Chris Hecker's SpyParty remains on its long road towards a final release, having been in development for several years. However, Hecker has taken a big step forward with his upcoming espionage game by adding five new playable characters, each with their own unique personalities and distinct style.
The new characters include the Asian socialite Ms. F, who dabbles in an equestrian/polo theme; Mr. G, a redesign of the game's current general figure; Ms. H, who is identified by her prominent hair style; the wheelchair-bound Mr. I, who acts as sort of a tech mogul; and the portly Ms. J, who carries around a fully-animated dog in her purse.
"I would like the characters in SpyParty to represent a wide variety of people who don't normally appear in video games," Hecker explained on the SpyParty website. "This list includes women, minorities, old people, and people with disabilities. Furthermore, I'd like all of these diverse characters to be playable, and have them all be competition-level tuned and balanced, even though they retain their diverse characteristics. By this I mean the elderly woman will walk like an elderly woman —- so mostly likely slower than a fit young person -— and because of this, a player choosing her as the Spy will have to compensate with better time management for accomplishing missions. However, the design of SpyParty is such that this walk-speed-disadvantage will contribute to the meta of the game, and so players will be less likely to choose her, so she'll be less suspicious, so they'll be more likely to choose her, and down the yomi rabbit hole we go! I'm lucky that I'm working with a game design that allows me to explore diversity with no compromises."
Hecker is aiming to have a competition-ready map prepared by PAX 2014. Beyond that, the goal is to add ten more playable characters before the SpyParty's final release. There is currently no window for the game's final version, but those interested in checking out SpyParty can get in on the game's open beta now.