With Among Us becoming one of the biggest games in the world during the last quarter of 2020, it’s worth it to take a moment to look at the development studio behind Among Us. Let’s see just who Innersloth is made of, and how they’ve each contributed to the creation of one of this year’s most surprising hits.
Just three developers made Among Us
Among Us was put together by a team of just three developers, listed in their “About” page as Forest W. (@forte_bass), Marcus B. (@puffballsunited), and Amy L. (@aemuuu). According to their own descriptions, Forest handles programming and the business side of development, Marcus deals with art and animations, and Amy fills in on art, in addition to anything else the studio needs done, such as merchandising.
The three of them got their starts on Newgrounds roughly a decade ago, with Marcus being the most prolific of the trio with the short segments that would later comprise the Henry Stickmin Collection.
How does such a small studio make a game like Among Us?
Innersloth was able to make Among Us into the great game it became thanks to a focus on the core elements of the game. Obviously, with a team of just three people their options were somewhat limited in terms of what they could do. For example, something like redesigning each of the crewmates to look different and have fully animated 3D bodies would have been a time wasting distraction from what actually made the game fun to play.
Instead, the three of them focused on their skills and worked within their limitations to hyperfocus on gameplay instead, and the results show. Nobody who plays Among Us seems to care that the crewmates have a simple design, with most people actually praising their simplicity rather than deriding it. Likewise, the tasks are not meant to be full mini-games, but rather small obstacles for the crew to overcome.
By having this emphasis on gameplay, Among Us was able to attract an audience that was drawn to the game organically, rather than being attracted to it as a result of marketing or advertisement.
Marketing Among Us has actually been a problem
While game development may be something the studio seems to enjoy and excel at, Marcus “Puffballs” Bromander actually pointed out that marketing has been something they’ve struggled with. When asked by Kotaku why Among Us took 2 years to find success, he said they were “really bad at marketing.”
Fortunately for Innersloth, their game had a good enough idea to build up, albeit slowly, over the years until it reached a critical mass. This does, however, function as a lesson about how no matter how good of an idea you have, communicating it and getting it out into the world is a vital part of making it useful.
How has Innersloth been handling the success of Among Us?
During an interview on the YouTube channel Big Boaby, the developers answered questions about future development for Among Us. During the discussion, Forest mentioned that a lot of his time has been consumed handling the business side of the game since its sudden and massive success.
While it looks like a challenge for them at the moment, they also seem to be focusing on handling their studio as best as they can during this period of success to avoid making any kind of major slip ups that might affect them down the line.
Even if it takes a while, players can expect Forest, Marcus, and Amy to be back to developing Among Us and adding new content in time.