SpyParty on Steam April 12 + Six New Maps Up Now!

You may have heard by now since I am super late writing this blog post, and it is in fact true: SpyParty is coming to Steam Early Access on April 12th, 2018. That’s next week at the time I’m calmly typing this with absolutely no stress or anxiety and with my todo list completely finished. HA!

 

And that’s not all! There are actually three big pieces of news in this post:

  1. The aforementioned Steam Early Access release date of April 12th, 2018!
  2. The six (6!?!) amazing new venues that are available now in the latest build!
  3. You have until the Steam launch to get it at the current $15 price on spyparty.com, because we’re raising it then!

♥♥♥ YES YOU WILL GET IT ON STEAM IF YOU BUY IT ON SPYPARTY.COM,
I WILL POST MORE ABOUT HOW THIS WILL WORK SOON! ♥♥♥

We’ll talk about each of those in order…

Steam Early Access

I put the SpyParty Steam page up last November, with the admittedly slightly trollish release date of Soon™, but now we have a real date, and that date is Thursday, April 12th, 2018, also known as next Thursday. I’m excited, but also terrified of what’s going to happen!

I think the game is basically ready. I need to finish up matchmaking, which I’ll write about more later, but early testing shows is going to be super cool and actually relieve a little bit of the stress of playing, at least the part that involves going to the lobby and inviting another human and chatting. Even though we have an incredible community, sometimes you just want to dip in and play a few quick games!

I did a bunch of press for the announcement that hit this week, and when doing the interviews, I had to think about the game with a fresh eye and explain it from scratch, and there is just an incredible amount of stuff in there, not only a deeply competitive multiplayer game that supports thousands of hours of gameplay, an incredible community, a completely interactive fully voiced tutorial, a fancy professional user interface, a replay and spectation system that’s better than most AAA games, 20+ incredible bespoke animated characters, tons of different game modes, an active competitive scene with tournaments and leagues organized by the players and cast on the SpyParty twitch channel, and lots of plans to make it even better.

The press always came in with a “what’s been taking so long?” type question and left completely blown away by how much stuff is in this game. I’m really proud of how it’s coming out, and it’s time to go on Steam and increase the accessibility. My biggest fear is the increased scale will harm the amazing community we’ve made, but I’m optimistic that it will be okay. The players are right now making a schedule for who is going to help answer questions and guide new players on launch day. They’re simply the best community a game developer could ever want, it’s incredibly humbling and I’m so grateful for them!

Six Beautiful New Party Venues, Bringing Us to Ten Total

As the announcement trailer at the top of the post shows, we’ve also dropped six new venues in the latest build, bringing the total number of new art maps to ten! In fact, this batch of maps completes the conversion of all the classic old art maps,1 so each one now has a new art counterpart, plus we’ve added a completely new gameplay area!

Each of the venues explores a different part of the game design space, so some have static occlusion and the Sniper has to move around to see the whole map, some have dynamic occlusion where guests are blocking certain views, etc.

These amazing environments were done by John Cimino, the long-time SpyParty artist, and Reika Yoshino, who you first heard about with the Veranda update. Reika was with us for a year and now works at Thatgamecompany.

Balcony

As is our tradition, here’s an before/after slider widget you can drag around for the new Balcony:

 

Balcony was my original attempt to make an “arcade mode SpyParty” by making a small map with few guests, but that backfired and it became one of the toughest, most subtle, and most competitive maps in the game because the Sniper could see the entire map at all times without moving.2 The architecture style is based on a “Pre-War” building in Chelsea in NYC.

Courtyard

Now an arty outdoor sculptural homage to Alan Turing, Courtyard explores what happens when you let the Sniper circle the entire map looking inward, but block their view by a giant statue of a famous computer scientist.

courtyard_01

The Sniper has to keep moving, and the Spy has a pretty good idea what the Sniper can see at any given moment. Reika also pushed hard on the theatrical lighting in this map, like you would if you were having a cocktail party at your mansion on the outskirts of London.

Its come a long way since it was originally conceived and playtested.

