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Fall Guys and the problem of “holder of the McGuffin wins at the end of the match”

Gamingtodaynews1f - Fall Guys and the problem of "holder of the McGuffin wins at the end of the match"

Fall Guys has a few game modes that rely entirely on you or your team having one or a number of resources (the McGuffin) secured when the timer reaches 0. Over a match that lasts about 2 minutes, this creates feelings of unfairness for players who manage to secure the McGuffin for an extended period of time in the match, only to have it snatched away in the last second and lose.

This is a simple game, and I choose to believe the designers of these game modes figured "why bog down the game with extra numbers?" because unlike other games where securing the McGuffin gives you points while you own it, simply choosing the winners at an arbitrary time is way easier to understand, and allows less skilled players to snatch the occasional victory.

HOWEVER, I also believe that this actually complicates the game way more than it needs to for a skilled player. While a casual player will simply play the game by trying to acquire the McGuffin for the entire match, a skilled player may be able to find out a strategy, or at the very least, realize that the first half of the match might be entirely meaningless.

This following example I think explains the problems of this type of game mode that can occur:

EXAMPLE: In the Hoarders game modes, there are like 7 balls you have to roll into your side of the field and once 2 minutes has passed, the 2 out of 3 teams with the most balls wins. One would assume that the best strategy is to move as many balls into your side and attempt to secure them, — however, the balls are very difficult to defend and secure when you are winning, because you have more, and also because you have more, it makes you a prime target for BOTH teams, meaning you may lose even harder BECAUSE you were winning. This will usually occur if you are winning in the first minute, causing you to lose in the second minute, and thus losing the game.


The strategy that a skilled team could develop would be to allow themselves to lose in the first half or even join another opposing team to help them secure balls, balls that that team will keep in a nice, neat pile where in the last minute of the game, they can more easily be stolen in a blitz when it really counts. Since only one team needs to lose for your team to win, you would have effectively turned the game into a 2v1 instead of a 1v1v1.

Closing thought:

I'm obviously over-analyzing the game because I don't know how likely meta strategies like this are to develop since coordinated teams are limited to 4 players within a bigger random team, but I do think there's some weird unfairness and some useless time that comes with having a 2 minute mode where only the last instant of the match matters, but since this is a very casual game, this does allow less skilled players to snatch those victories which can be considered gracious game design to the less skilled, and if this game isn't meant to be taken too seriously, you could argue that's better design than massively favoring victory for the most skilled players, so I feel very conflicted.

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