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Fall Guys

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Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Fall Guys cover.jpg
Developer(s)Mediatonic
Publisher(s)Devolver Digital
Director(s)Jamie Riding
Producer(s)Alex Ruse
Designer(s)Joseph Walsh
Programmer(s)
  • Joel Herber
  • Rakesh Vangur
Artist(s)Rob Jackson
Composer(s)
  • Jukio Kallio
  • Daniel Hagström
EngineUnity
Platform(s)
Release4 August 2020
Genre(s)Battle royale, platformer
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a platformer battle royale game developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver Digital, It released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 on 4 August 2020. The game draws inspiration from game shows like Takeshi's Castle, It's a Knockout and Wipeout, and children's playground games like tag and British bulldog.[1][2] Fall Guys received positive reviews from critics, who praised its chaotic gameplay and visual appearance.

Gameplay

Up to 60 players compete in matches with battle royale-style gameplay.[3][4][5] Players, represented as jellybean-like figures,[6] move around a three-dimensional playing field, with additional moves such as jumping, grabbing, or diving to assist gameplay.[7] The aim is to qualify for subsequent rounds by successfully completing each of the randomly selected mini-games.[8][9] Certain mini-games involve running towards a finish line at the end of the map, while others add elements of teamwork.[3][10] On every mini-game, obstacles appear around the map for added complexity.[11][12] Players who are too slow or who fail certain requirements for a mini-game are eliminated. On the final round, the remaining few players compete in a final match with a randomised mini-game designed for a smaller player size.[7] The winner of the match is the last player standing.[13]

Using an in-game currency, "Kudos", players can purchase cosmetics and emotes for their character to show off in-game.[14][15] Players obtain Kudos by completing matches and get "Crowns" (the premium currency) by winning.[16] Some of the costumes are of characters from different games, such as Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life series or Jacket from Hotline Miami.[17] The game supports microtransactions for the purchase of additional in-game currency.[15]

Development and release

The conception of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout began when Mediatonic was discussing another project in January 2018.[18] One member, lead designer Joe Walsh, made a throwaway comment that it reminded him of game shows such as Takeshi's Castle and Total Wipeout.[1] He drew from that inspiration to create a pitch document for what would become Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.[1][19] Originally titled Fools' Gauntlet, Walsh's pitch featured 100 players competing in a battle royale composed of physical challenges.[20] Creative director Jeff Tanton, while initially skeptical that creating another battle royale game would be successful, was quickly convinced of the game's potential, and forwarded Walsh's pitch to Mediatonic's founders.[18]

Tanton and Walsh then began working on a pitch deck for the game. For the pitch deck, principal concept artist Dan Hoang created images featuring colorful, bean-shaped characters racing on an obstacle course in the sky. Tanton explained that Hoang's character designs helped shift the focus of the game away from the obstacle course itself, to the characters.[21][22] With the pitch deck completed, Tanton pitched the game to 10 different publishers at the 2018 Game Developers Conference. After Devolver Digital agreed to publish the game, development began six months later.[18][21]

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout began its initial prototyping process with a small team, growing to 30 people during development.[23] Initial progress on individual minigames was slow which caused the team to worry that there wouldn't be enough content for launch. A turning point came when the team came up with a group of pillars that "Took the opinions of people out of the occasion" and allowed the developers to "kill ideas faster". Such pillars include making sure a minigame was "50-50 chaos and skill" and that a level had to be "different every time".[24] In an attempt to remain faithful to the game shows they were inspired by, as well as differentiate from first-person shooter battle royale games, Mediatonic's focus was on gameplay variety. By presenting the player with several, randomized rounds of game modes, Mediatonic hoped to recreate the experience of being on a game show.[23] To help keep the "spirit of playground games and game shows", Mediatonic created an internal rule that game modes needed to be explained in three words.[23] Over time, the game underwent numerous other changes. The player count was decreased from 100 to 60, as the games "stopped being readable or fun" when there were too many players competing.[25] To the latter point Mediatonic noted that when testing the game players would overestimate the number of players in a given level stating "we didn’t need as many players as we thought to create the crowds we wanted the gameplay to include." [26]

It's a Knockout, a game show that forced its contestants to dress up in oversized costumes, inspired the idea that the characters should "have that element of being completely uniquely, badly designed for the task that we were gonna put them through".[19] The ragdoll physics were implemented on purpose, because Mediatonic did not want them to be like "hyper athletic Ninja Warrior characters" and because "falling over is funny".[19] According to Walsh, striking the right balance between funny ragdoll collisions and game performance was critical, because "as soon as you lose the ragdoll-ness of the character, you lose the comedy".[23] The character designs were inspired by the look of vinyl toys.[27]

