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Indie Game Developer Chris Hecker Want You to Join the “SpyParty”

Indie Game Developer Chris Hecker Want You to Join the “SpyParty” (photo)

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Chris Hecker’s ready to come in from the cold. So far the only way to see and play the solo game-maker’s hotly anticipated “SpyParty” has been the public playtests he’s held at gatherings like GDC, the PAX gamer conventions or before lectures like the one he gave at NYU a few months back.

But, the fast-talking programmer’s just announced that he’ll be launching a beta for the psychological shooter in the near future. It’ll cost $15, but you’re essentially getting a lifetime license that lets you play from the game’s current raw state to the polished final product. The beta version of “SpyParty” will only run on Windows PCs but Hecker plans on putting the final game on as many platforms as possible.

As he mentions on the sign-up page, Hecker has been using public playtesting to tune and help develop the game. A paid beta will continue funding as well as generate ongoing streams of data that he can use to figure out the sweet spot of the experience he wants to deliver. It’s a smart model, one used to great success by Markus ‘Notch’ Persson for his runaway indie success “Minecraft.” Of course, clever funding/development models aside, what you need to make a game a hit–especially indies without the benefit of mucho marketing dollars–is a compelling core idea. “Minecraft” has it in the mechanic of being able to build almost anything you can imagine. And I think “SpyParty”, which asks you to either blend in with a bunch of computer-controlled characters or pick out the person doing the blending, has it, too.

The particular thrill of “SpyParty” comes from anonymity and mimicked behavior. At an in-person playtest during GDC or PAX, my opponent was always in view. Thus, when I played as a spy and escaped the sniper’s bullet or successfully shot down the opponent’s espionage avatar as the rifleman, I got to gloat in person. Yet, I think “SpyParty” is going to feel purer over the Internet, since that play experience will isolate players. Hunting for that damned spy all by your lonesome on a couch somewhere turns “SpyParty” into a true battle of skill, will and observation. I predict that it’s going to stoke heretofore unseen levels of gamer rage. Soon, the masses will be able to partake of it.


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.