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  • Making An Among Us-Styled Game In 10 Days: Lessons Learned

    - Bari Silvestre

  • Make Problems and Solve Them to Make More Problems to Solve

    For me, game design is about solving problems you also created. Fun right? With a game full of discs, it's not hard to die. You will die a lot. That means players need to have infinite lives. This solution also solves one of the issues in Among Us.

    "If you get killed first that sucks. Your game is boring. If we can figure out something to make it more interesting for the first person killed or maybe all Ghosts..." Bromander

    So I respawned players who got killed. But wouldn't that contradict the game's premise of having a murderer in the group? You can also just tell who killed you. But I remember this movie exists. Happy Death Day is a serial killer movie with a Groundhog Day twist.

    A scene from Happy Death Day

    You won't know you killed you because they transformed to a disc. You also get sent to the spawn room meaning you get less time to finish your tasks. So now this makes the traitors' role harder because humans have unlimited tries but suspected players just get ejected. Yay more problems!

    That escalated quickly

    We addressed this issue with a cell for suspected players. This means you have many ways to get back in the game. Get a traitor teammate to free you, get someone to trust you and free you, or put the key near the jail early on so you can pick it up while in jail if you think they'll suspect you. I also wanted an ability for traitor discs to cut the cell bars in disc form and if you get caught by a human, you're out of the game completely. I didn't have time for the jam though.

    Accidental Game Designs

    If you are a traitor disc, you are outnumbered. So we need to give you more advantage. I didn't want to do vents though. When playing the game, I encountered a bug where I got transported to outside the room. I added a zoomed-out camera and it instantly felt god-like to see the entire area while being able to go to any side of the map. But it's too slow.

    I implemented travel points instead.

    We have a game loop at this point and we playtested it. We quickly found out that retrieving all oxygen tanks was too fast for multiple players doing it. We did all 12 in just over a minute. A fetch quest is what all the tasks will be about so I added more but with variety. They should have different playstyle. With orbs, each pedestal is placed in the middle of one of the rooms and the orbs are in that room too. In this way a Traitor can go ahead and take away the orb from the rooms and sabotage early on. There's no way to remove the orbs once they're on a pedestal so it's a case of mouse and cat. The trash needs to be put away at trash vents, the same one where traitor discs can fast travel, forcing both teams to meet.


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