nothing but a four-page manual to help you learn how to play, SpyParty finally has a fully interactive tutorial!

I’m pretty proud of how it came out. The tutorial uses a mix of text and voice narration,1 and it tries to get as close as possible to how we train people in-person at PAX, which has worked well for years.

It walks you through the basic movement mechanics of Sniper and Spy, and then teaches each of the four beginner missions (Bug Ambassador, Contact Double Agent, Swap Statue, and Seduce Target), first from the Spy side and then from the Sniper side, and then has you put it all together into a full Spy game and Sniper game. There are a number of small challenges in there to (hopefully) keep it interesting.

It’s really long and in-depth and it still only scratches the surface of the game, and it actually prompted me to add a Beginner Mode to the game to limit the complexity that had to be taught (and learned),2 but we playtested it a bit at PAX and it successfully taught people how to play the game, and I’ve improved it a lot since then, so I’m pretty happy with it so far. It needs more work, but I think it’ll help people learn how to play.

I did a live stream of a tutorial playthrough with commentary about design decisions made during its development and I’ve uploaded the video to the SpyParty YouTube channel:

 

I’m very interested in watching people play through the tutorial for the first time to see how well (or poorly) it works, so if you get the game and are going to do the tutorial, stream it or upload a video to YouTube and send me a note on Twitter or Facebook or link it here in the comments!

Late Release Notes

I also finally did the long-overdue release notes for the previous set of builds, which involved a ton of changes. You can see them in the private Beta forums, but here’s a silly screenshot of the announcements post to show you how long the notes are…

 


  1. at the urging of my game designer friend Zach Gage []
  2. interestingly, Beginner Mode is pretty close to the original SpyParty from the start of development before I started iterating on the design to go as deep as possible []

19 Comments

  1. Steph says:

    I love that the PAX photos are from 2015 *cough*

    But fancy tutorial, my favourite part is pick nose.

  2. Majky says:

    When will be spyparty released on steam?

  3. Alistair McCutcheon says:

    Sometimes I cannot play with sound – could you add text at the bottom of the screen whenever banana bread is said as well as the audio?

  4. UESC says:

    Wow, I just looked it up and I signed up in 2012, but actually purchased Spy Party on April 3rd, 2013. It’s almost been 5 years! While I haven’t played in a couple of years, I had a lot of fun when i did. Looking forward to the steam early access. Also, a big thanks to Chris for continuing the development and pushing forward. THANKS CHRIS!!!

  5. Mladen says:

    If I buy the beta access today, can I play with my wife on 2 separate computers or will I need to buy 2 beta passes? My wife is not a gamer but I suspect she would enjoy playing this.

    • checker says:

      Right now you have to buy two copies, unfortunately. I’m going to do a feature called “spawn copies” that will give you an additional account that will only play your main, which would be perfect for this, but it’s not going to happen for a while because I’m swamped trying to get it on Steam Early Access and then I’ll be swamped fixing bugs. But shortly after that hopefully!

      I love it when couples play, we’ve had some great posts in the beta forums from couples talking about their experience playing somebody they know really well in real life. :)

    • Mladen says:

      OK cool I’ll buy one copy and wait for the spawn copies feature or just get another one later if I can’t wait to play with the wife.

      I do want to play with strangers but I think it brings another level of giddiness and anticipation if you’re playing a psychological game like this with someone you know intimately. It’s the same difference between playing poker online and a weekly poker game with a bunch of lifelong friends.

    • checker says:

      Totally! The only warning I have is the skill curve of the game is very steep so if you play even a few games without her she’s going to have a hard time catching up, which might be frustrating for someone who isn’t a gamer and used to that kind of climb. But, you know her better than I do, so on your head be it! :)

  6. Stickgames says:

    I just bought the game and played it for the first time, this has to one of the best games for two players of all time. When I showed it to my friend he immediately bought it too!! Chris you and your team are doing a really great job, please keep up the good work and keep updating the game, thank you a lot for this awesome gaming experience!!!

  7. Jana says:

    Highly energetic post, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

  8. Jack says:

    How exactly will installing and running the game work once it is released on Steam? I got the game in 2014. Will I be sent a code to redeem on Steam?

  9. Pedro says:

    Hi Chris! Congrats on getting close to Steam launch! Wonderful game.

    I’m currently playing through the tutorial (it’s been years since I’ve touched the game) and I can’t see the swap statues part. I’m watching the statues really closely and only two people come pick them up. One of them is the same model as the spy in the previous mission (the general) but I swear the statues don’t change. I did memorize them (Venus, Venus, Falcon) and they never changed. Plus I looked really close at the animations of the characters inspecting them and there’s no evidence of switcheroo.

    Bug? Or am I just literally missing something?

    All the best

    • Pedro says:

      *Sigh*. Watching the video above (around 40min mark) I finally noticed there was another set of statues. Of course, otherwise it would be easy to camp them.

      It’s funny because as the Sniper at one point I wondered about that, looked around the party but never spotted the second set… big conversation groups on the way.

      Maybe worth adding a note to the tutorial just in case other people get stuck on the same issue?

    • checker says:

      Yeah, a lot of people miss, that. I think I added a note about it in the tutorial.

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