Spyparty: Learn To Party Like The Spies

SpyParty remains one of the most fascinating propositions in indie gaming, but it’s perhaps not all that clear from the outside how the game plays out. Fortunately for the SpyParty-oblivious, Indiegames have spotted that Mr Hecker has posted a tutorial video for his early-access beta folk, and that gives us a good impression of the game’s systems, as well as an idea of how to play. Go take a look, below!


  1. Kynrael says:

    This really looks awesome :)

  2. JackShandy says:

    Can not wait.

    Traditional competitive high-skill games have so much shit you have to get good at before you can get to the interesting strategy – actions per minute, memorizing combos, etc. I’m really holding out hope that Spy Party could get straight to the mind games, so I can finally get into an esport style experience.

    • Blackcompany says:

      I’m gonna get hammered for this but that’s fine. Its an opinion post.

      But yeah…I never really understood the concept of real time “strategy” where the strategy largely involved the ability to make more clicks per minute than your opponent. Strategy, to me, implies planning, bluffing, creativity and careful placement and maneuvering. Not carpel tunnel syndrome.

      But they what do I know. In this new world of Starcraft being a “sport” surely I must be wrong….

      • JackShandy says:

        Naw, actions per minute doesn’t have anything to do with the actual strategy bit of starcraft – it’s just a tedious tax, something you have to get good at before you can actually get into the higher strategy of it. The strategy comes into play when both players have roughly equal apm.

        • Groove says:

          Jack is quite right about the strategy part.

          Also, apm as a prerequisite was mainly a requirement in the original SC. In SCII the apm required even at top level is well within the reach of most people. If there is a skill-tax as a prerequisite then it’s being able to multitask exceptionally, fighting a battle while managing construction and checking the minimap for harrassing attacks coming in while you’re distracted.

      • SiHy_ says:

        I understand what you’re saying but the thought that enters my head is to compare Starcraft and the like to the ever-lauded sport of foot-to-ball (are we still calling it that?).
        There is definitely strategy to both ‘sports’ however, in football, being able to run faster than another player isn’t a strategy in itself, just as clicks-per-second isn’t actually a strategy in Starcraft, however it’s certainly an advantage (possibly a much-needed advantage).
        That said, I haven’t played that type of RTS since C&C Tiberian Sun so I may be totally off the mark.

      • Savagetech says:

        I don’t see how someone would hammer you over arguing that action skills != strategy skills. Although I agree with you, I’ll play the devil’s advocate here for the sake of discussion:

        An important part of strategic thinking in many contexts is the ability to think under pressure and perform the correct strategy despite physically demanding circumstances that conspire to disrupt clear thinking. While army generals and strategists might have the luxury of orchestrating a battle plan from an air-conditioned base, field officers are forced to follow plans and improvise situationally while dodging bullets. Starcraft and similar games simulate the more harried mindset of field tacticians by forcing the player to “keep moving” while formulating their strategies on the fly.

        As Jack said, a great deal of the advanced strategy in Starcraft comes when both players have roughly similar APM. If an opponent has twice as many units as a result of his physical superiority he doesn’t really need to bluff or worry about his positioning because he can crush you with brute strength. While this may not be pure “strategy” it is similarly true in real warfare. However, this doesn’t mean strategy is a moot point in cases of material superiority; the American Revolutionary War and the Vietnam War are two cases where outmatched militaries (the Revolutionaries and the Vietcong) defeated opponents who were superior in numbers and armaments by exploiting the tactics of the enemy. Such situations are not foreign to RTS games either; employing strategy is generally the only way to beat someone who is better at the physical aspect of the game.

        Again I agree with what you’re saying. When I play RTS games my strategic sense far outstrips my mechanical ability, and I almost always hit a wall where I don’t have the APM to execute the strategies I need to use in order to beat my opponent. It’s frustrating because I generally know what I need to do, I just can’t get my body to execute the actions as fast as others can.

        I think it would be cool to have a team-based RTS with “commanders” whose primary job was to dictate strategy, manage resources, and activate global abilities while their “officers” had direct control of field units. Natural Selection did something like this already and it was a blast, and another FPS did the same thing if I recall. It would be cool to have an RTS to bridge the gap between people who enjoy the games primarily for the action or the strategy rather than the mixture of both.

