It’s strange to think about it, but less than a year ago there was a time when Among us was not a household name. When it first launched in 2018, it wasn’t a failure, exactly, but it seemed destined to live out his days as quietly as a good impostor, except without killing him. Then, last summer, it exploded thanks to a small handful of popular Twitch streamers, who then broadcast it to all of the other popular Twitch streamers. Suddenly all eyes were on Among us‘three-person development team at the time.
This, the developers YouTube interviewer Anthony Padilla told, was not a walk in the park. Even as Innersloth grew, albeit slightly and slowly, the team members suffered from burnout from the immense expectations that were suddenly placed on them.
« Among us going viral, it was just like, ‘OK, this is my life,’ ”said Amy Liu, artist of Innersloth and director of many other things. “The pressure to get things done quickly was really high. From September to December we are talking about Xbox, PlayStation. They were going to try to get Among us on these platforms, which usually takes several months, like six months to a year. We said to ourselves: ‘Three months! We will try this.
The brunt of expectations also weighed on Liu and the rest of the team at the height of a global pandemic.
“I’m definitely exhausted,” Liu said, tears in his eyes. “It was difficult because during all of this we couldn’t see friends and family. Being so tired of working I couldn’t even go visit my family during the covid and had to vacation alone… It was definitely the hardest time.
Of course, the original members of Innersloth have achieved incredible success, so it’s not like they’re isolated and penniless. Artist and game designer Marcus Bromander recognized that there is “one element” to making all your dreams come true that comes with Among us‘rise to gambling royalty, and he said the money and resources found have certainly helped with “other stresses.” But it also increased the pressure.
“The amount of attention we’ve had on ourselves, and like, every little thing we do will be looked at and criticized,” Bromander said. “We changed the font at one point because it needed to be changed, and people were like, ‘Bring back the old font! I don’t like this new font. ‘”
All the while people were constantly declaring Among us– whose updates were born from a failed attempt to Among us 2-a “dead game”. The developers have learned to ignore these kinds of comments, but they still had to sift through them for constructive feedback. It has taken its toll.
“There was a point at the start of the year,” Bromander said, “when a lot of the negative comments really started to hit me and, combined with the overwhelmed feelings, I was just like, ‘I don’t even want to work. above. I finished.’ “
In general, Innersloth struggled to align player expectations with reality. One contributing factor, programmer Forest Willard explained, was the game’s straightforward art style. Fans saw how basic the game looked and assumed that creating new content would be a snap, even if the reason why the developers wanted to do Among us 2 in the first place because the first game was likely to break during the update.
“Trying to outdo yourself while catching up, all of those things take time,” Willard said. “And when you have less than hundreds of millions of [peoples’ worth] pressure, they don’t understand that it takes months. Server issues should be fixed tomorrow, adding new items should be next week, it’s so easy [to them]. It’s a lot of pressure. It is overwhelming.
Among us remains massively popular, but its time as a Twitch-topping sensation is over. As the developers of Innersloth feel the pressure to continue to reach new heights, they no longer need to rush or try to keep their numbers up. They can afford to take their time, a luxury that many less successful game developers do not have.
“You still want to go up,” Bromander said. “You can’t go up forever. The peak is not a bad thing. There may be pressure to [be] like, “We’ve got to get all we can out of this game,” but I don’t think we will. We will do what we can with the game. Once there are no more ideas, we are not going to push.