SpyParty is a spy game about human behavior, performance, perception, and deception. While most espionage games have you spend your time shooting stuff, blowing stuff up, and driving fast, SpyParty has you hide in plain sight, deceive your opponent, and detect subtle behavioral tells to achieve your objectives.
Unlike the suave and confident spies you might find in films or books, most spies in spy games are more like super powered commandos--more Rambo than James Bond. By contrast, SpyParty is a new and quite different game about the more interesting and deeper aspects of being a spy.
How have I survived Diamond? What is it like for me to play in that terribly strong division for years on end? To understand my answer to those questions, you need two pieces of context.
The first piece of context has to do with a quote about love. It describes a concept that I’ve lived by since I read the quote, though I’ve now forgotten who wrote or said it. Whoever that was, they were talking about someone they loved dearly: “You are hard work.”
The meaning, as I take it, is that even (especially!) the best and most rewarding things in life, including true love itself, demand our hard work;—our attention, our focus, and our effort, to the best of our ability to give it. Nothing worthwhile is effortless. Continue reading →
There’s a point before every competitive SpyParty match where my brain comes up with reasons not to play.
I don’t ask it to do this, but it does it anyway. Maybe something will come up and I’ll have to reschedule or drop out. Maybe there’ll be some kind of emergency. Maybe I’ll just faint. My brain does this whether I’m an underdog or a favorite, whether I’m confident or pessimistic. My brain does this even though everything is fine and I have no intention of deferring the match. In fact, I’ve never failed to show for a scheduled match, for any reason. But I still involuntarily imagine excuses I can use to avoid it, every time. Continue reading →
We’re closing in on the end up of the Winter Cup Group Stages, and you’re probably wondering how they’re going. Fear not, because there is an answer! I’ve compiled all the matches played so far, and we’ll be going over each group one by one.
For a comprehensive list of match scores and group going-ons, I’ve thrown together a spreadsheet of the results, excluding the matches we intend to cast over the coming weekend (January 12th and 13th). Without further ado, let’s jump right into the groups! Continue reading →
The first SpyParty Winter Cup, organized by OpiWrites, is underway!
The format is similar to the long-running Summer Cup (organized by royalflush), with round robin group stages used to determine the seeding for a knockout bracket. Here are the groups: Continue reading →
The first day of the Teien Tournament was a round robin featuring 17 competitors. Each player was scheduled to play every other player for two games: one as spy, and one as sniper. At the end, the four players with the most wins advanced to a small bracket to be played on the second day. Continue reading →
In real life, spies benefit from being anonymous. In SpyParty, they benefit from being notorious.
SpyParty is a game with a lot of skill expression. It’s also very difficult—even those at the top level of play will often say that they feel like they aren’t good enough. Both of these things stem from the fact that SpyParty is a multiplayer strategy game. The mechanics of play and counter-play are well documented and explored within the community, and adapting to your opponent is considered a vital skill to victory. If you don’t know what your opponent is doing to beat you, how can you possibly beat them? Continue reading →
Once again, SCL Diamond Leaguer @bloom_sp has posted a mash-up of music and SpyParty cast dialogue. The dialogue is from multiple casts spanning both the SCL and the Summer Cup, among them the Season 4 Championship Cast.
In 2015, I attended PAX West for the first time. I wrote a brief diary and a not at all brief essay about the experience. When I decided to return in 2016, I thought it’d be fun to make custom shirts for all the booth attendees. I settled on the admittedly minimalist design you see above, on the left, and they were well-received enough that it’s become a tradition. Continue reading →