Early beta sign-ups for SpyParty, the upcoming game from indie developer Chris Hecker that blends sniping and espionage, became possible back in May. Today, Hecker announced that he has solidified pricing for early beta access, and apologized for missing his earlier prediction that early-access would begin mid-June. Depending on how philanthropic one feels, there are two options that function as pre-orders, but that will also get you early access to SpyParty during the final testing phases.
For the uninitiated, SpyParty is a competitive multiplayer game for two players. One player is a spy attending a party filled with numerous AI-controlled attendees, and has a specific goal to complete. The other player takes on the role of a sniper who must observe the party from afar, figure out who the other player is, and assassinate them with the only bullet in their possession.
Option one for early access to the beta costs $15, and grants all subsequent game updates, including the final version. Hecker also provides details about access to a possible MacOS version, and though he's unsure whether or not he'll be able to provide console versions to those who pre-order as well, that could end up being part of the pre-order package, too.
Your $15 gets you access to the beta SpyParty and all the updates during the beta, access to the private beta website, which includes forums for announcements, finding games, and discussing strategies, and eventually a bug/feature tracking system. You'll also get the game for free when it releases on PC. I can't say for certain right now, but I'm pretty confident I'll be able to give you a key for activating it on Steam or your digital distribution platform of choice. If/when I end up doing a MacOS port, you can have that version too as part of the deal, in case you'd rather play there. I probably won't be able to give you a console version, but if I can figure out a way to do that, I will.
Another early-access option is also available, for those who'd like to contribute a bit more to SpyParty's development efforts. Those interested in contributing $50 or more will also receive the aforementioned benefits of the $15 option, as well as a mention in the game's credits. Hecker notes his general apprehension to the commonplace practice of giving special rewards, gadgets, or skills to higher-end contributors, explaining that because SpyParty is a "pure player-skill game," it's important to keep participants on a equal playing field.
As a special way of saying thank you for generously helping to fund the game, I am planning on putting everybody who contributes $50 or more in the game credits. There aren't going to be any credits in the game until it ships, so again, this is not going to create a two-class system during beta testing. This is just a way of giving thanks and recognition to the people who put a little (or a lot) extra in when the game needed it most.
In the comments following the announcement, Hecker hints that he's interested in exploring cross-platform play for SpyParty, but anticipates a difficult challenge. "I will probably go down in flames," he said, "but that's part of the reason I'm spending all this time learning all the ins and outs of doing a modern secure backend infrastructure."
Those interested can sign up for SpyParty's early-access beta here.