About

about-banner-738

SpyParty is an asymmetric multiplayer espionage game, dealing with the subtlety of human behavior, character, personality, and social mores, instead of the usual spy game explosions and car chases.

SpyParty is very early in development, but it has been playtested a lot, with more to come, including occasional public playtests, and eventually internet playtests.  There is some documentation written for playtesters about how to play the game in its current state, which you might find interesting, here and here.

Edit 2013/6/30: This page is woefully out-of-date, and needs updating, sorry about that!  The beta is open, I’ve been lucky that there’s been a bunch of press about the game over the years, and development is going slowly but really well, and I’m really proud of the game and the community.

A very early prototype of SpyParty was shown in public for the first time at the Experimental Gameplay Workshop at the 2009 Game Developers Conference.   It got a fair amount of press after this demo, and even more after I got laid off and started working on it full-time, which was very nice.

The next year, a bunch of journalists played it at the 2010 GDC, and they seemed to like it a lot!

Various press clippings:

  • AVC at GDC ’10: Spy party! by John Teti on The Onion AV Club
    “I don’t want to beat around the bush here; this game is awesome in too many ways to describe here.”
  • GDC 2010: Enjoyed and Annoyed by Evan Narcisse on Time Magazine’s Techland Blog
    “Even in its pre-natal form, Spy Party does a great job of creating a new kind of multiplayer psychological tension. It’s something that wasn’t even on my GDC agenda, yet it wound up rocking my world.”
  • Why you need to be excited about SpyParty by Anthony Burch on Destructoid
    “There has never been a videogame like SpyParty. … SpyParty is as cerebral and personal experience as I’ve ever had with a multiplayer game. … Despite being two years away from completion, the early version I saw still remains one of the most subtle, enjoyable, and surprisingly playful multiplayer games I’ve yet played.”
  • Innovative SpyParty Is Ultimate Mind Game by Gus Mastrapa on Wired’s Game|Life
    “SpyParty is like nothing else I’ve ever played. … When the laser focuses on you, the tension is intense. And the relief, when the beam swings away, is powerful.”
  • I Know That You Know That I Know What You  Know by Chris Dahlen on Edge Online
    “Both players are tense with the joy of knowing or not knowing or thinking they know what’s about to happen.”
  • The Next Smart Video Game Only Lets You Kill Once by Stephen Totilo on Kotaku and Gizmodo
    “Part of what is so exciting about Spy Party is the stuff that happens around the game. Hecker has seen the game trigger strong emotional responses. I even felt it… guilt of all things. I’ve killed thousands — millions? — of enemy characters and even some friendly characters in video games with none of the pangs of consequence. I shot one innocent partygoer in Spy Party after tracking them for a few minutes, after being sure they were Chris Hecker’s avatar and up to no good, and then, as they lay dead on the floor I realized I was wrong. I felt bad.”
  • You Only Shoot Once: SpyParty by Kieron Gillen on Rock, Paper, Shotgun
    Kieron couldn’t make it to GDC this year, but he wrote up his thoughts on the game from reading the other articles!
    “Pure battle of wits stuff here, and seems totally fascinating. It’s a couple of years away, at least in part due to a major general aesthetic upgrade, but we’ll be watching it. Closely. Trying to work out if it’s a spy.”
  • …he’s using his newly found free time to develop one of the most interesting-sounding independent games we’ve heard of in a while.
    http://www.joystiq.com/2009/08/30/former-maxis-employee-working-on-new-project-spyparty/
  • …first revealed at this year’s GDC Experimental Gameplay Sessions that I’m now and forever kicking myself for missing, SpyParty intends to do precisely what more games need to do: forgo games as big budget thrill-rides and focus instead on the richness of subtle interaction.
    http://offworld.com/2009/09/free-agent-spore-tech-lead-chr.html
  • SpyParty Gets Back to What Spies Are Really About
    Spies are stealthy, aren’t they? Then how come every single spy video game tends to contain the same elements – explosions, shooting, and generally being as un-stealthy as any human being could be? Chris Hecker is changing that around a bit with his upcoming game SpyParty…
    http://allgeektout.com/2009/08/31/spyparty-gets-back-to-what-spies-are-really-about/
