Among Us is the biggest game in the world right now, but it wasn't always the game it is now. During the early stages of development, Among Us was a much more different and stressful game. According to the game's co-creator, Forest Willard, the game is actually based on the combination of 1982's The Thing from John Carpenter and a "Mafia-like game" fellow co-creator Marcus Bromander played as a child.
Among Us doesn't just have some unexpected inspirations, it was also a different game during the early stages of development. According to Willard, at one point during development, the ship was always in crisis and tasked crewmates with trying to keep things together while Imposters would perform tasks wrong to mess things up. However, this was apparently too stressful and didn't provide players the chance for detective work, and thus it was changed, as were the tasks themselves.
"Among Us was Marcus’ idea based on a combination of a Mafia-like game he played as a kid and the movie, “The Thing," said Willard, co-founder and programmer at Innersloth." In the original game, you would draw a role card and roam around a house aimlessly while “the mafia” person secretly “killed” players by drawing a finger across someone’s neck. That core of creating and reporting dead bodies is still present in Among Us, but we wanted to alleviate the need for an interesting house layout and boring wandering, so we changed the theme to space and added tasks. The tasks changed several times in early development. Originally, the ship was always in crisis while the crewmates attempted to hold it together and Impostors could do tasks wrong to hinder players. We found this was too stressful and didn’t leave much time for detective work and informed meeting conversations."
Of course, every game goes through something similar to this over the course of development. Revision is inevitable. That said, it's not often the curtain gets pulled back on one of the most popular games in the world.
Among Us is available via mobile phones, PC, and Nintendo Switch. For more coverage on the game -- including all of the latest news, rumors, and leaks -- click here.
H/T, Nintendo Everything.