Deep Dive
March 1, 2024

Exploring The Stellar Skill-Based Gameplay

Let's jump into the space and see who's looking sus

Among Us emerged as a cultural phenomenon during the pandemic, a time when people were desperately seeking ways to maintain social connections. Through platforms like Twitch, the game reached unprecedented levels of popularity, offering a much-needed avenue for interaction and entertainment at the time when people needed it the most.

Grasping the core elements that make Among Us a standout game reveals that the heart of its widespread appeal lies in the social dynamics and competitive nature it fosters. This aspect seems to be overlooked by many web3 games, which have mistakenly presumed financial incentives to be the primary driver of player engagement. However, this assumption has been proven incorrect. While the financial element does hold significance, especially among players from the cryptocurrency domain where financial speculation is deeply entwined with entertainment, it doesn't hold the same weight for the broader web2 player base.

The game's success can be attributed to several key factors: the absence of game-altering microtransactions, its straightforward design, and the emphasis on social interaction and competition. These elements combined to create a compelling experience that resonated with a wide audience, significantly impacting the way we communicate, the memes we share, and influencing various in-game skins and features across multiple titles.

Let’s explore the main reasons Among Us went viral.

What is Among Us?

Set in a space-themed environment, Among Us features players as colorful, armless cartoon astronauts. The game divides players into two groups: the majority are Crewmates, while a few are designated as Impostors. The Crewmates' mission is to complete tasks around the ship and identify the Impostors among them through social deduction, while Impostors aim to eliminate Crewmates without being caught.

Crewmates can secure a win by either completing all tasks or successfully identifying and ejecting all Impostors. Conversely, Impostors can claim victory by eliminating Crewmates or causing critical sabotage that goes unresolved. In terms of tasks,  Crewmates engage in various minigames and puzzles as tasks, while Impostors can mimic task completion to blend in and not get caught straight away. Sabotages and strategic killings are key to the Impostors' success, with the ability to utilize vents for quick movement around the ship - something Crewmates couldn’t do.

Meetings can be called to discuss potential Impostors, with discussions happening over in-game text chat or external voice chats like Discord. The objective is to deduce who the Impostors are through debate and observation, leading to a vote that can eject suspected Impostors from the game. Killed or ejected players become ghosts, still participating by completing tasks or performing sabotages but without physical interaction with the living players.

To maintain interest, the game has introduced new roles and mechanics, such as Engineers, Scientists, Guardian Angels for Crewmates, and Shapeshifters for Impostors, each adding a unique twist to gameplay. Also, the team decided to add various skins and ways in which people can spend money in the game, but none of them can alter the course of the game in any way - it’s like the case of skins in esport titles like League of Legends or CS:GO, where the skin doesn’t change the skill whatsoever.

The Surge in Popularity

Despite its initial release in 2018, Among Us didn't capture mainstream attention until 2020, when it became a favorite among Twitch streamers and YouTubers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Critics praised the game for its enjoyable and engaging gameplay, and it quickly became a staple in internet culture, inspiring numerous memes, Tik-Toks, and videos.

Initially, the game attracted a modest player base - revolving around 100 concurrent players or less, but the pandemic spotlighted Among Us as an ideal platform for virtual socialization. Its popularity skyrocketed, with YouTube and TikTok content amassing billions of views. The impact of Among Us extended beyond gaming, permeating pop culture, language, and media. Memes, fan art, cosplays, and parodies flooded social media, while content creators and streamers leveraged the game's popularity to create engaging content that attracted millions of viewers. Furthermore, the success of Among Us spread into the everyday world where the words such as sus became a well-known addition, but it still wasn’t the peak of its influence.

The waves of success extended into other games and media, inspiring similar game modes in titles like Fortnite, and a wide array of Among Us-based skins began to enter multiple games. Even more, Among Us has been featured in manga, is set to become an animated series, and has seen collaborations with several games, integrating Among Us elements like gameplay mechanics into their worlds.

The success of Among Us is hard to grasp if you haven’t been active in the world of gaming during the time where Among Us took the lead.

The Catalyst for Engagement

What sets Among Us apart is not just its gameplay and all the mechanisms involved, but the social interactions it encourages. Through discussions, debates, and accusations, players are drawn into a web of trust and deception, something they have been stripped away from during the times of pandemic and even afterwards, when the world became more digital. This dynamic interaction is a key driver of the game's appeal, as it mirrors real-world social experiences, making each session unique, memorable, and provides loads of fun to everyone involved, no matter the result. The game's reliance on communication skills and the ability to analyze other people’s behaviors have become the ideal playground for getting to know your friends and acquaintances a little bit better, and strengthening the social bonds via… being a partner in crime, or the lawful watcher who caught all the impostors.

The Lessons for the Future

The success of Among Us sheds light on what the web3 gaming world could aim for - striking the right balance between exploring new technologies and keeping the game as accessible as possible to everyone. Elympics is taking notes, focusing on crafting games that aren't just about the flashiness of blockchain or earning crypto, but also about creating a welcoming space for everyone where skill is key and the victory cannot be bought. We’re all in on developing games that are fun, engaging, and build a sense of community over time, much like Among Us did. By blending the innovative aspects of web3 with the simplicity and social fun factor of traditional gaming, Elympics is set on making games that resonate with players and bring them together.

Final Words

Diving into the world of Among Us, it's pretty amazing to see how it transformed from an under-the-radar game into something that's pretty much a household brand. This wasn't just about a game; it was about how it brought people together, sparking connections and friendly competition across the globe. It's a perfect example of how powerful a game can be when it's built around bringing people together.

Here at Elympics, that story of Among Us really hits home. As we're carving out our path in the world of web3 gaming, we're drawing a ton of inspiration from what made Among Us stand out. We're all about crafting gaming experiences that go beyond just playing a game. We're looking to create spaces where fun comes first, communities can thrive, and everyone gets to experience the thrill of competition and connection.

Our vision goes way beyond just launching games. We're aiming to craft entire worlds where players can dive in, compete, connect, and most importantly, have a blast doing it. We believe in the power of play, and we're dedicated to ensuring that this essence shines through in every adventure you embark on with us.

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