  • In the announcement Chris reveals that he’ll be working on SpyParty, a game which he demoed at this year’s Experimental Gameplay Workshop. In the game you play a sniper watching a cocktail party from another building, trying to figure out which of the partygoers is the spy by looking for various tells. I saw it at EGW and it’s a cool take on the spy genre.
    http://tigsource.com/articles/2009/09/08/chris-hecker-goes-indie
  • From the Experimental Gameplay Sessions: I couldn’t make it out to GDC but I wish I could’ve seen this…This is exactly the kind of thing we should be doing more of…
    http://www.ninjadodo.net/dodoblog/archives/2009/03/28/gdc-09-spy-party/
  • This game, developed by Chris Hecker (“Spore”) has a character doing suave and subtle things in a cocktail party, trying not to get spotted. One player is the spy, whose animations are a little different from everyone else’s, and who has to complete a few stealthy missions like bugging an ambassador. The other player just watches, looking for subtle animation tip-offs. They are the sniper. Their one move: to shoot the spy. The game looked like a cocktail party of characters from “The Sims.”
    http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2009/03/26/experimental-gameplay-ideas-revealed-head-currently-hurting-gdc-2009/
  • Chris Hecker’s project was inspired by the simple fact that “spies are cool”, particularly early Bond-esque spies who have the ability to “hide in plain sight.”
    Hecker’s design in turn was inspired by the Turing Test, and the difficulty in which a computer has in fooling the user it is human when asked to do natural language processing. But what if, Hecker considered, you only allowed the player a “simpler, more responsive” form of interaction with the computer? Could he be fooled?
    The perfect setting, Hecker decided, would be a cocktail party, where a variety of people interact in an already very stylized way and the social rules are an already tight subset. So Hecker’s prototype asks one player to take the role of a spy attempting to complete missions at a party filled with other AI characters, while an opposing player observes the party (as a “sniper”) and must attempt to observe the player enough that they can work out who it is and kill them before they complete their missions.
    In Hecker’s current, “very early” prototype, the gameplay was formed around “tells” — observable, if subtle, occurrences such as a brief look to the left when stealing a book rather than returning it to a shelf — but he hoped that, in time it would evolve to become a game about observing subtle differences in behaviour.
    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=22946
  • Chris Hecker’s Spy Party is a game of deduction between two players. The scene: a cocktail party for spies, where one of the attendees is a live human being trying to complete a mission, and everyone else is an AI-driven decoy. Player number one plays the spy; player number two is a sniper, waiting from a balcony across the street and deciding who to pick off. The sniper’s challenge is to figure out which spy is controlled by a human, and which are just AIs. It’s harder—way harder—than you might think. In fact, when a handful of attendees got the chance to identify the target (using laser pointers), they guessed wrong and shot a civilian, which ends the game and hands the victory to the spy.
    http://www.avclub.com/articles/avc-at-gdc-09-day-four-wake-me-when-your-game-does,25806/
  • Spy Party by Chris Hecker is a two-player game inspired by an inversion of the Turing test. The Turing test is so difficult for a computer to succeed at because language is so complex and difficult that only humans or truly functional AI could master it in a realistic and believable way. But what if you made the language very easy and instead of a computer trying to be human, you made a player try to act like a computer? Two players — one a spy, one a sniper — are in asymmetrical competition. The player must move around a party completing objectives that the other AI party guests will not even attempt to accomplish. Everytime the player accomplishes one of these objectives, they give a slight “tell” — if you try to bug an ambassador, the player’s hand will dart out and suddenly retract, just like if you try to steal a book, you’ll motion to put it back until suddenly shifting it into your coat. The sniper’s job is to look at the crowd and figure out which of the dozens of characters is the human spy, and kill him. As it stood the game was almost exclusively based around recognizing these little telltale signs, but Hecker planned on expanding and deepening the gameplay.
