Fall Guys Developers Reveal What Makes Their Jelly Beans So Lovable

Fall Guys Developers Reveal What Makes Their Jelly Beans So Lovable

Written by 

Jens Koornstra


25th Aug 2020 16:30

In just a few weeks, we've all come to love the cute creatures running around in the overly colourful game world of Fall Guys. But what makes them so adorable? The developers at Mediatonic shared their thought process throughout the early stages of development, to give us an insight into what core design features make the Fall Guys the way they are.

Getting into shape

Everything about the design of the Fall Guys makes them silly and fun. Dan Hoang, principal concept artist at Mediatonic, would describe them as 'unathletic but ambitious.' For him, it's all about finding that balance. "I think we knew we'd hit the right design when we hit that sweet spot of the character feeling like you could achieve the movements you wanted to make, but you didn't feel overly athletic."

"Fall Guys are designed to have the least practical shape for the tasks that we make them do," adds Ash Kerins, the other principal concept artist. That's exactly what makes overcoming the obstacles so frustrating, yet fun.
The Fall Guys have little stubby legs and big arms, so they look as funny as possible when they fly through the air," says Joe Walsh, the lead designer. "They should look like they're bouncy, as well. No matter how hard a Fall Guy gets hit, he always gets back up again, and keeps running down the rest of the course."

Fall Guys Developers
Click to enlarge

This idea is heavily inspired by TV shows with obstacle courses. Creative Director Jeff Tanton explains: "There's an old TV show called It's A Knockout, which basically went to a town, dressed a bunch of people up in really ridiculous outfits which were impossible to move in, and then made them compete in an obstacle course. We went back to that, and felt that when we were first designing the Fall Guys, they needed to have that element of being completely, uniquely, badly designed for the task that we were going to put them through. We wanted them to fall over. Falling over is funny. We don't want them to be these hyperathletic Ninja Warrior characters."

Nicolas Pessina worked on the moving structure of the Fall Guys as the senior technical artist. "The skeleton of our character is actually strangely close to the ones that were made for the Minions in the Minions movie. We have the super low hips […] when you see the Minions run, they wiggle their butt a lot. The Fall Guys do the same. Their butt wiggles a lot because of how the skeleton is [made]."

Inspiration in vinyl

Mediatonic's UI artist is a huge collector of vinyl toys. One of his own designs for a vinyl toy was used as inspiration for the Fall Guys character. The Yeti Guy has similarly short legs, long arms and a round surface for its face. What's clearly different in the ultimate design, though, is that a Fall Guy doesn't have a mouth. Or at least, it's not visible.

The funny shape of the jelly beans has another function, as animator Elvis Nsue Campello tells us. "In this project, it's been a challenge to overcome the fact that he doesn't have any facial expressions. That's the reason we made him with such long arms and a huge body, in order to use his body posture to make him look sad, or happy, or frustrated."

Fall Guys Developers
Click to enlarge

Endless customisation

One thing that everyone immediately loves about the game is all the wacky costumes. Dressing up your character is not just fun - it's also important to the game's design, explains Elvis Nsue Campello. "Players will have the opportunity to customise the characters, and that's really important, because there's going to be so many on the screen, and they want to be able to pick themselves out."

Nicolas Pessina sees room for innovation in the design of the costumes. "We thought about having glowing parts of the costumes […], and I made it work with the pirate variant that has that glowing hook, and he has that super cute little skull on his hat." Maybe we can look forward to seeing more glowing costumes, or even different fabrics.

Ash Kerins designed several costumes for Fall Guys, including a frog, a sheep, and a superhero. "It does look like he Fall Guy has fallen into a theatre wardrobe and has walked up to the starting line wearing whatever didn't fall off," she says. Her favourite costume is the toucan, with its comical beak.

"It helps you feel attached to your little bean dude, as it is running through on its journey between smashing walls, and wrecking balls, and anything that does it harm." All you're focused on is making it to the end and surviving the round.

Fall Guys is also auctioning off a customised in-game skin for the gaming charity Special Effect. The highest bidder has to donate to the charity to get their very own design in Fall Guys. The pledged amount has already surpassed $400,000, with still one week left for people to outbid that.

Before the game was officially released, Mediatonic held a 'Make A Fall Guy' contest, to get your own design published. The Cactus Guy was brought in this way. Unfortunately, the contest is now temporarily closed. But maybe one day, your design can shine and wobble through Fall Guys!

Images via Mediatonic | Plastic | Plush

Jens Koornstra
About the author
Jens Koornstra
Jens is an Applied Linguistics student who writes freelance esports content for GGRecon, Rocketeers and RLAftershock. He is especially passionate about the Rocket League scene and has been following it closely since RLCS Season 1. He attended the RLCS Season 2 grand finals as a fan, and the Season 8 grand finals as a reporter. Jens enjoys watching all kinds of esports, from Trackmania to Valorant, and likes to get involved with the esports and their communities.
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