SohoSpySquad (Playmakers 04)

From Ludocity
SohoSpySquad (Playmakers 04)
Designer: Alex Fleetwood & Holly Gramazio
Year: unknown
Players: 30 - 60 (3 teams of 10 - 20 people)
Stuff required: 3 tripods, three basic Flip-type camcorders, 3 screens + linking cables, 3 buckets, marbles (or some other kind of token)
Crew required: Four. One game leader and three scorers
Preparation: An hour
Time required: 15 minutes
Place required: Any public space. A large space with cover and multiple streets is ideal, eg Soho
Activities: Sneaking, filming, talking, teamwork, bluffing.
This is an untested game. Its rules are written, but it hasn't been tested out yet.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

This game is part of the Playmakers project. Teams of agents maneuver their video cameras around the playspace, capturing footage of vital targets and their opposition - but the opposing teams have cameras too...

Instructions for Players

You will be placed in a team. Your team has a colour. Put on a sports bib or bright ribbon of the appropriate colour, and gather around your video camera, which will be atop a brightly-coloured tripod of the same colour.

Your team will be given a handout with a map of the gamespace, and indications of a selection of targets found within it that you need to monitor. These targets could be indicated with a variety of photographs, cryptic clues, and other methods, all pointing at specific places and objects within the playing area.

Before the game starts, the tripod-holders will be led away, and the rest of the teams will have five minutes for a team huddle.

At the end of the five minutes planning, the game begins. The tripod holders will start recording on the cameras. Players are immune from filming while they're in a specific "safe zone" (in this case, the park area of Soho Square).

  • Instructions for Tripod-Holders

Your mission is to film as many street signs in Soho as possible. A map and an alphabetical lists of streets has been provided to help you. You can only score once for each sign. To film a sign, film it with a stationary camera for 3 seconds. You also score points for filming members of opposing teams.

Tripod holders can only move at WALKING PACE. Any fast movement of tripod results in INSTANT DISQUALIFICATION. Keep your camera STEADY and SMOOTH.

  • Instructions for the Other Players

Your mission is to find your camera and evade filming by opposing teams. When you find your team's tripod, take over the filming and add your token to the bucket.

Players must exit the vicinity of the tripod once they have been replaced. Once replaced, they must return to Soho Square and get a new token.

Players not in charge of the tripod can move as quickly as they like, bearing in mind that safety (particularly in Soho, with crowded pavements and busy roads) is at a premium.

Ending the Game

The game lasts for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, return to the Studio Theatre for video playback and scoring. Should you experience technical problems with the camera during the game, or if you want to confirm the game has ended, there'llbe a contact number on the final rules handout.


  • 1 point for each of the first 10 street signs filmed (1-10)
  • 2 points for each for the next 10 (11-20)
  • 3 points for each street sign filmed after that (20+)
  • 1 point for each second an opposing player is on screen
  • 3 points for each second an opposing tripod is on screen, but only if they're not filming you
  • 1 point for each token in the bucket

Instructions for the Gamerunner

Brief your teams to be as quiet and respectful of the space as they need to be. Clearly there is more scope for charging and yelling in a big public park than there is in an arts centre, but make sure they're aware of the surroundings.

The briefing / scoring area should be as quiet and enclosed as possible, ideally away from the public spaces of the game (a private room would be ideal).

Your three volunteers for scoring should ideally have played the game before, so recruit some veterans or playtest the game with them on the day.


Soho Spy Squad being played from the Soho Theatre.

Play history

This game ran as Test Case at Sandpit #9 in the Barbican, as Shrine at Sandpit #10 outside the ICA, and as "Surveillance" at Sandpit #11 at the BFFI. It will run in this form at Sandpit #12 at the Soho Theatre.