    http://www.destructoid.com/gdc-09-experimental-gameplay-sessions-126446.phtml
  • This ‘side-project’ is a game based on the principle of the Turing test, but a bit more complex. Let me explain the game first: it is a multiplayer gamer, set at a cocktail party hosted by the ambassador. One player is a sniper outside the room looking in. He has a mission to kill a double agent but doesn’t know who that is. Most guests are NPC’s, but an other human plays the double agent. The game is: can the sniper distinguish the AI from a human player? Hence the Turing test.
    http://dvtggdc.blogspot.com/2009/03/experimental-gameplay-sessions.html
  • Spy Party is a game by Spore man Chris Hecker for two players: Spy and Sniper. A cocktail party provides the setting, in which the Spy will be asked to complete an objective such as bugging an ambassador. The Sniper, on the other hand, will simply have to sit back and watch, looking for minute and subtle giveaways that will identify the Spy who can then be shot in the face.
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/gdc-experimental-games-shown-playable
  • Spy Party — perception. Spy/counterspy sim where people’s observed behaviors tell you how to proceed.
    http://www-2.crispygamer.com/blogs/post/2009/03/27/Keita-Takahashi-Drew-My-Picture.aspx
  • – 20 people at cocktail party (some players, some A.I.). 1 is a spy.
    Assasin observes party, attempting to determine who the spy is. Bam!
    – Spy can only be distinguished by subtle “tells”.i.e. spy reads book from bookshelf, but places it back strangely
    i.e. spy secretly slipped a piece of paper from someone
    i.e. spy wears a T-Shirt saying “spies do it in the dark”
    – “affordance” and “actors” mentioned. must… remain… calm.
    – Game demoed. Audience plays assasin watching 20 people, attempting to finger the spy.
    Laser pointers highlight innocent man. Audience shoots – “you killed a civilian”
    Audience quickly picks someone else (game developers are cold hearted bastards)
    – Most memorable moment: When civilian was shot.
    Ambient chatter stopped, replaced by piercing female scream, everyone ran from victim.
    [Shocking. Can’t remember last time I felt bad for killing someone.]
    Reminded me of wedding.
    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JimMcginley/20090329/1019/GDC_2009__Day_43__Experimental_Gameplay_Sessions.php
  • “Spy Party”, by Chris Hecker. Really seems to capture the intrigue, danger, and more importantly, subtelty in some of the more realistic spy stories…you know, the kind where the spy doesn’t advertise his presence by blowing up most of a city. Really fun to watch players compete in this one.
    http://www.newton64.ca/blog/?p=208
  • Spy Party creator Chris Hecker is looking for more martinis and less explosions in his spy fare, so he turns to a cocktail party as the setting of his game where one player is an agent and one a sniper outside. Spies take on missions to fulfill, such as transferring a book from one shelf to another (who knows what secrets are contained within?) or bugging the ambassador, all while chatting it up like a pro at a hoppin’ social gathering. The animations have very subtle differences that the sniper will have to learn to pick up on. Right now he admits that it mostly relies on looking for these tells, but he hopes that he’ll be able to ramp up the complexity as he continues development.
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/conferences/gdc_2009/5935-GDC-2009-Mind-Blown-Experimental-Gameplay
  • What is it? A multiplayer whodunnit mystery puzzler
    25-word pitch: Infiltrate a cocktail party, accomplish espionage missions, avoid detection.
    Inspiration: ‘Fugitive’ from Indie Game Jam01. James Bond. Cocktail party etiquette. The Turing Test.
    Why it works: You’re a sniper who’s got to shoot the only human-controlled person (spy) at a cocktail party, basing your decision only by reading social cues. Like Minesweeper, but using social interaction.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2009/apr/06/gdc2009-experimental-games-guardian
  • & now: Chris Hecker’s Spy Party
    Design after my own heart–simplify the symbols.
    This is a very promising mechanic. Can’t wait to see it mature. Has some fleeting commonality with one of my mystery game designs.
    http://twitter.com/CorvusE/status/1397375701
    http://twitter.com/CorvusE/status/1397390590
    http://twitter.com/CorvusE/status/1397448122

