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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: SpyParty in the media

The Day Soon Arrived

For five years, I’ve been keeping a secret.

Keeping a secret is always a little fun. You get to feel special. You get the satisfaction of knowing something interesting that other people don’t. In discovering the Next Big Thing while it’s still Next and not yet Big. But it’s not sustainable, because a bigger, better part of you wants to share it. The fun of a secret lies in knowing you’ll get to reveal it someday.

Today is that day.


A couple of years ago, I flew to Seattle to volunteer at the SpyParty booth for PAX West. Afterwards, I wrote an essay about the game and its community called Shaking the Hand of Someone You’ve Shot, in which I said the following:

“…this game of bite-sized espionage is too strange and refreshing to merely enjoy: it has to be shared.”

This idea is partly literal: SpyParty is a multiplayer game, after all. Every game is different, and every game is shared with someone else. It is, to use a word you’ll almost never see in video game writing, intimate. Does intimacy scale?

That’s the test, both for the game itself and the community: what happens when a close-knit group, where everyone knows each other, opens its doors to the rest of the world.

Today, SpyParty will be on Steam. We don’t know what happens next, we just know that it’s next. The secret is out. Tell everyone.

Join the party.

2011 SpyParty Article in GameInformer

In the middle of a fun little Twitter thread about Bloom’s SpyParty sampling track, longtime player james1221 posted this throwback image to a 2011 article about SpyParty:

Click for full resolution

Highlights From “Kotaku Asks: SpyParty Designer Chris Hecker”

Chris Hecker participated in a “Kotaku Asks” comment-based interview yesterday. You’ll wanna go and read the whole thing, though the system isn’t the most intuitive, so here are some of the answers you (if you’re visiting a site like this) are probably most interested in:

1. Hecker is “still really nervous” about making the game available on Steam, but plans to do it this year. However, it’ll probably be after PAX Prime (end of August).
2. On the possibility of the game’s price going up after release:

Chris Hecker: If it does, I’ll announce it way in advance so people have a chance to get in before the price goes up. I’m spending a lot more on the game than I originally thought (basically, I’m burning my savings to the ground, wheee!), but on the other hand, you want indie multiplayer games to be as accessible as possible. Plus, if $15 is good enough for Counter-Strike, maybe it should be good enough for SpyParty. 🙂 Basically, I don’t know. I want to have two-for-one discounts, spawn copies that’ll play their parent copy for free, and other stuff to help accessibility as well.

3. On increasing player retention:

Chris Hecker: Yeah, people bouncing off the game is the biggest problem right now. As I’ve said before, it’s still so early, and so harsh of a learning curve, and there are so few features to gently ease somebody into it that it’s not surprising. Plus, it stands to reason that as more people hear about the game, the percentage of superfans willing to go through all that to find the goodness will go down. So, my job is to fix all those impediments. But I also want to keep making the game deeper, so it’s hard. I think spectation will help, but single player is a huge thing the game needs to ease people in. That’s my lesson from Hearthstone.

4. Someone asked if he was “separated at birth” with Guy Pearce. You be the judge:
5. And finally, my favorite exchange: