Posts Tagged ‘SpyParty’

How to take SpyParty from a 1000-hour to a 5000-hour game

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they’ve taken to make their games. This time, SpyParty [official site].

If Chris Hecker was going to make a mistake with SpyParty, he wanted it to be the opposite mistake to the one Spore made. The way Hecker sees it, Spore’s problem was that it was all accessibility and no depth. And he’d know because he was a lead engineer and designer on Spore. So when he began to make his own game, SpyParty, which after eight years of development has finally hit Steam Early Access, he said to himself, “I’m going to go really hard on the depth.”

And so Hecker did, putting enough depth in this asymmetric two-player competitive game to satisfy 1000 hours of matches from its most dedicated players. But it’s not enough. He wants to push SpyParty to becoming 5000-hour game, and the way he plans to do it is by building his characters. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: SpyParty

SpyParty

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s pretending to be an NPC, badly, in the asymmetric game of spies and snipers, SpyParty. How do you get blood out of a tux?

Nerves already shot, I extract myself from the conversation I’m using as cover and head towards the golden statue, my prize. This plush apartment houses more than a few pieces of art I can pinch, but this one is out of the way, somewhere I’m pretty sure nobody will be looking. I empty my brain and follow the path I’ve settled on in my head. I’m following a script with the single-mindedness of a machine. Or, more accurately, a SpyParty NPC.

I’m almost at my destination when a spanner is flung into the works in the form of a booze-swigging ambassador, sauntering over to the shiny eagle I intend to make away with. For a split second my brain fires up again. I’m not a machine; I’m a startled person who has to briefly recalculate, and that’s all it takes for the laser sight to swing over to me. Pop! My spy career is over.

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SpyParty infiltrates Early Access after nearly a decade

SpyParty

Good things come to those who wait, and everyone I’ve talked to who has been lucky enough to try Chris Hecker’s SpyParty has plenty of complimentary things to say about the 1v1 multiplayer game of social infiltrator vs observant sniper. Think you can spot a single human player in the middle of a crowd of AI entities? Hold your breath, because you’ve only got one guess.

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Embracing the bluff: how SpyParty’s long development changed the game

spyparty1

Chris Hecker has been working on SpyParty for almost a decade now and I get the impression he’d be happy perfecting it for the rest of his career. Some developers want to move from one project to the next, an internal clock ticking down and reminding them how few ideas can be realised in a lifetime, while others are better suited to exploring one design from as many angles as possible, pushing every aspect to its limits.

“I love Go,” Hecker told me at GDC. “I wanted to make Go, but then I realised I was making a different kind of game. I realised part of the way through that SpyParty is more like Poker.” Embracing what the game is rather than what he originally wanted it to be has been key to the whole process.

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SpyParty sneaks into Steam Early Access next week

The fascinating 1v1 sniper vs. spy game SpyParty will enter Steam Early Access on April 12th, creator Chris Hecker has announced, bringing it to a a wider audience after years of coveted betas and its own early access scheme. SpyParty players have developed devious tricks of deception and detection over these years, so I’ll be fascinated to see what happens as fumbling newbies arrive, myself included. I’m Maxwell Smart and everyone else is Agent 99. You’re Vasily Zaytsev and I’m one of those goons who can’t even hit the A Team van driving straight towards them. Read the rest of this entry »

Podcast: The GDC special (with bonus Far Cry 5 chat)

An artist's impression of the Game Developer's Conference 2018

♪♫ When you go to San Fraaaanciscooo, be sure to wear a lanyard with ‘Media’ inscribed on it round youuur nnnneck ♪♫ That’s what Adam, John and Brendan sang to each other as they gleefully skipped through the streets of California’s tram-infested hill city. The crew were in town for the yearly Game Developer’s Conference where they spoke to developers, played games, and gambled on the results of the annual awards show. Now they’re back and ready to tell you all about their Stateside adventures on the latest RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. Read the rest of this entry »

SpyParty is coming to Steam early access after 8 years of development

spy

The first time SpyParty was mentioned here was in 2010, and we’ve not written about it since 2015, so you could be forgiven for forgetting that it existed. But it does indeed still exist, and after eight years of development, it’s coming to Steam early access. There’s a new trailer below that breaks down the simple but seductive premise.

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Party Saboteurs Infiltrates Early Access

After a brief spell spent lurking in the long cast shadows of Steam’s Greenlight initiative, mutliplayer stealth-a-thon Party Saboteurs [official site] has now successfully snuck onto Steam Early Access. Its spy and sniper heritage make it immediately comparable to the likes of Spy Party and Hidden in Plain Sight, however the debut venture from Brazilian outfit The Glitch Factory mixes things up quite a bit by charging players with controlling both the shooter and stalker at the same time.

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SpyParty’s Not-Strictly Ballroom Update Incoming

SpyParty [official site] – Chris Hecker’s game about blending in with AI lest you reveal yourself as a dirty human and are assassinated – is due to get an update at the end of the week. It’s called The Not-Strictly Ballroom Update and contains a revamped (it’s a makeover on the level of Clueless’s Tai) map and additions to the cast of characters.

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Rock, Paper, Shot Takes: Hype, Bullshots & No Man’s Sky

A (hopefully) weekly series, in which the RPS hivemind gathers to discuss/bicker about/mock the most pressing (or at least noisiest) issues in PCgamingland right now. Hot Takes are go.

