SpyParty is a showdown between two players, one as a sniper and the other as a spy at a fancy party. The spy's room is filled with AI characters chatting, walking around, investigating the host's books and art – standard fancy party activities. The spy attempts to blend in with the NPCs and complete assignments, and the sniper tries to spot the real person and shoot him before his mission is a success. It's so deeply detail-oriented that a fighting game buff from EVO is the top player.
The new images show off two locations for spies to infiltrate, the modern home and the traditional mansion. Visually, each environment tells a story: The hot places, colored in orange and yellow hues, are areas that the spy inhabits. The cold spots, colored in blue tones, line the track from which the sniper peers in on the party, searching for the spy. Click through the pictures offering an outside-in view of each house to get a feel for how the sniper will move along the perimeter of the game. Think of it as a manual gif.
Hecker launched the SpyParty early-access beta
in June, charging $15 for a life of espionage, following a closed beta that began in 2011. SpyParty
may make its way to Steam Early Access in the future, but only when the existing player base is large enough to stabilize any incoming trouble – the current
community is a welcoming, helpful place, and Hecker wants to keep it that way. He's never had to ban anyone; the most he's done is send a few emails asking players to calm down and treat the game space as if it were their own living room. A sudden influx of players could ruin that carefully cultivated player base.
Since opening the early-access beta, SpyParty
has drawn in 10,000 registered players, and Hecker celebrated the quintuple-digit mark on Twitter
this week. Two tweets later he reminded followers that Minecraft
had sold 15,741 copies just that day
popularized the early-access beta model and Hecker recognizes how that impacts his own plans, but he retains perspective: "You don't want to compare your game to Minecraft
because that's like comparing your game to Doom
will remain in beta for as long as that system pays the bills, and as long as Hecker is improving the game. People are still
, for crying out loud, and with the entire internet as his potential market, Hecker sees the early-access system as an "infinite runway" to perfect the game.
"The internet is really big; it's insanely big," he says. "SpyParty
is pretty weird, but there are even weirder games, and you can sell them online nowadays and make a sustainable living – and that's the goal. The goal is not to get rich; the goal is to keep making games. It's just not that hard to do that if you have a good, quality game now. It's great."
great – as long as that "infinite runway" isn't actually infinite.