The game is in development in Oakland, California, by Chris Hecker, with no current release date.

Site Credits

241 Comments

  1. Queiroga says:

    Wow, it really looks interesting, i’m really looking forward to this game, and if i could, i’d download de Demo right away

  2. checker says:

    Thanks! I wish you could download a demo right now too, but it’s going to be a while. It’s a super raw prototype at the moment. :)

  3. Mephit says:

    looks cool!
    i’m waiting for more informations and screen shots!

  4. Jimmy says:

    Not fun to get fired, it seems to be the theme of the day. But you get to use a cool Elvis image at least :). Game sounds nice, I hope we get to see some movies or screen shoots soon :).

  5. ForwardTwo says:

    wow sounds great!
    Can’t wait to see this in playable demo form.
    Eagerly awaiting the day I can play it >:D

  6. Keith says:

    This seems really impressive, were there more success stories at spotting the spy in the early runs? I imagine if the player had never seen the AI and how they act, it would be difficult to blend in straight away.

    Did you think about throwing some clangers in there for the player? Such as a party going AI which stole books for a completly unrelated reason? I just think it would have been nice to see you throw people by having the odd dinner guest AI who doesn’t follow social conformity.

    Do look forward to the day I can play this! I hope you can find ways to create a full title out of this.

    Good luck with production!

  7. It looks really nice. You could amlmosty imagine an interesting gameplay situation from the game description. How hard could it be to program a way to detect tension. Imagine a spy that must make a huge effort to follow a conversation that he didn’t like and try to not get nervous or mess it up with the conversation to not get uncovered.
    Imagine drops of sweat fallig from his forehead, as the tension grows. I guess there will be a day where something like this could be done.
    Im looking forward a demo. Great work!!!

  8. Emma says:

    This looks really awesome. I wish there was a demo out- and I’m not the kinda person that plays demos, normally, but thsi just looks… awesome.

  9. Maria Sayans says:

    Love it – I remember playing my little turing tests with my cohort of agents/players in Majestic – one of my most memorable gaming moments.

    I wonder how will you avoid that spotting the spy becomes tricksy and formulaic – can the sniper control the situation in any way to drive the spy to show a certain type of behaviour?
    Is there a penalty for the sniper if he himself is spotted?

  10. checker says:

    > I imagine if the player had never seen the AI and how they act, it would be difficult to blend in straight away.

    Yes, definitely. An “experienced player” (ie. me) can beat and inexperienced player 100% of the time playing either side. This is great, because it means there’s a big player skill component, it’s not just random. But, it’s a little harsh right now, so the handicapping system needs tuning so people can still have fun playing someone better or worse than them. I have some ideas for this, but nothing implemened.

    > can the sniper control the situation in any way to drive the spy to show a certain type of behaviour?

    Yeah, some ideas there include starting the music, switching on and off the lights, making the band start playing, etc. You can imagine a lot more like this.

  11. Nickertoby says:

    Wow!! Just wow. I really want to play this. Would the spy be able to interact with the AI like say the sims? Have interaction options like talk politely or tell joke and stuff like that? Im just imagining how awesome it would be to play as the spy. Like hiding behind guests when they do something. Would the spy know where the sniper is?? Otherwise that could be an interesting thing to try and work out where the sniper is. And maybe the sniper could move. Like it would take time in which the spy could do missions but the spy wouldnt know that the sniper was moving. Anyway cant wait. This is gonna be amazing

    • checker says:

      Thanks! Yeah, the spy will be able to interact with the NPCs, just like the NPCs can interact with each other. So, for example, if you’re playing a character that interrupts conversations a lot and tells boisterous jokes, you’ll have to emulate that behavior while you’re playing the spy and also accomplishing the missions you picked.

      I have a bunch of ideas for giving the spy partial information about where the sniper is looking, including some that the sniper can use to fool the spy into thinking he’s looking in a different place than he actually is. I hope to get a lot of layers of subterfuge in there. :)

  12. arfink says:

    Nice game concept, it’s cool and refreshing. (pun %100 intended) I agree, a mix of socially awkward people would make things interesting- a guy who was absolutely perfectly socially engaged would arouse suspicion in me, especially if people are drinking cocktails… Also, a certain amount of procedural things in the AI would help to mix things up, so an experienced player couldn’t say he’s seen absolutely all the different computer AI’s.

  13. Jesse Krembs says:

    Two Books you might enjoy/find useful.
    Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA’s Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda (Paperback) by Robert Wallace
    and
    The Craft of Intelligence: America’s Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World (Paperback)by Allen W. Dulles

  14. checker says:

    Awesome, thanks, I’ll check them out!

  15. checker says:

    [Hmm, I replied, but wp ate it.]

    I’ve been doing some behind-the-scenes work with audio and animation, but nothing worth posting yet. I also said ‘yes’ to too many lecture invitations this fall, so I need to crank through those before I can work full time on SpyParty. I’ll update after my Montreal trip. Thanks for asking!

