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What is SpyParty?
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.
Six years ago to the day, Drawnonward posted an entry here titled Depth First, Accessibility Never? where he talked about the game’s depth, how it can intimidate new players, and what we can all do to help mitigate that. The biggest gains to be had, of course, are still on the game development side of things, but now’s a good time to take stock of what we have (and haven’t) done on the community side:
Casting has always been a big part of the SpyParty scene, particularly from 2018 onward when the game became available on Steam just as SCL Season 4 began. From those matches and other tournaments the same year, the community produced over 100 hours of competitive SpyParty content. In 2019 we roughly doubled it, and added another 150 hours (plus countless casual competitive streams) in 2020. Add it all up and you’ve quite an archive, so we decided to do something with it:
Introducing 24/007, a Twitch channel that continually streams competitive SpyParty matches. The channel, which picks the next VOD randomly, is launching with over 400 videos and about two weeks of run time. Most VODs have had their host and casters logged, along with a related match page so you can easily download the associated replays. Continue reading
Several of the most significant leaps forward in data collection in this release were made possible by TripleAgent, the OCR-based replay timeline parsing method developed by Calvin Schoolidge. A huge thanks to Calvin for his tireless and generous work. Here’s some of the new things you can do:
Almost exactly a year ago, abearRAWR graced us with a set of still image tsumego puzzles. Now, 373 days later, he’s given us a half dozen more.
You should be able to spot the spy in each of these images, though the giveaway may be extremely subtle and/or involve detailed game knowledge. Good luck! Oh, and click here for a brief explanation of the term “tsumego.”
The second Winter Cup is complete. Months ago, actually, but for posterity: the champion was Pofke, who defeated Ryooo in a dramatic match that ended with the same score as last year’s Winter Cup final: 10-8. Here’s how the tournament unfolded after the Group Stages:
For the fourth consecutive year, SpyParty fans attending PAX West in Seattle were gifted a custom-designed shirt commemorating the assembly. This year, the theme was the same as the game’s new trio of venues: occlusion. Behold, the Sharkji:
When Teien was released last year we were told it was the first of three venues exploring various forms of occlusion. The second, of course, was Aquarium. And we now have our first look at the third. It’s called Redwoods.