As described by MG Siegler of TechCrunch, Spymaster was developed by Eston Bond, who formerly developed games for Facebook, as well as Chris Abad, the founder of iList, an online classified advertisement service. Albert Choi and Ben Myles also are listed as creators.
For a time, the game was playable only by a small group of beta testers. These testers spread the word on Twitter about the game, building publicity for the May 29th public testing release date.
Signing up for Spymaster
By going to the Twitter Spymaster website, a Twitter user can use OAuth to activate a Spymaster account. From there, the user chooses a Spy agency to work for, such as the American CIA, British SIS, or Russian FSB. The network the user chooses decides who is friend and who is foe among the other Twitter users playing Spymaster.
Gameplay of Spymaster
Kyle Monson of Appscout describes gameplay as “making money, buying guns, ‘assassinating’ other players, and collecting safe houses.”
The new Spymaster has a dashboard which can be used to collect tasks given by the Directorate, each of which involve the activities described above. For example, when the Spymaster proceeds to “assassinate” another player, a “hashtag” goes onto the Spymaster’s account and the target’s acount, informing all followers of both parties of the attempt.
Monson describes how much of his gameplay was spent waiting for his energy level to recharge after he had spent resources or energy through one activity or another, or Instant Messaging the friends he was trying to kill.
“Converting” Other Twitter Users
A not so secret motive behind much of the present Spymaster gameplay is prompting users to invite their friends to join gameplay. Once a player “converts” a user into a Spymaster, that player earns money, which can be used for further gameplay.
Complaints about Spymaster
As Dave Zatz, of Zatz Not Funny! discusses, because each action of a player of Spymaster results in a “Tweet”, a heavy user of the game will quickly fill the feeds of his or her followers, “spamming” them, resulting in deletion from that followers accounts.
Monson mentions that there is a Twitter feature which allows the user to turn off notifications on their feed, although there are in game incentives.
Todd Barnard, replying to Zatz’s post, suggests that a Spymaster player may create a dedicated Twitter Spymaster account, so as to preserve the Twitter relationships outside of Spymaster.
Zatz’s instructions for those desiring to quit Spymaster are to go to the Twitter website, click Settings, click Connections, then click Revoke Access for Spymaster.