Recently, one of the Among Us developers, Amy Liu, posted a video of one of the developer builds of Among Us from two years ago. The short video shows an orange tinted crewmate walking through an early version of The Skeld, and gives a small amount of insight into how far along Among Us has come.
What Among Us looked like in the early days
There’s a lot that goes into game development that never gets seen by players. In this video, we can see how almost everything in the map looked and operated differently than it does in the finished game. Of note is the way that line of sight is handled in the developer build of Among Us, as shadows appear to update much slower than they do in the finished game.
The crewmate’s coloration also underwent significant improvement, as the chosen colors help each crewmate stand out more clearly, while the dev version featured a darker and more shadowy red.
Compared to the dev coloration, the current color palettes give the crew a more pleasing appearance. Each color was created to be highly saturated and high-contrast to make the crew visually striking, and actually took a fair amount of time in development. Because much of the game is hand drawn, all crew animations needed to be redone for each color currently available in the game, and adding a color means redoing all animations in Among Us.
Why it helps to see what Among Us looked like in development
is an interesting case study for anyone looking to learn more about game development. It shows that a small team and small budget can still lead to significant success. It’s true that there’s no surefire formula for success, and luck certainly plays some role, but Among Us only became a hit game because its ideas and implementation were unique and well put together.
Even though it took years before Among Us became the global phenomenon we know it as today, it shows that sometimes a good idea really is all you need.
If you want to know about how Among Us was made, you should definitely check out the developer Q&A conducted a few weeks ago by Big Boaby.