  16. Craig says:

    Very cool. Reminds me of TF2’s Spy/Sniper rivalry.

    Did you ever have plans to make the hunter-player a character at the party?

  17. checker says:

    [Hmm, apparently ‘reply’ in wordpress means email, not post. So I’ll retype.]

    Yeah, there’s been a lot of brainstorming about bringing the sniper “into the party” in various ways, but still keeping the asymmetry. One of the next things I’m going to prototype is having the sniper be able to interact with the party “state”, and change it, everything from placing a phone call to one of the characters, to having the security guard take someone aside to interrogate them, to having hors d’oeuvres served, etc.

  18. David says:

    I heard them talking about this game on the Destructoid podcast. Sounds amazing, I would love to see it in action.

    What platform is it being developed for, or is it too early to say?

  19. checker says:

    Thanks! It’s a bit too early to say what platforms it will ship on, but it’s being developed on PC, with dual control with console controllers and keyboard+mouse to make sure I don’t accidentally design an interaction that only works on one platform. I’m hoping/assuming PC/XBLA/PSN, but it’s too early to tell. I don’t think the current Wii would run it because it’s got so many animating characters, but the Wii HD might be fast enough, we’ll see. Somebody suggested it would make a cool iPad game, so who knows? :)

  20. Dalton says:

    Found this on stumbleupon! I absolutely love this psychological game. I am an actor myself and it reminds me just what we do in some practicing sessions, blending in with our environment to be like people around us. My favorite part is the sniper possibility of controlling party situations. Keep me posted, I can’t wait!

  21. Joe says:

    This game looks like it’s going to have one of the most creative game concepts I’ve ever heard of! I found an article about it on StumbleUpon and just from reading the concept my friends and I are hooked on the idea. If there’s ever any playable demos (even really rough ones) we would love to give the game a shot. Keep up development guys, I really can’t wait for this title to be released!

  22. Andrew says:

    I’m in the same boat as Dalton and Joe, what with the finding on StumbleUpon. I’m not quite as good a linguist as them, so i’ll break down my opinion to the most basic form. *ahem* WANT. The idea behind this game is absolutely fantastic, and even at the “super raw prototype” stage it’s looking fantastic. Definitely bookmarking the site. Keep us posted.

  23. Tom says:

    Echoing what everyone else has said, this game sounds absolutely brilliant. I’m very much looking forward to it’s release.

  24. Lord of Numa says:

    I just stumbled upon an article about SpyParty. The game sounds absolutely brilliant. I’m just disappointed that I can’t download and play it right now, lol. You can bet your game-developing ass that I’ll be buying this as soon as it’s available. I’ve been waiting for so long for a game like this. I’m getting pretty tired of the overused Run-and-Gun multiplayer games.

  25. Davy says:

    This game sounds incredible – literally. I hate to be such a cynic, but I’ve been let down by promises of realistism in game play. Spore, or Star Trek come to mind as great ideas that gave in to the lowest common denominator and lost all their appeal.

  26. Joe says:

    Need, NOW! This game sounds like a massive amount of fun. I think the best part is that it clearly requires intellect. So many games now a days revolve around screaming into a microphone and shooting up the other players.

  27. mw says:

    I simply love this idea. I can’t wait to play it! Any new developments? And, haha, the captcha I got to post this says “numerous agents” – a sign maybe?

  28. DirtyDietz says:

    Is there any way to contribute to this project? I think there are many skilled coders and modellers out there who could help! As for myself, I’m really into textures and graphical stuff, illustrations et cetera and would be honored to work on such a promising game.

  29. woot says:

    Looks great. just wondering what keyboard is that?

  30. checker says:

    Jonathan says it’s a “Kinesis Advantage Pro MPC/USB”

  31. Rhine says:

    Awesome concept. Can’t wait to see it go from here, let us know when there’s a playable demo, because I’m sure I’m not the only one interested to give this game a go.

  32. Ron says:

    I’m curious about the same question as DirtyDietz. I would definitely be interested in any way to contribute.

  33. Ruben Vinke says:

    I would love to beta test this game, the idea is great and the screens and photos are promising.

