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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.



Category Archives: essays

The Greatest Matches in SpyParty History

One of the advantages of a protracted development cycle is that the game accumulates an impressive historical record. SpyParty’s competitive history is rich for any game, and for a game still in Early Access, it’s practically unheard of. With that in mind, I’ve made an attempt to identify and describe the greatest competitive matches in the game’s history.
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How Chris Hecker Changed My Life: A Multi-PAX Story

When I first started playing SpyParty, I never thought any game (much less an indie game) could have such an impact on my life. For years I’ve considered Mother 3 to be my favorite game. I didn’t expect much to come of my SpyParty career, in the game or outside of it. But that all changed at an event called the Penny Arcade Expo, and I believe that change has altered the direction of my life.

Before PAX 2013

Prior to PAX Prime (now PAX West) in 2013, I hadn’t been doing much with my life. I didn’t have a job, I was living at home, and although this article made me want to become a game designer, I wasn’t doing anything to reach that goal. I had an active social life and was enjoying myself playing video games (and learning about board games), but I wasn’t progressing.

One thing I was doing was streaming this fun little indie game called SpyParty. I’d started in October of 2012, and had a small (but loyal) audience. I wasn’t very good at the game, but the other people playing were welcoming and nice, and the creator tweeted out a link to my stream anyway, which meant the world to me.

I played nearly every day, and eventually reached the point where I felt comfortable talking to other community members. I started playing players with huge game totals (over 3,000 games played!). I remember Chris, on Twitter, referring to me as the “LNS” (Late Night Streamer), because I would always stream at midnight PDT.

For my 100th stream, I started using a webcam and added an overlay, which changed how I interacted with the people in my chat. The audience was still small, but also still loyal.

After streaming for awhile and interacting with the rest of the community, I found my own style and voice. Posting to the forums wasn’t so stressful any more, and talking with Chris was more like talking to a friend than an authority figure. So as PAX 2013 approached, I posted this:
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It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Within the SpyParty community I’m known for being from Lithuania (wherever that is), but more so for playing SpyParty a lot, talking a lot, and generally doing everything a lot. And that‘s the kind of person I am–when I love something, it takes up a big part of my thoughts, my emotions, and my life. And that‘s why SpyParty has made me cry more times than some of my crushes.

As I write this, I have about 5,000 games played. When I started playing this number was unthinkable, and I assumed anyone who’d played that many games must be a pro. But now that I’ve reached it, I don’t feel like a pro. I still second guess my decisions. I still question my assumptions and doubt my ability to understand things. I still get fooled by AI pathing, and I’m still not sure when a briefcase return is suspicious. I don’t feel as good as my game total. And sometimes, the difference between my experience and my expertise can be discouraging.
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Essay on PAX, the Game, and the Community

About a month ago I posted a quick diary of my time at PAX. This morning, I posted a more in-depth essay on the the trip, the game, and the community that makes it all possible. It’s my attempt at explaining, to people outside the community, just what it’s like to be a part of it, and why the game engenders the interest and loyalty it does. I hope you enjoy it.


Shaking the Hand of Someone You’ve Shot