Library

This map is the game design opposite of Courtyard.

library_01

In Library the Sniper is in the center, and the party is around the outside. The Sniper can only see about 1/3 of the map at a time, but they can rotate their view a lot faster than the Spy can move, which makes for interesting “mission baiting” situations, like pretending you’re looking at someone at statues on the left side of the map, and then swinging over to the right side to catch a bug attempt on the Ambassador. The original old art map was called Panopticon, and was actually a player-suggested idea, but since we only did 3/5ths of a panopticon, John made it into a library. However, it’s a prison reform library, so Jeremy Bentham and other prison reform theorists get busts in the new version.

Gallery

This venue is a SOHO art gallery in NYC, narrow and deep, with everything visible to the Sniper if it wasn’t for those pesky guests getting in the way.

gallery_01

Gallery explores dynamic occlusion by the guests, where the guests in front can block multiple mission sites for the Sniper, to the Spy’s advantage. There is currently a lively discussion in the private beta forums about whether Mr. S is unbalanced on this map because of his short stature. This map also is a good example of our timeless style…there’s a Vespa, and an old cab, but also a minivan, and what year is this anyway?

Moderne

Modern, one of the original new environment art concepts we hastily turned into a playable map years ago so we could have somewhere for the new characters to stand,3 but it wasn’t very playable. Now we’ve updated it to the latest iteration of the environment art style, and we also have enough characters so we opened the whole thing up!

moderne_01

Because Moderne has never been playtested before, there is lots of discussion about its balance and strengths and weaknesses for the Sniper and the Spy in the private beta forums. It’ll probably see a few quick iterations in the near future.

Terrace

John has outdone himself this time.

terrace_01

Terrace is a replacement for the Double Modern map, which was always kind of a hack to get more characters into Modern. I was just going to kill it, but then the players added it into the SpyParty Competitive League map selection pool, which kind of legitimized it, but I think we’re going to make some changes and evolve it a bit. It’s obviously based on the Greek Islands of Santorini and Mykonos with their hillside tumbles of houses and hotels.

Bonus Shots of the Other Four Venues

Ballroom

This is the original SpyParty map, prettied up with a Baroque architecture style, but keeping the competitive details, like plenty of dynamic occlusion from the guests blocking statues and bookshelves, and the slightly annoying camera angle to keep the Sniper sweating the guest list.

ballroom_01

High-rise

One of the first new art maps, High-rise is a fancy condo based loosely on an overpriced one in San Francisco we found online. It has a lot of nooks and crannies and many more statues than it has any right to at its square footage.

high-rise_01

Pub

Sherlock Holmes got his own pub in London, so I decided Irene Adler deserved her own as well. Pub has a bartender instead of a waiter, which radically changes the Purloin the Guestlist mission, and it has an inside and outside, and a lot of places to bug relatively unseen if you can get the Ambassador to walk by.

pub_01

Veranda

Veranda was Reika’s first map, and she got it ready for testing just in time for PAX!

veranda_01

Veranda was our first map to explore the idea of the Sniper not being able to see the whole map at one time, since it’s a horseshoe shape. Snipers settled on a local maxima location that requires only a little movement back and forth to see most of the map, and some rules of thumb about memorizing which guests go out of sight, but there’s still a lot of occlusion and a lot of guests and it’s a popular competitive map.

New Pricing on Steam Launch

SpyParty is currently USD$15 on the spyparty.com front page, and has been since the Early-Access Beta started 5 or 6 years ago. Saying the game has come a long way since then is a slight understatement, to the point where the beta players started a thread in the private beta forums saying the game was underpriced and that I should raise it. They play a lot of video games, so I listened to them. I wasn’t using any kind of science when I set the price at $15 back then, I just thought Counter-Strike was awesome and it cost $15, and other big “triple-A indie” games were $15 too, so that’s what I made it. Since then not only has the game evolved graphically an incredible amount as you see in those venues above, but also the design is way deeper than I even hoped it was going to be, with the top players now having around 20000 games played and 1000 hours of game time.4 The game has also taken a lot longer than I thought it would, and cost a lot more money too. So, those three things, the players telling me it is underpriced, the game providing way more depth and playtime than it did when I started, and the cost of the game being higher than I thought, and a few other considerations convinced me to raise the price to USD$24.99 when it does on Steam.

