SpyParty - You've done it, Checker. I want to play this game

Don’t give up on those design docs yet, you’re right, and there are going to be a bunch of multiplayer modes, and yes, it does scale arbitrarily on the sniper side. I’ve had 6 people watching the sniper view trying to spot the spy, sometimes with the person on the controls not having a clue, and the people in back figuring it out, and then trying to decide if they should say something, and then the spy player notices that the people in back have figured him out and he gets all nervous and starts making mistakes. :)

There will be modes where there are multiple spies that know about each other at the party and are doing co-op missions, multiple spies that don’t know about each other, so you might see another partygoer bug the ambassador and be like, wtf? I’m even considering having drop-in/drop-out without announcements to the current players, so somebody new walks into the party, are they a human or npc? Not sure if that would be madness or super cool yet. Needs playtesting.

Split screen in the same room is somewhat problematic, though. :) I’ve actually got a background design thread going about what a hotseat design would feel like. It would obviously have to be turn based, and the real-time aspect of the current thing is pretty important to the feel, but I’m considering it.

Of course, if I successfully figure out hotseat play, then async turn based play is not far off, and then I can do SpyPartyVille and sell different colored cumberbunds with microtransactions, which is obviously my real goal here.

I actually want to try to get a group of people together to play The Ship as research, so count me in. I can’t do it until next week, though, but yes, I’ll post here and we’ll get something going.

Yeah, I don’t usually mention the inverse Turing test aspect of it unless the audience is technical, but some people figure it out. Occasionally somebody will say something like “yeah, but you’ll have to make human level AIs which is impossible”, and then they realize it’s the human who has the tough job, not the AI. :)


Totilo’s article is up, wherein he describes how the pwned me at my own game:

Next time, I shoot immediately upon identification, then monologue. You’d think I’d learn from watching all these spy movies.


This reminds me of a tactic a buddy of mine used to use in Ultima Online; he would impersonate an NPC and try to get close enough to people to pickpocket them.

Oh, and it also reminds me of an idea I heard a long time ago at the game design challenge, where Will Wright was asked to pitch a game about love. His suggestion was to have one set of players playing a traditional FPS game, but with two other players trying to accomplish the lovers’ objective of trying to cross the map together and flee. I bring this up because I can totally imagine incorporating other players with different goals, all stuffed into the same room.

  • Alan

I want to preface my comment with the fact that other members are causally dropping Turing Test applications:

Besides the already mentioned fact that this game looks amazing, it has something that will resonate with certain parts of the college demographic (or maybe just Linguistics majors?)…insane drinking game potential.

Best of luck in development.

It’s cool to see such an innovative game design.

It would be fun to see a superhero take on this where you chase after a supervillian with a chameleon power (can steal the appearance of anyone he touches) through a crowded city. You are looking for duplicate members in crowds or people fleeing (which the whole crowd may do if you come storming into them). If the villian gets away he may switch forms so you aren’t always looking for the same thing.

Oohhh, I wanna play! Please! I can has?

Good gravy this sounds amazing. Sign me up for the putative alpha/beta testing phase. This is the sort of innovative indie gaming that I love hearing about out of the blue.

Who says there are no new ideas left in PC gaming? This sounds brilliant.

Yep sounds really cool!

I too was confused as didn’t raliz there was a “checker” and “checkers” on the forum.

And if anyone starts up rounds of ‘The Ship’ sign me up. Loved that game.

Hmm…I’ve had the retail version for well over a 1.5 years, now. It sounds like I should install it.

Veering wildly off topic - Ah, the Ship! I’ve been wanting to play that for ages… might be time to reinstall it!

Sorry, what’s The Ship?

The Ship is a… sort of… well, it’s a complicated assassination simulator set on a cruise ship. Think tf2-style, deus ex-emergent, Agatha Christie-esque game of cat and mouse.

Look. This will explain it better than I can.

Oohhhh, that looks cool. Is it fun?

It’s nerve-shatteringly tense. You’ve probably read about the basic concept of you’re hunting someone who doesn’t know that you’re hunting them.

And of course, someone’s hunting you.

So you’re moving through this mostly empty, stylised ship, knowing that any time you might be being chased by someone, or watched, or a trap is being prepared.

It’s very scary.

In terms of MP, I wonder if you could do a variant where there was another player working with the sniper, such that the sniper could only have a zoomed in view where the partner was looking. Now the partner in the room also has to circulate to try and spot the spy and “blend in” or be revealed to the spy.

Yeah, one mode being considered is two spies and two snipers, the spies trying to identify the other to their respective snipers, without giving themselves away.


Count me in, been playing the The Ship since the original was released. It’s always a good time, and the source version gives you a lot more room for creative murders than the original. PM me for my steam info.

That’s a really good idea. I’m getting more and more excited as I read your ideas for different game modes. It all sounds awesome.
In regards to split screen being difficult to execute, maybe you could split it 4 ways and make 2 of the windows spectating AI characters with the other 2 being the real players. It will at least make it more difficult for a sniper to find the spy by checking the other player’s screen. “Dummy” screens, so to speak.

The source version? What’s that?