Courtesy of former Maxis animator John Cimino, SpyParty's been fitted with a new set of threads making it look as dapper as what it has going on underneath its pleated silk cummerbund.
Joystiq are the fellows who spilled the beans on this one, but what fine beans to spill. Cimino has been working on the game for a year now, designing a whole new cast of characters to replaces the fairly ugly primary coloured set that were added by Hecker early in the game's development.
"We really wanted the art style to reflect the same level of subtlety that the gameplay has," said Hecker, "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."
When these models are debuted into the game's beta they'll completely replace the characters already in place. Not replace as in swapping one character model out for another, they will replace the characters. I better explain, SpyParty is a game played by two players. One is a spy at an evening dinner party, they'll begin each game with a set of tasks, steal documents from a safe, plant evidence, mean with someone, general spy activities. The other player is on a building opposite the party armed with a sniper rifle with one bullet. They have one shot to stop the spy from completing his mission.
So the reason Hecker will replace all the characters at the party and not simply apply their names to the new models is because the beta players have become so attached to the characters in play:
"I realized that transferring the old names would be bad, since I want to show respect for them, so I'm going to retire their jerseys, so to speak, and choose all new names,"
There's also a blog post over on SpyParty's website that talks about the art style's development, with influence's like The Incredibles being a key factor in its development. It's well worth the read.