Alec: OMG THIS IS GOING TO BE THE MOST AMAZING HOT TAKE EVER. By which I mean, today we are discussing hype and videogames and if that helps or hurts them and helps or hurts us. The prompt for this is Hello Games’ chat with Pip last week, in which they mourned the crushing weight of expectation placed upon them as a result of having made some pretty good trailers for their space exploration game. I guess we’re going to struggle to avoid a touch of physician heal thyself here, but anyway. How do we feel about how the world feels about No Man’s Sky?
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Invite Only: Chris Hecker On SpyParty’s Six New Guests

The current cast of SpyParty

SpyParty [official site] – that reverse Turing test of a game where you have to disappear into a party of AI characters, dodging suspicion as a fellow player armed with a single sniper bullet scans for tells – has now unveiled its third group of characters. Amongst the group are 40-something rocker Ms L, Sikh gentleman Mr K and a pair of doctorate-holding identical twins. We nabbed some time with developer Chris Hecker over email to discuss the latest additions. Read on for hair triangles, why you should never wear an ugly sports coat to a party and the limits of geometric nepotism:

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Interview: Shooting The Queen With Chris Hecker

The Queen in her rightful place, holding Pimms

Excellent and terrifying human behaviour sim SpyParty is still in development. I know this because party host Chris Hecker sent an invite to the RPS inbox, asking if we wanted to see the new art for the game. It would be an exclusive soiree just for us. I dressed for the occasion, meaning I put on clothes, and prepared my notebook with all the questions I didn’t get to ask him when he interviewed himself.

In this talk: sniping royalty, hair as a game mechanic, the influence of League of Legends and Dota, and the future of Spy Party.

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A New, Sexier Party: SpyParty

I'm not even getting paid for my likeness, this is outrageous.

SpyParty fits into a rather small list of games with the header “stuff I read about in PC Gamer for about thirty years but never actually tried” and also the “games Craig Pearson rather likes” one. They’re similar lists. For the unfamiliar, it’s a one-on-one espionage deal that pits a spy at a party against an onlooking sniper who most identify them before they can carry out their mission. It’s the sort of scenario that lends itself so well to games that it’s surprising it’s taken this long to be done. Probably because of the intense amount of time it’s taking to be done right. A three-man team has been chugging away for over four years, with an Early Access model and upcoming graphics improvements the latest developments. They’ve just buffed up their official website to match and there’s a new trailer available once you’ve completed your assignments, 007.

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Video Horror: Ain’t No Party Like A Glitchy SpyParty

Throw your hands in the air, then merge them into your torso like you just don't care.

Sometimes glitches and bugs are more than mere annoyances. Sometimes they’re joyful farce, as in Soldner. Sometimes they turn patch notes into a kind of poetry. Sometimes, as in the SpyParty video below, they’re shrieking nightmare fuel that will keep you awake at night for weeks to come.
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Polygons Begone: Spy Party’s New Art Looks Lovely

SUSPICION!
I think part of the fear I had over playing Spy Party rested on the graphics. I might have overcome the horror of attempting the delicately balanced multiplayer if the characters were welcoming and not blank-faced Doctor Who monsters from the planet Do Not Want. That is a problem that Chris Hecker has been working on for some time, and now we can finally see how the new art looks and plays. The beta just updated with a test level, showing off the new room and a few of the new character models. A video is below.
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So, Uh, We Got Chris Hecker To Interview Himself

Journalism from the outside looking in
There are times when the RPS Action News Team 3000 is just too busy. Like that time I missed posting about Half-Life 3’s secret crowd-funding effort because I was cleaning the bath (it failed, btw). At those moments, when developers are emailing us exclusives and wiring money to our Swiss bank accounts, we just want the developer to step-up and do the job for us. That actually happened last night. Chris Hecker wanted to talk about Spy Party, but when he e-mailed me I was, er, having a nap. When I came to, my hair was in no fit state for the sort of journalism that RPS demands, so I asked him for a few notes. Well, yada yada yada, he interviewed himself about the upcoming art update to his wonderful game. I intend to do a proper interview with him about Spy Party, but for now here’s Chris Hecker journalisming Chris Hecker. Hard.
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Hands On: Spy Party

Does anyone have any ibuprofen? I've got a cracking headache...
If Spy Party developer Chris Hecker were to look back over the game’s connection logs from the past year, he might notice some strange behaviour. He’d see me arriving, spending a minute in the lobby, then disconnecting. This pattern would be repeated a few times. It wasn’t a technical problem, Chris. Don’t go bug-hunting. Those cold digits spilling over your screen as you search for a flaw wouldn’t have registered the truth of the situation: I am a coward. It was the panic I was feeling over becoming a Spy Party player that was causing me to leave.
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I Spy An Open Beta For Spy Party

You can't snipe me! The world needs my giant hands to rescue especially large kittens from trees.

Like most people, I remember the day I first started lusting after Spy Party. It was long before the lengthy, fairly exclusive closed beta, new look, and (I’m pretty sure) my own birth, but I’ll never forget it. But now – finally, mercifully, joyously – anybody can play. Me, you, an especially deceptive Toucan – whoever. All you need is $15 and the steely resolve of an unreadable machine who’s never even contemplated death, let alone feared it.

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A Dying Art: Man Versus Machine

What if your computer wanted to kill you? Imagine entire worlds that contain nothing more important than a terrifying machine intelligence that absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. Through the filter of aliens, robots and an Atari 2600, here are some thoughts on why it’s good to run, to hide and to die.

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I Spy A New Look For Spy Party


Spy Party! Come here. You’re taking far too long about this, and I’ve a mind to give your ear a right old clipping. Oh, what’s that, you’ve been busy working on a brand new, completely overhauled and really rather fetching ‘illustrative’ look? Well, alright, I’ll let you off this time though. Just this once mind, and you’re still going to bed with supper tonight.

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