Tells are the manner in which a spy is differentiated from the other AI partygoers. A spy cannot complete their objectives without giving away some sort of signal to the sniper; otherwise, a sniper would have no information to work with and SpyParty would be a game of random shooting. During the game, a spy seeks to minimize and manage their tells, while a sniper is constantly looking for a partygoer exhibiting tells in order to highlight and eliminate the spy.

A flag is similar to a tell, but persists after the spy action is complete.

There are three types of tells in SpyParty: hard, soft, and behavioral.

Hard TellsEdit

Hard tells are actions that only the spy does; if a sniper spots a partygoer exhibiting a hard tell, they can nearly be certain that the partygoer is a spy. Hard tells are the most obvious variety of tell in that they can be used to positively affirm that a partygoer is a spy.

Some examples of hard tells are:

  • Some red action test animations
  • Aborted actions
  • The animation for removing microfilm from a book
  • Bugging the ambassador
  • Entering a bookcase or statue pad while holding a drink that has more than one sip left

Soft TellsEdit

Soft tells are actions that can be used to glean information about the identity of a spy, but don't directly give away a spy's identity. Frequently, soft tells are the result of a good action test, which replaces the hard tell inherent in many missions.

Some examples of soft tells are:

  • Calling "banana bread" (all partygoers not in conversation during the call can be lowlighted)
  • Adding time to the game clock (all partygoers not at a window can be lowlighted)

Soft tells can also be suspicious behaviors: actions or behavior that the AI could do, but a spy is more likely to do because of a perceived strategic advantage.

Examples of these kind of soft tells include:

  • Rushing the bookshelf or statues at the start of the game
  • Picking up a statue in an obscured location
  • Gulping a drink
  • Taking a drink outside on the Gallery map

Behavioral TellsEdit

Behavioral tells are patterns that suggest the partygoer is a spy independent of their exhibited actions. Generally, these are not animations or signals coded into the game, but ways the player chooses to act that betray their identity as a spy because the AI does not generally act that way.

Some examples of behavioral tells are:

  • Spending excessive time at the statues for swapping/inspection (AI partygoers have a limited time at the statues)
  • Transferring the microfilm by moving the whole book (AI partygoers always return books to their proper bookcase)
  • Trying to carry a briefcase to the ambassador while ambassador is busy.
  • Quickly shuffling in and out of the same conversation.
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