Spy Development Diary
Welcome to a new development diary for East vs. West, where we will head into a world of espionage, shadows, deception, treachery and strategy.
Real Cold War Spies
The stories of Ian Fleming captivated the imagination of a generation of readers, and his famous Mr. Bond is still the epitome of the Cold War agent for many people – deadly, mysterious, but so cool under pressure that merely the act of giving his name could stop a room.
Clearly, it wasn’t exactly like this – most of the time – but the real individuals who were villains and heroes of intelligence still have to live up to this awesome image in our minds. So we headed out and with the colossal and seemingly impossible task of finding the real life spies of the Cold War discovering a world where men and women made tough choices and lived with incredible burdens.
We raided archives across the world and collected the stories, the imagery, the names and incredible skills of agents whose job required building up a friendship for the sake of that final half hour where it would end permanently in betrayal. Individuals could live quietly for decades until the day they betrayed their love for the higher love of the country, drowning the sun into sorrow. This world is not for the weak-minded and only the cunning survived to kiss the sunshine the morning after. People lived on the edge in an information war on a global scale, with secrecy, informants, nightly arrests, interrogations and double agents.
Now that’s the stuff that makes good entertainment, or could drive you mad of paranoia.
The spying system in East vs West is, in our view, one of the best in a grand strategy game. Each card represents a spy that can be either sent abroad to do offensive missions, or kept at home to create a net to catch domestic traitors and foreign spies. Once sent out, each spy will create their own network and try to fulfill their mission and get back alive. There is no one man army that slaughters half of all enemy soldiers or sinks the newest model of ships. REAL espionage demands cleverness, the right political support in government policies and secret intelligence technologies to build up the odds in your favor before launching a mission. Otherwise you risk sending the spies into certain doom. Constructing intelligence centers and complementing your spies with reconnaissance from aircraft and surveillance satellites will ensure your dominance in the intelligence war.
There are lots of different missions that spies can do across a range of difficulties from revealing the fog of war, to planting disinformation where your enemies will be tricked into seeing brigades instead of armies or vice versa. These in particular are great for surprise attacks, or fooling the enemy into thinking an attack might merely be irrationality.
Not happy with the results and wish to improve your set of spies? A nasty little trick is the ability of certain spies to recruit an enemy spy to work for you. Imagine the look on their faces when their own spy is suddenly acting against them. Of course, you could always play multiplayer in the same room and put your camera on standby to capture the moment when a double agent is revealed.
Skill and leveling system
If a spy survives their mission, they will not forget their experiences. They will gain skill and “level up” so it may be wise to keep them safe and assign a combination of offensive and defensive operations. Of course, you can only hold a limited amount of spycards at once, which means having the right combination and using them effectively is the key. In the case you are REALLY lucky and you get a superspy (those that can do some real damage) you better hope that the enemy doesn’t set a honey trap. Death is forever.
Thank you and please make sure to destroy your hard drive to protect this information!
Lennart Berg (Game Design)
Gellert Keresztes (Game Design)
Gabor Gombor (Hardcoding)
Grega Trobec (GUI Design)
Jorge Martins (GUI Implementation)
Maarten van Tintelen (Spy Images)