  3. The Sombrero Kid says:


  4. Tridae says:

    Looks great but DAAAAMN the camera movement in the video is annoying. He moves way too much when just explaining the simplest of things. . .

    okay. . .rage over. . .seems fun. Just hope the walls disappear faster in the final build, the little flashes that happen now are annoying.

  5. airtekh says:

    I love this kind of gameplay; fooling your opponent into thinking you’re an AI. I’ve been scratching that itch recently with the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer.

    Very interested in this; a most definite purchase for me.

  6. S Jay says:

    ! :D

  7. Walsh says:

    If there wasn’t a “beta”, I would label this as vaporware. RPS first posted about this game in March 2010 and it pretty much looks the same as it did then.

    • Groove says:

      I thought pretty much the same thing. When I saw this article I wondered if the game hadn’t come out at some point while I was distracted.

    • johnnyr says:

      I’m one of the lucky few that got invited in the first batch of the beta, it’s anything but vaporware. It’s actually one of the most unique and awesome games I’ve played. I can not wait until more people get their hands on it, because I think a lot of gamers (especially ones who like indie stuff) will be all over it.

  8. RagingLion says:

    He really is going for the depth that he promised. What I love so many of the actions and strategies feel so original although there are some you can compare to other games, just framed in another way – I mean how many times have you had to time when you make an action so that it blends in smoothly with animations that are already happening.

    A stray thought … imagine if this could become an actual e-sport! The thought seems bizarre and it probably wouldn’t happen for being so different to anything else but if it has the depth then why not? Then again Frozen Synapse and many others would easily be an e-sport at this rate if that was true. It’s not right?

  9. Dozer says:

    That partygoer is a spy!

  10. Torgen says:

    I sincerely hope this ends up being as great as the premise, and the dev gets a fancy money hat and accolades.

  11. Geen says:

    My money. Shut up and take it.

  12. jonfitt says:

    I am concerned that this will end up being critically praised, but commercially unsuccessful, and therefore unplayable for those who like it.
    The learning curve for being a Spy is huge and requires a lot of investment from the player. To play against a lame Spy will probably be no fun for either participant. Hence I think many people who buy it after the initial reviews will bounce off it and move on.
    I am very wary of Indie/small multiplayer-only games. They often fail to sustain a population and that means that it can be impossible to get a game going. now this only requires one other player, so maybe it will be ok.
    But I just think of Lead and Gold, DogFighter, Plain Sight, Shattered Horizon, etc. All interesting games in their own way, but they quickly dropped to very low player counts.
    Personally I will only jump on an indie/small multiplayer-only game if it’s free 2 play, or plays asynchronously like Frozen Synapse.

    • JackShandy says:

      I’m worried about that too. I can’t see any way that the game’s going to be free-to-play, either.

      When you only need 2 players, it could turn out ok – but still, you want as big a community as possible.

    • Tuesdays With Gorey says:

      Same thing happened with Sleep is Death, excellent concept, fun for a LAN match with a friend when you can make that happen (not often for most), and with a flickering but mostly dead online community.

      I finally got a hold on the story teller’s side of the game, only to realize that I had nobody to play with.

      Then again Space Station 13, a game which Spy Party actually has some roots in, in terms of faux-roleplaying being a meta competitive game thing, has a thriving and active community thanks to Something Awful.

      Epic Mafia, a game even more like Spy Party, based on the russian party game “Mafia”, is also still totally popular and you can get a game any time of the day (I highly recommend this one by the way, once you get past the awful internet people who can sometimes play, it’s really addictive, and being good actually requires you to out-think other players and trick them with conversation)

      And no, Epic Mafia is not a micropayment fueled Facebook game, as it sounds, google it yo.

      So don’t count Spy Party out just yet. It’s niche, but niche can work.

  13. BathroomCitizen says:

    I’ll ask this

    where’s niddhogg

  14. IvanHoeHo says:

    Man, that’s probably how I sound like during interviews. No wonder nobody’s hired me yet…

  15. bbl says:

    Loved the concept, but I am worried quite a bit that this early Tech Demo is called Beta. I’ve seen 24 hour jam games that looked better than this. There is almost no visual progress since the last Alpha screenshot from over a year, and controls also look quite clumsy.

    Most of the time he is fighting the camera rather than performing cool spy stuff. In a game like this I do not want to be shot, only because I walk left when I want to go right.

  16. Kamen Rider says:

    I was really expecting a Paul McCartney joke for this one. I’m a wee bit disappointed.