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.
There are two ways that snipers get highlights and lowlights:
They highlight characters for potentially completing missions. These suspects are Threatening to win the game via mission completion. A partygoer has reached 100% threat if they could have completed the number of required missions.
They highlight characters for acting Suspiciously. Snipers may feel something is suspicious because it looks “non-AI like” or “human-like” or “Like something my opponent would do.”
Note that what is Suspicious varies wildly from sniper to sniper, but what is Threatening is always the same.
Roughly two dozen people showed up to compete in Shark Week(end), a weekend-long mini-tournament to test and explore the game’s newest venue, Aquarium. The new venue’s most notable feature is a massive shark that swims back and forth between the sniper and the party, creating temporary (but significant, and predictable) occlusion.
Given the uptick in participation from the Teien tournament in December, the proceedings on the first day lasted roughly three-and-a-half-hours, and not everyone completed every match. Most players played 42 games. The top four slots were as follows: Continue reading →
We’ve just released a new, dramatically improved version of the SCL Game Finder.
Game Finder 1.0 allowed you to search for any player, in any role, with any outcome, within a specific division and on a specific venue, for the previous two regular seasons. Version 2.0 is a massive leap forward in both available information and options. 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 →
Individual games of SpyParty are mental sprints, but for the players still playing in Challenger, SCL Season 4 has been a marathon. After ten weeks of regular season games and five more in the Challenger tournament, 368 total Challenger matches have been played, and now there’s just one left. The prize is automatic promotion from the chaotic mess and mass of its unforgiving Swiss system, to Iron and possibly beyond.
Our Challenger Tournament finalists are set, and they followed very different paths. Our first finalist is turnipboy, the #1 seed who narrowly missed auto-promotion in the regular season, got a first round bye, and has won all of their four matches by a comfortable 9-4 margin. Their last step to the finals was a 9-4 defeat of plastikqs.
turnipboy’s opponent is the #10 seed, lazybear, who joined in Week 3, did not secure a bye, and narrowly won their first round matchup with walliard, 9-7. But the lazybear that began the tournament is clearly not the one still in it, as he’s scored better margins against better players since then, most notably a 9-5 win against #3 seed sheph just this week.
For the first time in the tournament, all higher seeds won their matchups.
ryoo‘s deep run came to an end after meeting #1 seed turnipboy, who lived up to his seeding with a strong 9-4 victory. All three of his matches have been by that exact margin. He’ll be unlikely to win that comfortably against his next opponent, however: #5 seed plastikqs, who defeated #13 brskaylor 9-6. brskaylor cruised into the quarter-finals without even allowing an opponent to reach four wins before running into one of Challenger’s best.
On the other side of the bracket, sheph defeated davidw 9-4. Before this loss, davidw had yet to even play a close match, winning 9-3 in each of his previous two bouts. sheph, on the other hand, survived a scare in the second round, defeating watermeat just 9-8 before winning definitively in round 3, 9-1.
lazybear (#10) was nominally the favorite over pofke (#34), but the latter was clearly underseeded due to late SCL entry, and was considered the favorite by many, particularly after their 9-1 thumping of monaters in the previous round. But lazybear’s incredible run continued with a comfortable 9-3 victory.
There are just four players left, and only #10 lazybear has made it this far without the aid of a first round bye.
The favorites demonstrated why they were the favorites in Round 3, with just one lower-seeded player taking the win in the second round: #25 seed ryoo narrowly defeated #9 degran 9-8. And don’t call it an upset, because ryoo was 5-0 in limited SCL play and was probably underseeded as a result.
A similarly underseed pofke scored a definitive 9-1 win over old-timer monaters. brskaylor won 9-2 against paragon12321. #1 seed turnipboy took care of business 9-4 against frostie, and #3 seed sheph did the same against Max Edward Snax. On paper, the closest Round 3 match was #6 davidw against #11 amlabella, but the former won with the same 9-3 margin of last week’s matchup with dbdkmezz.
After hundreds of regular season matches and dozens more in this tournament, we’re down to just eight players fighting for the last two auto-promotions:
Of the top six seeds, four are still alive, and one of the two eliminated simply failed to play their match. Expect the remaining matches to be hard-fought and generally much closer. Everything which rises must converge.
The biggest news in Round 2 was #34 pofke‘s narrow 9-7 upset of #2 seed bitbandingpig. You can at least partially slot this into the “Underseeded Players” category we mentioned in last week’s summary, however, as pofke joined the SCL in Week 7 and went 4-0, obscuring their likely skill level. pofke draws an interesting opponent in monaters, an experienced player who returned after a significant layoff to defeat basshead last week and badplayer this week by a razor-thin 9-8 margin. We never know what to expect when new, hungry players meet more seasoned (but perhaps less recently practiced) ones, so this’ll be a big match to watch in Round 3.
We nearly had a second upset of similar size, as sheph narrowly survived against watermeat 9-8 in a dramatic casted match, in what should probably serve as a warning to the latter’s Group E competitors in the parallel Summer Cup group stages.
#4 seed tarekmak failed to play their match with #29 seed paragon12321, who advances by default to take on #13 seed brskaylor after their defeat of zerodoom 9-3. Other than that, most of the favorites took care of business: turnipboy defeated belial 9-4, brskaylor defeated, degran defeated jinetic 9-4, and plastikqs took his set against HumanKirby 9-2.
We’re down to just 16 competitors now, and so far three of the seven players who received a bye have already been knocked out.