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

    [01.21.21]
    - Bari Silvestre

  • Implement Fun and Easy First, Do Boring and Hard Later

    A few days before submission, I have a long list of bugs to fix and features to implement. This is that time when developers binge watch Netflix or sleep all day. They know it's hard, it will be boring but it needs to be done. In Disc Us, it sure will have voting, role assignments and result scenes anyway, so I put this task last.

    At one point I was just hoping players would escort the suspect to their cell and manually lock the cell, if I wasn't able to code it in time. I managed to pull it off but with bugs I found out later (players leaving mid-game, arghhhh!).

    Hardest Part of Making a Multiplayer Game

    What do you think is the hardest part of making a multiplayer game? Rollback netcode? Lag compensation? I found out that it's actually getting human players to play your game. I can test the game with multiple windows. But the human element is missing. Will people sabotage other players? Will they kill in plain sight? Will there be lies and mistrust?

    All of these ideas I put in code were untested. We never played an actual run and never had 4 players during testing. I uploaded a beta version in Newgrounds and itch.io but we're still struggling to get 4 players. I requested from Tom Fulp of Newgrounds for a feature so we can try out the multiplayer and we got a frontpage. Thank you Tom! The game got Daily 4th and 3.8 score at the time. That's when things get exciting . I got all sorts of feedbacks, from bugs to unclear instructions to social interaction related issues. I update the game every time I get a build made.

    Lessons In Social Deduction Genre

    This social deduction genre is really interesting. It's short burst (less than 5 minutes), very interactive and you can get different scenarios from different players' game style and roles assigned. "It's honestly fun." That's the comment I'm getting a lot.


    A gamer being in-character

    As my best pal, Barliman commented, "It's the psychological part that is interesting in that game. Among Us is a very simple game but somehow you feel that you are part of a collective who decides the fate of either yourself or another person's life like in a movie."

    Lorie (Gnome More War / Nintendo Switch) also commented, "Played it. It's better with more players!"

    Indeed, it's very fun with many players. Try the game now as we have many players online thanks to Itch.io's top multiplayer and Fresh Games list.

    It's also included in RockPaperShotgun's list of their favorite Disc Room Game Jam entries so be sure to read that and find other amazing entries.

    https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2020/10/31/devolvers-disc-room-game-jam-is-full-of-novel-ways-to-get-sliced

    What's Next for Disc Us?

    I already reworked the networking to address disconnecting players but it still needs some private testing. I might do the random room generator. We can add pets, more hats and more colors. We may make a completely new serial killer movie themed game, (pitching!). We'll see! For now you can play Disc Us on Itch.io and Newgrounds and tell us what you'd like to see in the game in the comments section!

    https://mwaayk.itch.io/discus

    https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/769968

    What's Next for Me and Mike?

    We'll be back on working our full scale game Jack Axe for Steam and Nintendo Switch and this game jam gave us our much needed break and it gave us relief and took the burnout from Jack Axe development. In fact, Mike was able to port the game to Nintendo Switch after so many errors during the development of Disc Us. Another game dev tip! Work on something else if stuck!

    What's Jack Axe? It's an axe tossing, single or multiplayer, platforming adventure in a vibrant open world inspired by Filipino and Norse mythology. Check out the Steam page and wishlist if you like what you see! https://store.steampowered.com/app/985780/Jack_Axe/

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