Fall Guys could have been called Fool's Gauntlet or Stumble Chums

By Heidi Nicholas,
There's a fair bit going on with Fall Guys at the moment. To start with, the devs awarded the game's best player with early access to a costume — and then lost that player. Meanwhile, Mediatonic's creative director has expanded on the game's origin, and how it started life as Fool's Gauntlet, and, in the background of it all, the Fall Guys Battle of the Brands is still ongoing.

The Fall Guys senior community manager has been a major part of the game's success on social media. Yesterday, he tweeted that the team had found the player who was "statistically the best" and awarded them with Saturday's costume early. This best player then seemed to disappear. Nobody could find them or their brand-new shiny outfit. Twitter went looking, and after a few pleas for this mysterious character to show themselves, the best player turned up as DrLupo.

From the looks of things this new costume turns your jelly-bean character into a little spherical robot, perhaps something similar to the little Turret robots in Portal. Meanwhile, Mediatonic's creative director Jeff Tanton tweeted a thread of stories about the game's origin, including just how those jelly-beans came to be the player character. According to Tanton, the game's original title was Fool's Gauntlet, with subsequent suggestions including Stumble Chums. Tanton shared a summary of the idea for Fool's Gauntlet: it was designed for 100 players to compete and "climb across walls, swing across chasms and screw over your comrades in a clumsy dash for the finish line and ultimate glory." Winners would split the 1,000,000 gold prize pool, with the idea that the less players managed to finish, the bigger the winners' share of the reward would be, with the game progressing "from teamwork to backstabbing."

Mediatonic whittled the player count down, before the suggestion of designing the game as a battle royale was introduced. The next pitch for the game included images of "beans", which principal concept artist Dan Hoang had just "thrown in", but which prompted the team to make the beans a bigger focus. This pitch also introduced the term "Fall Guys" as the new title. Tanton goes on to describe the team's efforts to create Fall Guys, including the decision to pick a colour palette which looked just like "candy and sweet treats."

Fall Guys competition

"It's hard to imagine now but we had no idea whether Fall Guys was going to be a success," Tanton says. "The @fallguysgame team have done outstanding work, they all deserve to enjoy this moment. They've had the love and support of the wider @mediatonic team throughout - each working and creating and building amazing things. I'm so proud to call them my colleagues."

Meanwhile, the Fall Guys Battle of the Brands is still underway, pitting brands against each other in aid of gaming charity SpecialEffect. The winning brand gets a themed skin in the game, and the last update showed the highest bidder as bidet company Tushy Bidet with a pledge of $420,069.69, so... yeah. All money goes to the SpecialEffect charity, and the competition runs for two weeks.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!