But, I want people who have followed the game for a long time but not bought it yet to have a chance to get it at the current $15 price, so instead of just raising it on the 12th, I’m announcing it now and giving fence-sitters a last chance. I know a lot of people don’t like to buy games off Steam, and a lot of people are uncomfortable with PayPal or are simply unable to use it in their country, but for those of you who are just waiting to wait, the time to decide is now!

One complicating factor for people in other countries is Steam’s regional pricing. I will support regional pricing on Steam, whereas the spyparty.com PayPal system doesn’t support it, so it’s possible $24.99 is actually cheaper in your local currency once regional pricing is in effect than the full $15 is right now. In other words, even though I’m raising the price, it might be cheaper for you to buy it on Steam for “$24.99” than it is to buy it on spyparty.com for $15. You’ll have to figure that out, but to help here is a table with what the Steam backend tells me the regional prices will be for you, so refer to this and make your decision!

USD $24.99 GB Pounds £19.49 Euros €22.99
Russian Rubles pуб.465 Brazilian Reals R$47.49 Japanese Yen ¥2,570
Indonesian Rupiah Rp119,999 Malaysian Ringgit RM44.00 Philippine Peso P549.95
Singapore Dollar S$22.00 Thai Baht ฿319.00 Vietnamese Dong ₫219,998
Korean Won ₩26,000 Turkish Lira TL40.00 Ukrainian Hryvnia ₴329
Mexican Peso Mex$233.99 Canadian Dollar CDN$28.99 Australian Dollar A$29.95
New Zealand Dollar NZ$30.99 Norwegian Krone kr176.00 Polish zloty zł89.99
Swiss Francs CHF25.00 Chinese Yuan ¥80 Indian Rupee ₹569
Chilean Peso CLP$9,500 Peruvian Sol S/.45.00 Colombian Peso COL$33,500
South African Rand R150.00 Hong Kong Dollar HK$109.00 Taiwanese Dollar NT$378
Saudi Arabian Riyal SR39.95 Emirati Dirham AED66.00 Argentine Peso ARS$279.99
Israeli New Shekel ₪92.95 Kazakhstani Tenge ₸3,300 Kuwaiti Dinar KD4.25
Qatari Rial QR49.99 Costa Rican Colon ₡10,500 Uruguayan Peso $U529

It looks like there are a few multi-country regions that get additional discounts too, but it wasn’t clear to me how to display them or what they’d be, but if you live in one of these countries, maybe look at other games that are USD$24.99 on Steam and that have regional pricing enabled and see what they are locally: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, & Ukraine. Please don’t hold me to this list, since I don’t know if Steam changes this dynamically or what, but it should give you a ballpark and help you make your decision.

If you have any questions, ask below!


  1. and I’ve quarantined the old art maps in their own quickplay group, I can’t remove them or the grognards will kill me []
  2. well, the Sniper moves to get a better view of Ambassador bug attempts sometimes []
  3. mixing old and new art in maps felt really weird []
  4. I measure game time as the time actually playing, so 1000 hours at about 3 minutes a pop, whereas Steam measures game time as the executable running, even if you went to lunch or fell asleep, so a SpyParty 1000 hours is many thousands of hours of Steam game time. []

27 Comments

  1. ElZedHaitch says:

    I am so happy you posted the regional pricing. Such honesty is rare to see in so many cases now.

    Thanks so much and this really helped me make my decision on when and where to pick up the game. Good uck with developing and finishing the game.

    P.S. I really enjoyed the Quick Look on Giantbomb. great job there

  2. So, if we got the game in 2017, this means we will get a steam code or something?

  3. Awpteamoose says:

    50% more expensive in Ukraine compared to Russia, while Russia has more than double the average salary.
    feelsbad.jpg

    • checker says:

      Ukraine is listed in one of the special countries in the text though, not sure what that means?

    • Awpteamoose says:

      Ukrainian price is ~$12.5 when converted from local currency, Russian price is ~$7.20. At the same time, the average salary in Ukraine is ~$200/mo and average salary in Russia is ~$400/mo.