  34. Gaby from Miami says:

    This game looks and sounds amazing- very impressive work! I hope online play will be profiled for individual ranking and logging! Either way keep up the great work and looking forward to more good news on the project

  35. sct says:

    Absolutely great idea for a game. It’s like the Ship but 100 times more personal!

  36. Andrew says:

    Ahh man, I dont care if this is a protoype demo, I want to play it now!!!XD Please can you release some kind of tiny demo soon, even if its a rough build, we dont care we really want to play this!

  37. Stefan says:

    Wow the premise for this game is astonishing. I’m a bit upset it will take so long to be developed. It sounds like a bit of fresh air to all these FPS games (modern warfare 2/ Bad company 2). Can’t wait for a demo or even the chance to beta test. To even just help this game move through its development stages would be incredible. Anything the gaming community can do to help, let us know. Keep up the good work.

  38. Tony Whaling says:

    Brilliant concept… Please don’t pander to the impatient ones and release a halfhearted effort as a teaser. This needs to be polished when it’s unleashed on the unsuspecting community. I’ll happily wait patiently if it’s half as good as I suspect it will be.

    Keep it up :)

  39. Matti says:

    I’d love to play a demo.

  40. Lee says:

    hey, i was reading an article somewhere about this game. it was describing there being possible multiple spys and snipers. maybe who don’t even know each other in a multi room mansion. if you did this, i would imagine that you would have to add rules such as:

    *multiple snipers
    1) no sniper can take a shot that would end the party. so for example, if a sniper wanted to take a shot on a potential spy, they would have to take the shot when their target is alone, perhaps in the bathroom or behind the toolshed.
    2) snipers might be able to “mark” their targets. so if there were three snipers, and two had marked their targets, their shots would be held at the ready, until the third person made their choice, and all three shots would fire at once, whether or not they were in full sight of the other party goers.

    just a few thoughts that jumped to mind upon reading about the multiple snipers idea.

    i think this is a great idea for a game. i’m also thinking about how you make it so that it doesn’t get stale once you’ve played every scenario… like, once you’ve played as a spy and you’ve completed the objectives for a round, how do you not just hover over the bookshelf as a sniper, waaaaaiting for the spy to steal the book?

    all the best with this game,

    Lee.

    • checker says:

      > how do you not just hover over the bookshelf as a sniper,
      > waaaaaiting for the spy to steal the book?

      The Spy chooses the missions they want to take on, so they’re always doing a subset of all possible missions. Currently there are four missions, but eventually there will be 10 or 20, and you’ll pick 3 or 5 or whatever (based on handicapping difficulty). This prevents the Sniper from camping one of the missions that has a spatial component, like the bookshelf. Well, the Sniper can guess that the Spy chose the bookshelf mission, but it’s risky to assume that, since there’s a lot of metagaming going on. :)

    • Ron says:

      Kind of a related question. Ish.
      (1) Are there any plans to have multiple locations? Eg. Mansion, Grand Central Station.

      Unrelated:
      (2) Do you think that SpyParty will be a game solely revolving around the gameplay, or will there be a story?

    • checker says:

      > multiple locations

      Yeah, totally. Any place people congregate and have specific social mores and norms is game for a location, I think. I’m actually going to have fans help brainstorm locations later on this year, I think.

      > will there be a story

      There will be a story, but it’s probably not going to be a single linear narrative with a climax reveal and whatnot at the end. It’s going to be more of a fictional context where cool Spy stuff can happen. There will also be individual character arcs for the people at the parties and whatnot, but it needs to be replayable many many times, like Counter-Strike or Left 4 Dead, so I can’t do a traditional story. A lot of this stuff is still up in the air, though, so we’ll see. The mechanic lends itself to the Spy fictional context really well, and that makes it easy to hint at various stories happening, which is kind of interesting when interactivity is in the mix.

  41. Kiwoo says:

    The MMO market has become stagnant, companies playing it safe with the themepark, EQ, style model. Mainly because of the success of WoW. Safe investments in a proven model.
    Albeit there are indy companies breaking away from that model, more sandbox style MMOs in development. Which hopefully will breath a breath of fresh air into the genre,
    Something which is badly needed.
    But it’s not just the software houses that need to break away from the comfort zone of proven styles, it’s also the player.