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was announced at E3 in June 2019[11] and was released on 4 August 2020 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4.[28] Prior to release, it was announced that Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout would be free for PlayStation Plus members during the rest of August.[29]

On 12 August 2020, Mediatonic had announced their first major update would be arriving on the next day, as well as announcing that additional content would be added in the future.[30] Later that month Mediatonic revealed a trailer for the medieval themed second season at Gamescom.[31]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
MetacriticPC: 80/100[32]
PS4: 80/100[33]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid8/10[34]
Game Informer8.75/10[35]
GameRevolution3.5/5 stars[36]
GameSpot7/10[4]
GameStar78/100[37]
IGN8/10[3]
PC Gamer (US)80/100[38]
PC Games8/10[39]
Push Square8/10 stars[15]
USgamer4/5 stars[40]

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator website Metacritic.[32][33]

Tom Wiggins of Stuff magazine praised the game, calling it "Super Monkey Ball for the Fortnite generation".[41] Mercury News praised the "controlled chaos" gameplay of Fall Guys, stating it to be utilizing a combination of the elements from the battle royale game Fortnite and the party game Mario Party in such a way that made it "tailored to the coronavirus age".[7]

The weekend before release during a closed beta, Fall Guys briefly became the most watched game on Twitch as well as the sixth-best-selling Steam game where it was available for pre-order.[42]

Fall Guys has been frequently compared to Among Us, in that both are online party games which became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.[43][44][45][46][47]

Sales

Within 24 hours of release, the game had drawn over 1.5 million players.[48] On 10 August 2020, Devolver Digital announced that the game had sold 2 million copies on Steam.[49] During the first day of release, it was reported that the servers for Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout unexpectedly overflowed due to popularity.[3][14]

The popularity of the game caused several brands to express interest in collaborating with Mediatronic in creating custom content for the game.[50] Shortly after release Mediatronic announced a fundraiser by which the brand that donated the most money to the charity SpecialEffect would have their custom skin featured in the game.[51]

As of 26 August 2020, Fall Guys has sold over 7 million copies on Steam and has become the most downloaded monthly PS Plus game of all time.[52] Multiple outlets would go on to describe the game's popularity as a "phenomenon."[53][54][55][56]

