In-Depth With Innersloth: The Developers Behind Among Us

In-Depth With Innersloth: The Developers Behind Among Us

Written by 

Mackenzie O Brien


29th Oct 2021 15:54

Everyone knows about Among Us, the social deduction game that rose to fame in 2020. What most people don't know, however, is the game's deeply-rooted history. The game was developed by Innersloth, a small indie studio in the United States. The Washington-based game studio would go from largely unknown to a cult classic almost overnight.

The developers couldn't have predicted the sharp rise to fame of their flagship title, having only a small following up until 2020. It was originally released in 2018 to a small, close-knit group of fans, but almost overnight, the game rose to success during the worldwide lockdown efforts in 2020, when people were looking for ways to spend their time at home.

While Among Us' history is largely documented by gamers and internet sleuths, many people are unfamiliar with Innersloth, the developers. The mystery behind this small studio only makes them more appealing, which is why we've decided to jump right in.

The Beginning of Innersloth

Innersloth started on Newgrounds over a decade ago, where they would make flash games and other short segments. The team started as just three people, Forest W., Marcus B., and Amy L., as listed on the previous version of the Innersloth website.

While the team unofficially collaborated on Newgrounds, Innersloth was in the works. The company was founded in 2015, which gave the developers more time to hone in on their crafts.

Innersloth before they expanded had only 3 developers. These three would go on to make Among Us in 2018.
Click to enlarge

The team made small game segments for years, with the most notable becoming The Henry Stickmin Collection years later. Forest did the programming and business dealings, while Marcus did art and design. Amy is the jack-of-all-trades at the studio, where she would prominently work on art, merchandising, and anything else the team needed to be done.

For several years, this was most of the team's experience. They built their skills off of one another, which helped them all to grow as a team. The trio became known for their cartoony, simple style and fun gameplay, which kept their fans on Newgrounds engaged.

The Turning Point

The year 2018 was a major turning point for the developers since this was the year that their acclaimed title Among Us was released. Inspired by The Thing and Mafia, Among Us was born from passion and experimentation. The three developers had never seen a social deduction experience that was quite like Mafia or The Thing, so they sought to make it happen together.

Once Among Us came into fruition, the team quickly stepped up their part-time game development to full-time. They knew their limitations, which helped them work around the game development process.

Since the trio was familiar with Flash and 2D animation, they decided to stick to their roots with a simple overall game design. They focused on the gameplay aspect of Among Us, which grew steadily over time.

The team ensured that all of the core elements were present in the game before they added new features. At first, the game started with one map, but over time, they were able to add more locations in-game. The fanbase grew slowly, with many people on Steam and Newgrounds recognising the group for their work with Henry Stickmin.

The Secret Ingredient

Among Us didn't catch on immediately, however, which was largely due to the team's confusion with the marketing process. The tight-knit fanbase knew that the game was a hit, but word-of-mouth referrals weren't giving the game the extra push it needed.

The team had everything they needed to succeed except polished marketing, which is why it took the team two years to find success. Thankfully, the world needed a fun new title to play during the lockdown efforts, which is how the game caught on.

With games like Fall Guys taking off, the stage was set for Among Us to soar. The game had built up a considerable fanbase by this point, which had started representing the game on social media platforms. Once the general public started taking notice of Among Us, Innersloth finally started getting the recognition it had needed for so long. The team quickly had a large fanbase, which took to the game overnight.

To meet the demands of its new fanbase, the developers planned many new updates, even going so far as to tease a sequel. While the sequel ended up getting passed up for gameplay optimization, people didn't seem to mind. The Among Us team was small, so it was understandable that they would need more time to streamline the initial title.

Among Us continued growing, with people creating many viral memes and social media posts. The game began growing outside of the United States as well, notably taking off in Japan and Europe. At this point, the developers realised that they needed extra hands on deck, so the team grew even more.

While it only took three people to create Among Us from scratch, Innersloth's developers realised that they needed more people to keep the game running. Now, the team is over 13 people strong, with people from all skill sets working together to make Innersloth even more successful.

The Future of Innersloth

Innersloth continues to grow, to this day. Since Among Us has been released, the small team has released a handful of successful titles, which have only grown in success as Among Us has.

Today, Innersloth is almost exclusively working on Among Us, pushing out new maps and new updates frequently. The game has grown considerably since it began in 2018, with four maps and a fifth on the way. The game has been ported to almost every console, with the most recent port slotted for Xbox Game Pass on December 14.

The game is expected to go out on more consoles in the coming months, with the fanbase still excited for these new releases. It's incredible to think that Among Us has been going strong for over a year, with no signs of stopping.

Innersloth is continuing to grow, as they establish themselves as one of the strongholds in the indie scene. With a lot of game development experience under their belt, the future has never looked more exciting for the team.

Whether or not Among Us 2 will come out, we know one thing for sure- Innersloth isn't going away anytime soon, and they will continue to keep fans hooked on their innovative games for years to come.

Mackenzie O Brien
About the author
Mackenzie O Brien
Mackenzie is a Freelance Journalist at GGRecon, she has experience in the social media side to the gaming industry.
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