SAN FRANCISCO—During last month’s Game Developer Conference, longtime coder and designer Chris Hecker invited me to a game demo event with a tidy premise. “We are going to talk about three things,” he said as he began booting a six-year-old ThinkPad. I immediately laughed in response. Hecker invited me under the pretenses of unveiling news about his long-in-development one-on-one video game SpyParty—one I have followed for years, owing to its tense and truly unique face-offs. Every three-minute match pits one “spy,” who acts like an AI character at a video game party, against a sniper, who watches the entire party play out before guessing who the human is among the computer-controlled crowd. Sure enough, Hecker had specific news to share: an April 12 launch date for the game on Steam Early Access, a new slew of game features, and a $25 price. (Discount hunters have ten days to buy the game at its beta-test price of $15, which will include a Steam key.) As I laughingly assumed, it took us a while to get to that trio of facts. First, we had to shovel through more than eight years of SpyParty development rubble, which has cost Hecker hundreds of thousa...