Check out the latest release from MFA Graduate Sigursteinn Gunnarsson, Triple Agent!

“Tasty Rook releases its first title: Triple Agent!, a thrilling party game of betrayal and espionage for 5-9 people played on a single mobile device.

At the beginning of each game of Triple Agent! every player is secretly assigned a role as a member of The Service or a double agent working for VIRUS. Pass the device around as you get events that can reveal information about other players, change your team, or give you a completely new win condition. Information is revealed secretly and it is up to each player how much they reveal. At the end of the game you vote on one player to imprison. If a double agent is imprisoned, The Service wins; if not, VIRUS is victorious!

Tasty Rook is a two person studio focused on bringing social, board game-like experiences to players. Its mission is to deliver digital games that foster community and playing with your friends face to face. Triple Agent! doesn’t really take place on the phone, the game takes places in the physical space between the players. In the darting glances and piercing glares. The accusatory remarks and proclamations of innocence that fly across the table.”

Triple Agent! is free and out on iOS and Android. Learn more and get the game here!

Sig and his co-developer detailed the intriguing development history of Triple Agent! on their press kit, some of which we’ve posted below. You can read the full story here.

Patient Zero
You can trace Triple Agent all the way back to 2009, to a card game prototype by Sig. The game was “Virus”, a mafia variant where one player starts as a virus Host and infects a new player every round. It was fun and showed promise but wasn’t exactly viable in its physical form. Hiding the Host’s interaction with other players so their identity could remain hidden was tricky.

A Mobile Hidden Role Game
Fast forward 7 years to 2016. Sig had just moved back to Iceland after studying Game Design at the NYU Game Center and met up with Torfi, a game designer and programmer working in Reykjavik. We wanted to make a game together and were throwing ideas around to see what stuck. Around that time we played a prototype of a single device hidden-role game by Martin Jonasson and Petri Purho. Playing such a deep social game on a mobile device was a huge inspiration for us. We’re both huge board game players and love playing and making games where you play face to face with your friends. We started to think about game ideas that could work in this setting. Remembering Sig’s Virus we realized it could work really well on this platform.

The First Prototype
After modifying the design for mobile, we had a prototype up and running in a few days. This version put players in the role of space station crew. One player started out as the Host and their goal was to infect everyone aboard. The humans had to figure out who is the Host and kill them before the virus spread too far. Interacting with other players through the phone worked well but the design had some issues, so we decided to shelve it while pursuing other game ideas.

Triple Agent Is Born
After several months of trying out different ideas we had to decide on a project to complete. We took a hard look at each of our prototypes. When we started talking about Virus we saw potential for a different kind of game with the same format. We shortened the game to just a single vote phase to determine the winning team. Then we added randomly chosen events to give players something to talk about and base their decisions on. Finally we changed the theme to a more approachable Cold War-era spy theme that also fit the design better. After a few months of iteration and polish we felt like we had something we could release to the world.