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Interview with Creator of Indie Game Untrusted

All Ages of Geek was able to interview the creator of Untrusted! “Untrusted is an online multiplayer (10 to 16 players) hacking/social deduction game currently in development, inspired by the Werewolf/Mafia genre and similar games. It will soon be available as alpha build for GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows systems.”

Q:What inspired you to create the game?

A: Mostly, I had to scratch an itch: I had briefly worked professionally as a game developer in the past, but in recent years – as well as today – I’ve been working as a software developer for a company that is not directly involved with game development. The Idea of going back to make another game has always been in the back in my head, and discovering social deduction games last year gave me the push to actually start making a game again.

Q:Tell us about the game?

A: “Untrusted – Web of Cybercrime” is a social deduction game set in a not-too-far dystopian future. The main faction of the game – NETSEC, a hacking group – has been tasked with taking control of a specific computer on a target network. Unfortunately for them, there are undercover agents in their midst, which will stop at nothing to prevent the hack from happening.

The core aspect of the game is very similar to many other social deduction games (Mafia/Werewolf or more recently, digital hits like “Town of Salem” and “Throne of Lies”) with players being assigned a specific role while now knowing anything about every other player: every turn (which is punctuated by a day and night cycle) players will be able to commit to a specific action which will have certain effects on the game (be it other players or the network on which NETSEC is operating).

All of these actions are crucial, as the game revolves a lot around information analysis (such as hard proof, for example, connection logs left on a machine) and social deduction clues (for example, looking for contradictions in chat) in order to advance: the NETSEC faction has their strength in their numbers but they virtually have no information.

Their opponents (the AGENT factions and more often than not, certain special neutral classes) will have to lie and misdirect as they take out operative members one by one, either by arresting or killing them. As you can imagine this open a lot of fun scenarios, as non-NETSEC players will have to forge a believable story, and stick to it until the end of the game.

Q: What can players expect when they are playing?

A: Untrusted, like all social deduction games, is fun because there are never two games alike – players will use different strategies, make mistakes, lie to your face and turn against you without notice – personally I enjoy a lot of difficult situations where mass hysteria controls the game, it makes for a lot of unexpected and fun situations. Try telling in chat “Dr.Orange is evil” and see how many will start voting for their death just because they don’t know how is telling the truth: the reactions never get old!

I am personally very bad at social deduction games. The feeling I get when a lie I concocted is accepted as truth in the main chat by the majority of players, is something I rarely felt in other game genres. So people should probably expect to be confused (at least at the beginning) and then having a lot of fun, with strangers or – even better – with friends. If you’re looking for something new, this may be a good change from the classic game genres you’ve played so far!

Q: What is something you’d like the players to get out of the game?

I have changed the social deduction game formula seen in most games out there a bit (where most of the time the only way to win is to completely remove the other faction from play) by adding the whole hacking gameplay elements – it’s not a huge change, but it’s significant in how the game is played compared to other similar games. This means that the NETSEC group has to work a little harder in order to coordinate (they have an operation leader who can anonymously message everyone but cannot be replied to) so creating a chain of trust is always interesting and can sometimes lead to fun and unexpected scenarios!

A: Tell us more about the game!

Untrusted is mostly a text-based game with a retro/console looking style with a moderately steep learning curve, so I took a lot of care in making the game as easy as possible for people that are new to the genre: the UI has been designed with ease of use in mind; for example, compared to most social deduction games where you have to manually type in your actions, in untrusted, this is done via a userfriendly mouse-only interface (although hardcore players still can type in their logs manually if they prefer), there is a chat isolation feature (which means that by clicking on the name of the player, you will see easily all the messages sent in chat by that player) and other little things I felt were missing in some games out there. That said, most players are up and running smoothly (and having fun!) after their first couple of games!

Untrusted is still being developed and is currently in alpha stage: we regularly set playtest sessions on our discord (http://discord.playuntrusted.com ) so everyone is welcome to play, both for fun and to direct the development of the game to a stage where it’s fun for everyone – the community has been super helpful in finding bugs and highlighting game mechanics that needed some touch-ups. You can download the current build (Windows and Linux) from https://www.playuntrusted.com/download/ to play the tutorial or you can just stay connected with us to learn when the next playtest will be live!

At this time the game features 19 different classes with more than 50 unique skills: while these may sound a lot, they are actually quite fast to learn. There are some classes are there obviously easier and some other that are harder, but learning them (and how you could fake successfully being one of them) it’s in my opinion also part of the fun!

Everyone is welcome, from players who never heard about social deduction games to veterans! So if you’d like to play, simply join our discord or stay in touch (either via twitter https://twitter.com/playuntrusted or our mailing list ( https://www.playuntrusted.com/community/ ) to know when the next game session is scheduled.

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