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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.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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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.

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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

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