The Spy Party team has doubled in size. Designer Chris Hecker has been joined by former Maxis colleague John Cimino, an animator tasked with overhauling Spy Party's low-fi visuals. Joystiq have the first images of the new characters, and they look pretty swish.
Spy Party casts one player as a sniper on the voyeuristic end of a high-powered scope. The other player acts as a spy in a party half a kilometre away. The undercover player must mingle with guests and complete secret tasks without alerting the sniper peering in through the windows. The sniper gets one shot. If they're wrong, they lose. It's remarkably tense.
So much of Spy Party depends on how good the spy is at acting like an NPC guest, which means these planned art and animation changes will have a significant impact on the way Spy Party plays.
"We spent a ton of time trying to figure out the best possible art style for the game," Hecker told Joystiq. "We really wanted the art style to reflect the same level of subtlety that the gameplay has. I didn't want it to be too realistic or too exaggerated, and I think we hit it on this really nice, call it naturalistic or illustrative – they look like illustrations. I'm super excited."
The new models will get an airing during Pax at the end of the month. Here's what Spy Party's current models look like.
And here are the new designs: