Social Media

Hey Twitterers. Join my spy ring before I hunt you down and put a bullet in your skull.

Posted by Adam Kleinberg on May 30th, 2009 at 12:00 am

That's right, boys and girls. I'm playing Spymaster.   

What's Spymaster? A major sensation in the twitterverse, apparently. Massively addictive. Ominously dangerous. Mysteriously sophisticated.  

Oh, and it's a game.   Here's the basic outline of how it works:

  • Your followers are spies. Ones playing Spymaster are Spymasters and you get points for that. And more points when for spies with lots of followers.
  • You earn money for successfully completing tasks like assassinating ambassadors and coercing mafia bosses
  • You can buy weapons like a Yargin PYa Grach Pistol on the black market. I have 11 of these in my arsenal.
  • You can try to assassinate other players (IMPORTANT:  it's tempting to kill your friends, but this only makes you weaker so do NOT try to assassinate people in your own spy ring)
  • As you advance in the game you can buy a safehouse in Berlin or stash some of your money in a Swiss Bank account.

The success of your various missions are impacted by your multipliers. Here's a great description of how they work from the game that gives you a sense of how it works:

How multipliers are calculated

Multipliers are calculated based upon the strength of your spy ring. Both spies (ordinary followers of yours on Twitter) and spymasters (your Twitter followers also playing Spymaster) are equipped with weapons from your spy ring in a combat scenario. The system will automatically equip spymasters with the most powerful weapons and defenses in your inventory, then equip what's left to as many spies as possible. The attack and defense strength of an item differs depending upon who is holding it: a spy is only able to utilise an item at a drastically reduced rate. This is why having spymasters in combat is essential. For example, if you have a ring of 3 spymasters and 2 spies and buy 5 automatic knives, you will not see your attack multiplier increase by 20; instead, it will increase by roughly 13 as the spies holding knives are not as powerful as spymasters.

Make no mistake about it. Spymaster is awesome. Half of the people from my agency were up playing it Friday night at 11pm. 

Here's an email I just got to prove it:   

"... dammit, now I have a new addiction. Anyway, be sure to buy more than one of an item in black market.  They'll automatically get assigned to spies when they do jobs and act as a force multiplier.  Especially for tasks where you need a ring to complete it. I've got a safehouse in Berlin to generate revenue."  

This changes the game when it comes to marketing on Twitter. Any brand that asks "can Twitter really be an effective marketing tool?" need only play Spymaster for a half an hour before their mouths will start watering for new ideas leveraging the Twitter platform that can provide engagement this deep.

Want to play? Follow me on Twitter @adamkleinberg and D me to send you an invite.

Then, let's go kill some Russians.

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