SpyParty is an asymmetric, one-versus-one game of perception and deception.
At a party populated with a number of AI partygoers, a spy is tasked with completing a number of missions within a time limit. Watching the party from an outside vantage point is a sniper, whose sole mission is to identify and terminate the spy with a single shot. Both players have tools at their disposal; the sniper can mark people to keep track of their behavior, while the spy can simulate the behavior of AI characters and employ a number of deceptions to attempt to throw the sniper off their trail.
Game setup proceeds as follows: 1. One player selects a role: either the spy or the sniper. Whoever selects their role first gets it, and the other player gets the other role. Usually players agree in chat who will do what role first. 2. The spy chooses the mission setup and the venue. This can be done by selecting a quickplay preset, or by clicking "Advanced" and configuring parameters manually. 3. The game automatically casts an ambassador and a double agent for the spy (the sniper may have 0-3 suspected double agents depending on the venue), and if necessary add a seduction target if the seduce mission is available. 4. The sniper reviews the parameters for the game and accepts them.
During the game, both players can see/hear:
- The party, from their particular vantage points
- The game clock (though the time shown may differ)
- The mission list for the map, including:
- The name of each mission that the map supports
- Which missions the spy has excluded
- The number of missions that must be completed
- The identity of the ambassador and the location of their briefcase
- What statue model is on each pedestal
- The guest list before it is purloined
- The audio (and optional caption) when the double agent is contacted
- The location where the sniper's laser is centered
- The overtime indicator, when applicable
Only the spy can see:
- Whether the spy has taken control from the AI yet
- Current status of each mission on the mission list
- The true color of books, indicating which bookshelf a book was removed from
- Indicator colors for statues (gold = normal, blue = inspected, green = swapped, green has priority over blue)
- The actual amount of time left on the game clock, if there is time that has not yet been added to the sniper's clock due to a green action test on a time add
- The identity of the double agent
- The identity of the seduction target, if the Seduce Target mission is available
- The "missions complete" countdown timer (when the spy has completed all missions)
- The "mission win pending" indicator, when waiting for an AI character to complete the last mission
Only the sniper can see:
- Highlights and lowlights on the partygoers, when the sniper has applied them
- A roster of all partygoers with highlights and lowlights noted
- The identities of suspected double agents, if more than one suspected double agent exists
The spy and sniper may chat to each other via text in-game; beyond that, the only interactions the spy and sniper have during the game are:
- The spy can see a red laser representing the sniper's center of field of view.
- If the spy attempts or fakes the Contact Double Agent mission, both players will hear a sound clip of the words "banana bread."
- If the spy gets a red action test on the Contact the Double Agent mission or moves while doing the mission, both players will hear a "cough", possibly multiple depending on the cases (see Contact Double Agent for more info).
- If the spy moves while holding a statue a "clank" will be heard by both players.
- If the spy moves between the time they clicked to purloin and when they have the glass in their hand, a "crash" will be heard by both players.
- If the spy chooses to add more time by checking their watch, the sniper's clock will adjust accordingly.
The game ends when one of three things happens:
- The sniper fires a shot, in which case the sniper wins if they shot the spy; otherwise, the spy wins.
- The spy completes all their missions in time, in which case the spy wins.
- The spy runs out of time to complete their missions, in which case the sniper wins.
If the game ends on mission completion or timeout, both players are immediately notified of the game's winner. If a shot is fired, the victim falls over dead to the sounds of screaming partygoers. The spy will immediately know if they've won (because their character will not have fallen over dead). The sniper typically can't tell immediately because their view is limited by the sniper scope. In any case, the endgame screen will shortly appear, notifying both players who has won and lost. The identity of the spy and the sniper's target (if a shot was fired) are both revealed, and both players can see which partygoers the sniper had highlighted and lowlighted at game's end. On the right side of the screen is a replay display, allowing both players to individually review the game. The replay is also automatically stored on their respective computers, allowing them to view it at a later time.
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