      I’m not complaining, I would’ve gladly paid full price of $25 since I think the game is worth it, but the regional pricing adjustment just doesn’t make sense. I wouldn’t compare Ukraine/Russia to other regions since the culture and market may be different, in these two it’s pretty much the same. In fact, until a few months ago, when regional currency was introduced, I paid Russian price for games on Steam, but paid it in USD.

    • checker says:

      Huh, thanks for the explanation. Does steam know about this?  It seems like something they’d be interested in adjusting?

    • Ololosha says:

      I think steam does not care as there were a lot of complaints when they introduced the local currency for Ukraine and they did not comment on it. However, I believe, that steam only revommends the local prices and the developers can set it as they see fit.
      Good luck with further development, hope I can convince my friends to buy this game:)

  4. Vítor says:

    That’s awesome! I discovered the game last year and since then followed its development.

    Also, you’re actually right, the price I’m gonna pay on Steam is actually less that what I’d pay via PayPal, so thanks for showing that regional pricing table!

  5. Tom V says:

    Don’t bother with early access. It’s a scam. I bought this game and have received no access or emails from the developers. Wonder if there is even a real “spyparty” game or if this has all been a scam.
    Will be sharing this scam on all of your platforms including steam..

    • checker says:

      Hi! I’m sorry you’re so upset, but I gotta say, I’m a little confused why you are so angry. It would seem pretty unlikely that it’s a scam given that you could go talk to people on the discord or watch people playing it on twitch or YouTube, etc. What seems more likely than it being a scam is that somehow the confirmation mail got either put in your spam folder or lost on the internet, but I don’t see any email from you to the support address, and instead it seems like you thought posting a weird pseudo-threatening comment on the blog was your best bet? If you’d like to send mail to support at spyparty dot com I’d be happy to work with you to try to fix the problem, but to be honest if this is your reaction to a small hiccup during registration I think the game might not be for you and I’d kind of rather just refund you than deal with this kind of attitude. Your choice, let me know which you’d like to do at the support address, and I hope your day improves!

  6. yaDude says:

    I think it is up or down depending on where you are. Maybe something to do with regional taxes also? All the be best with the Steam release :)

    This seemed to help as well – https://www.steamprices.com/ua/app/322500/superhot

  7. Robert Ewig says:

    I just heard about this game and imnmediately bought it. Awesome title, well executed.

    Sorry for my ignorance but will there be a 4-pack available on Steam so I can gift the game tp my friends?

    • checker says:

      Steam apparently doesn’t like multipacks that much according to other devs. I haven’t asked them yet, I’m trying to just survive the launch right now, but I have plans to do some cool stuff so you can let your friends try it with you in the near future after the dust settles!

  8. TheTitan says:

    Hey Checker.
    Does this site have some form of PM system? I’d like to drop you a message if you have a minute.
    I’ve been streaming your game over the past few days and would like to ask you a question regarding it.
    If not would you mind giving me an email? I won’t put up my email until I hear from you. Just to be safe.
    Kind regards,
    Christopher

    • checker says:

      Hi, best way to contact me about the game is either a PM in the beta forums (linked from the beta homepage where you downloaded the game), or mail to support at spyparty dot com!

  9. Micersmart says:

    Super excited that this game will be on Steam soon! I actually invited a couple of my friends over to play in anticipation of the launch. Looking forward to adding it to my steam library, please send instructions soon!

  10. Elbasunu says:

    Been following SpyParty since 2011, when I eagerly hunted it down at PAX East. I’m very excited for this latest version! I loved the game when I played it in 2011, and again in when i purchased it in 2013.

  11. Daniel says:

    Hey John, hope the early access launch goes well.

    Will the Steam version still be tied to our current accounts? And will there be crossplay between Steam and non-Steam users?

  12. SuburbanJohn says:

    Been following this since original announcement. I was holding off because I was excited but wanted to see which direction it was going to go. Now that it’s up on steam, I pulled the trigger. Can’t wait to play it when I get the key!!! 

  13. connor says:

    hey i purchased the game after the said 12th of April price change for the original 15$ will i still get a code

  14. CB says:

    If I bought the game a couple of years ago before its release on steam, can I get a copy on steam for free? Thanks. Hope everything is going well.

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