Spychology

Simon and I tried SpyParty yesterday. It’s still in beta, so it’s not so polished, but it’s quite fun even looking like the N64 as it does. Which it won’t for long. The final art is fantastic too and can be sampled in an included map.

SpyParty is a two-player game wherein one player acts as a Spy at a dinner party with a list of espionage missions to surreptitiously complete. The other player is a Sniper, who must figure out which of the party guests is the Spy.

I turned out to be a much better Spy than Sniper, but here is the wisdom I have gained in playing as both over the last couple days.

When Playing as Spy

  • When you first start a round, you have to click your left mouse button to assume control of your character. Until then, your character acts as any other NPC and will seek out an interaction point. It’s more convincing to let your character settle at a point before clicking in. It gives you more control over your options from there.
  • Know where you’re going before you leave an interaction point. NPC’s don’t wander around aimlessly. Neither should you.
  • Furthermore, know that you can get to where you’re going before you leave where you are. Simon caught me tonight because I headed straight for a conversation, but then tried to shove my way in between two other NPC’s. It was socially awkward and it gave me away.
  • Go where you’re going with confidence and intent. Don’t pause on your way there or change course unexpectedly. And make sure to hit the mark. Stopping short will leave you a hair outside the interaction point and it’ll give you away if the Sniper sees you inching into it.
  • Do things unrelated to your missions. Read books even if you’re not transferring microfilm, inspect statues just for the hell of it. Ask Toby the Waiter for drinks. Check your watch, but don’t add time.
  • The briefcase is part of an thus-unplayable mission in which the Ambassador will put it down and forget about it and other NPC’s will pick it up and try to return it to them. If you’re going to pick it up, you need to act like an NPC and try to give it back to the Ambassador. Don’t just walk around with it.
  • When contacting the Double Agent, do Fake “Banana Breads” early and often. Do them when the Double Agent(s) are in a conversation circle, but not in the one you’re in.
  • Let the Ambassador or Double Agent come to you. It’s really obvious you’re the Spy if you’re seen following around these marked people like a lost puppy. Get in a conversation circle and wait for them to show up. This may also apply to Seduction Targets, as following anyone too closely is suspicious. However, the Sniper is not informed of Seduction Targets like they are Ambassadors and Double Agents so they won’t be actively keeping tabs them unless they think you two are suspiciously cozy.

When Playing as Sniper

  • Look for people fucking up all of the above.
  • Don’t point your laser at the thing you’re paying attention to. If the Spy needs to bug the Ambassador, they know you’ll have to watch them to catch them planting the bug. And if you have your laser pointed right at the Ambassador, the Spy will know it’s not safe to make a move.
  • By that same token, position yourself away from what you’re watching. If the Spy suspects you’re not staring down your laser, they may instead think you are staring straight at the scene from your position. And they can tell where you are because every line has two points. Place neither point where your attention is actually focused, and the Spy may choose to work in the “unattended” space you’ve created under a false sense of security.
  • Watch people checking their watches. If the timer gets more time on it, whoever’s checking their watch is the Spy. If there’s more than one person watch checking, you’ve at least narrowed it down.
    • Simon
    • January 18th, 2014 6:10pm

    Another thing to keep in mind is your time – both as the Sniper and the Spy.

    For the Spy, keep in mind that YOU LOSE if you run out of time before completing all of your objectives. Although it can be possible to quickly run through all of your objectives, that’s a best-case scenario. Sometimes big, mingling crowds or an elusive party VIP (perhaps a stubborn Ambassador or a shy Seduction target) can make you lose a lot of precious seconds, or even cost you the match if they just can’t be reached.

    Sometimes you just HAVE to add time. Don’t be ashamed, we’ve all been there once or twice. If you find yourself in this position, calmly make your way to one of the far edges of the party, but don’t attempt to add time just yet. Make sure someone ELSE is along the fringe of the area too. Hell, try and see if you can have your Spy trigger the action and look at their watch at the same time as someone else.

    As the Sniper, the Spy running short on time is a golden opportunity. If you notice that a lot of objectives have potentially been achieved – the Guest List is gone and everybody has had a turn looking at the statues – you might need to take some decisive action. But if not? Maybe nobody has spent much time around the Ambassador, for instance, and you know that it is on the To-Do List, be patient. While the Spy loses for running out of time, you lose if you take a reckless shot and put down the wrong person. Let the clock run down and watch for the Spy to be the reckless one, scurrying about like a little Spycrab to flirt, signal their double agent, or try to add time, because they’ll have to go straight for it and potentially muck it up.

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