References

  1. ^ a b c Park, Gene; Favis, Elise (13 August 2020). "Analysis | Fifteen ideas to lift up 'Fall Guys,' the surprise hit of the summer". The Washington Post.
  2. ^ DevolverDigital (3 August 2020). Fall Guys - Behind the Schemes (Mediatonic) (Motion picture).
  3. ^ a b c d Cardy, Simon (7 August 2020). "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 8 August 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b Barbosa, Alessandro (7 August 2020). "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review - Jelly Bean Gladiators". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  5. ^ Tailby, Stephen (11 August 2020). "Soapbox: Fall Guys Is Finally a Battle Royale I Actually Want to Play".
  6. ^ "Fall Guys (for PC)". PC Magazine. 14 August 2020. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Review: 'Fall Guys' is a party game built for the coronavirus pandemic". The Mercury News. 11 August 2020. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  8. ^ Sottek, T. C. "Fall Guys is the feel-good game of the summer". The Verge. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  9. ^ Parkin, Jeffrey (5 August 2020). "Fall Guys guide: Tips and strategies for every game type". Polygon. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  10. ^ Graeber, Brendan (11 August 2020). "Fall Guys: Over 100 Essential Tips to Survive Every Round". Archived from the original on 11 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a colorful battle royale with a twist". Archived from the original on 7 February 2020.
  12. ^ Zwiezen, Zack (11 August 2020). "Fall Guys' Mini-Games, Ranked". Kotaku.
  13. ^ "Fall Guys tips: How to beat all 24 rounds and win the Episode crown". GamesRadar+.
  14. ^ a b Tailby, Stephen (14 August 2020). "Fall Guys Awards Special Costume and Kudos as Thanks for Bearing with Server Issues". Push Square.
  15. ^ a b c Croft, Liam (6 August 2020). "Fall Guys Review (PS4)". Push Square. Archived from the original on 8 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  16. ^ Ramos, Jeff (5 August 2020). "Fall Guys guide: How to gain Kudos and Crowns". Polygon. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  17. ^ Walker, Ian (13 August 2020). "Free Costume Ensures Fall Guys Remains Full Of Pricks". Kotaku.
  18. ^ a b c Wakeling, Richard (21 August 2020). "Fall Guys Was Pitched To 10 Publishers Before Devolver Digital Picked It Up". GameSpot. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  19. ^ a b c Fall Guys: Behind the Stumbles Part 1 – What is Fall Guys?. Devolver Digital. 17 February 2020 – via YouTube.
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  22. ^ Walker, Ian (20 August 2020). "Fall Guys Was Almost Called Stumble Chums". Kotaku. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
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  24. ^ MinnMaxShow (12 August 2020). Fall Guys Designer Reveals Future Roadmap-Minnmax Interview. YouTube.
  25. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (21 August 2020). "Fall Guys was once called Fool's Gauntlet, Stumble Chums". Eurogamer. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  26. ^ Walsh, Joe. "The Starting Lineup". FallGuys.com. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  27. ^ Fall Guys: Behind the Stumbles 3 – Dress for Success. Devolver Digital. 25 May 2020 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ Pearson, Craig. "There are no more obstacles to playing Fall Guys, because it's out now". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  29. ^ "PlayStation Plus Games for August 2020 Are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered and Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout". IGN. 27 July 2020. Archived from the original on 27 July 2020. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  30. ^ Tailby, Stephen (12 August 2020). "Fall Guys Gets New Final Round Tomorrow as Part of a Big Update". Push Square.
  31. ^ Livingston, Christopher (27 August 2020). "Fall Guys Season 2 is going medieval with new minigames and costumes". PC Gamer. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  32. ^ a b "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  33. ^ a b "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 8 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  34. ^ Devore, Jordan (6 August 2020). "Review: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout". Destructoid.
  35. ^ Tack, Daniel (7 August 2020). "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout". Game Informer.
  36. ^ Tamburro, Paul (5 August 2020). "Falling with a complete lack of style". GameRevolution.
  37. ^ Fritsch, Manuel (8 August 2020). "Fall Guys macht im Test viel Spaß und trotzdem zu wenig". PC Games (in German).
  38. ^ Livingston, Christopher (8 August 2020). "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout review". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  39. ^ Dammes, Matthias (7 August 2020). "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout im Test - Noch nie hat Battle Royal so viel Spaß gemacht". PC Games (in German).
  40. ^ McCarthy, Caty (6 August 2020). "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review: Falling With Style". USgamer.
  41. ^ Wiggins, Tom (12 August 2020). "Drop everything and download: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout". Stuff.
  42. ^ Macgregor, Jody (27 July 2020). "Fall Guys was the top game on Twitch during its beta weekend". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  43. ^ Craven, Joe (7 September 2020). "Shroud explains why first games of Among Us were "confusing"". Dexerto.com. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  44. ^ Grayson, Nathan (8 September 2020). "Among Us' Improbable Rise To The Top Of Twitch". Kotaku Australia. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  45. ^ Grimm, Peter (7 September 2020). "Among Us Hits Impressive Concurrent Player Milestone". Game Rant. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  46. ^ Baird, Scott (7 September 2020). "Fall Guys Is Number One On Steam's Bestselling List For Fifth Week In A Row". TheGamer. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  47. ^ Matthews, Emma (25 August 2020). "Why Among Us is the best game to watch on Twitch right now". PC Gamer. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  48. ^ Kerr, Chris (5 August 2020). "Fall Guys attracts 1.5 million players within 24 hours of launch". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  49. ^ Minotti, Mike (10 August 2020). "Fall Guys sells 2 million copies on Steam in under a week". VentureBeat.
  50. ^ Skrebels, Joe. "Fall Guys: Other Companies Really Want Their Own Crossover Skins". IGN. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  51. ^ "Battle of the Brands". Twitter. FallGuysGame. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  52. ^ "Devolver Digital on Twitter". Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  53. ^ "Stuck Inside With: The Fall Guys phenomenon". ESPN. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  54. ^ O'Connor, James. "DrLupo Is The Best Fall Guys Player In The World". Gamespot. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  55. ^ Favis, Elise; Park, Gene. "Gamescom highlights: BioWare talks next 'Dragon Age'; A look at 'Fall Guys' Season 2". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  56. ^ Martinez, Phillip. "'Fall Guys' Season 2 Goes Medieval With New Costumes and Rounds". Newsweek. Retrieved 8 September 2020.

External links