    Indy companies that are willing to take a risk and branch out into different styles, to me, are the future of gaming.

    Anyway, questions. Will player choices affect the world or will it be purely static? Will making the wrong choice, for example the sniping, have any real impact on your character or just return a failed mission message?

    • checker says:

      > Will player choices affect the world or will it be purely static?

      There will certain be impact within a given play session, but it’s an open question how much persistence there will be across games. I’m currently leaning towards a structure somewhat like Left 4 Dead, in that there would be a series of levels (different parties) with some persistence across them, and then at the end of that arc, things reset. I really want to keep the game mostly in the player-skill realm, as opposed to the character-skill realm, so I’m worried about things like “you have upgraded your sniper rifle” that you get to keep across play sessions. But, I’ll have to see how it goes, this stuff is all up in the air while I get the core loop working how I want it.

    • Ron says:

      I think one interesting random occurrence that could effect the local situation could be a lover’s spat.

  42. Jonathan says:

    Looks really awesome, reminds me of this cool mod for a game I played once called “parasite”. Pretty much after a few minutes a random character became ‘the alien’ and had to try to kill all of the human players. The humans job was to find the alien (or aliens) and kill them. If the alien killed a human in alien form, the human would also become an alien. If someone died not by an alien, the person would become a zombie. and every so often human players had to go to a certain point to ‘eat’ or ‘sleep’ or ‘go to the bathroom’. So it was similar to spy party because the alien had to pretend to be a human and go to certain checkpoints and not doing anything suspicious. It was a really fun game.

  43. Trevor says:

    I’m really excited about this game, if you’re looking for playtesters in Chicago/on the internet sometime, I’d be honored :)

    This game kind of reminds me of a mix between Mission Impossible for the N64 (one level is to be a spy at a cocktail party and accomplish several missions, only you’re just trying to fool a not very intelligent AI) and the sniper battle in Metal Gear Solid 3, though this certainly surpasses either of those individual scenes. Might be good places to go for more inspiration maybe.

  44. Liudvikas says:

    It sounds good, but it would be even more fun if AI was self improving – tracking the movements of the spy and adapting it’s moving patterns according to the success or failure of a sniper to identify the spy. It probably would be hard to pull off, but it would be great.

  45. jordy says:

    About spies and spy books, the story of Robert Hanssen is quite entertaining, he spied for the sovjets and later for the russians for about 20 years.
    He worked most of his time in the Counter-intelligence section of the FBI, and in that position eventually was ordered to hunt his one self.
    This could also be a fun fact for this game, where the assassin might choose a spy to help him on his quest, but there also could be a chance that the spy is spying against the assassin himsel instead of helping. Or, that a counter-spy against the assassin secretly works for the assassin, in short there could be lots of double, triple, zxiple layers in there.

    Another fun fact of his live were his many paradoxies, for exemaple, he was very religious, but in the same time almost really cheated on his wife and ofcourse was spying against the USA. He also talked trash about the sovjets, while secretly spying for them and not even alone for the money.
    In short, he was, pretended or not, a very other man to the people he knew than he was on the inside, so to distill it into gameplay lingo;
    It would be cool if players have lots of options to make there personality an unlikely spy, with the goal to be believable, might they overdo it they could just that what there trying to avoid, attention.

  46. Eric says:

    I can’t wait for some kind of demo even if it is just a mission or two. This looks like loads of fun. Best of luck in the job market and can’t wait for this game.

  47. Adam says:

    When will the game be completed (ballpark) and on a sooner note, when will there be a demo?

    • checker says:

      The ballpark estimate is a couple years. I want to take it both very deep, design-wise, and to a very high level of polish. I’m definitely assuming there will be a demo, not sure how that’ll work yet, but I’d assume so.

  48. jordy says:

    How’s the progress going, any new exciting features you thoughed of?

    • checker says:

      Currently doing some plumbing work. Yesterday I moved spyparty.com to another server, and since nobody noticed, it seems to have worked. Today I’m trying to finish rescaling a bunch of animations, which is a blast, let me tell you. :) I’m trying to get it to the point where people can pick things up and carry them around, then I can do the Poison Someone’s Drink mission!

  49. jordy says:

    \Poison Someone’s Drink mission!\ Juicy! ;) Well goodluck.

Leave a Reply