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.
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 →
steph: My favourite new character is the Duke, because all of his animations are really angry.
kcmmmmm: Evil Bondo. He has a very dominant, imposing stature, and wears princely clothes; he just looks really cool. Also, his “neutral” animation position places his hand behind his back, so I kind of wonder how it’s going to feel to track animation cycles with him.
virifaux: I think of the blonde character as “More Handsome kcm.”
evilsnake: The short guy made the biggest impression on me. He will be very interesting to play as.
pwndnoob: Little DeVito. I’m a sucker for a unique bar animation.
elvisnake: His size will provide interesting opportunities for cover, and I love Toby’s kneeling animation when you get a drink.
slappydavis: I think DeVito is the most interesting gameplay-wise (obviously), but I’m really not looking forward to him likely being the de facto “Guess Who meta” character when streamers play the game.
igounseen: I’m looking forward to the It’s Always Sunny references.
That’s what magician1099 said to me when I entered the lobby. I hadn’t read the manual. I played as spy anyway, twitched, and got shot. I played as spy again, twitched again, and got shot again. I thought to myself “I should probably read the manual.”
May 31st, 2016
I’d joined the beta on January 10th after watching lthummus stream a few sets, and it took me three months to decide that this was a game that I needed to have. I threw myself into it, and shortly after, threw my name into the PAX volunteer hat. I didn’t think there was any chance I’d be chosen.
Fittingly, it was lthummus that told me it had happened: “Hey Steph, it seems like you’re going to be a booth slave.” Apparently he’d seen a forum post about it before I had. I was in shock: me, representing SpyParty at PAX West? I’d had the game for 150 days, and I had 6,000 fewer games than any of the other selected volunteers. I got this crazily exciting news at midnight, and barely slept.
I’d never been to any gaming convention before. But I’d heard and read many stories about what they were like (Shaking the Hand of Someone You’ve Shot, Caley’s PAX Diary). I’ve read about sleeping in cars, in parks, and in a room with seven other people. I’ve learned that there are four things I definitely need to bring with me:
Water, for thirst.
Hand sanitizer, so that I don’t get sick.
Cough drops, so that I don’t lose my voice.
Deodorant, so that I don’t add to the smell that I’ve heard occurs at PAX.