After a week away, during which time they were replaced by BeanBot, the social media for Fall Guys is now manned once more by a living, breathing human being, and they come bearing tales of Mediatonic’s fight with cheating in Fall Guys.
An update called ‘Big Yeetus and Anti-Cheetus’ is on the way, with the game set to incorporate a randomised big spinny hammer and Epic Games’ Easy Anti-Cheat sometime soon. Before then, Mediatonic shared the long journey of how they got here and the tentative measures that they initially took to combat cheating in their game.
Here’s the full story, ripped from Twitter and reformatted a bit:
I’ve got lots of spicy content for you this week – The Dev team have been super busy on the new update. For now… BUCKLE UP. Let me tell you a wild story. It’s called: ‘The RISE and FALL of Cheater Island’. (Tagging @Netflix incase they want to make a film or series out of it)
At launch, we had some of our own cheat detection built into the game. We weren’t banning anyone at this point, just gathering data carefully. We wanted to be 100% sure that our cheat detection would only catch people who were legitimately cheating. No false flags!
After we confirmed that it was working – We secretly launched Fall Guys Cheater Island™. It was a magical place where cheaters could happily compete against themselves for the Cheater’s Crown – Literally just a normal crown but tainted with a hollow feeling of guilt and regret.
Remember, at this point, we had data on who was cheating, but we weren’t acting on it. Fall Guys Cheater Island™ had a population of 0. So, very carefully, over time, we started to lower the threshold on the cheat detection. If you passed the threshold… you were tagged as a cheater.
It’s worth pointing out at this stage – Cheaters are very smart. If they know they’ve been tagged as a cheater, they’ll work out what caused them to be tagged and they’ll tell other cheaters. Our threshold was originally really tolerant
Cheaters would get caught… but not be insta-banished. We hoped that they might realise cheating kills the fun. Most continued 😫
We want people to have fun, but not at the expense of others. So we kept lowering the threshold. If you were tagged as a cheater you’d be able to finish the game you were in then, the next time you tried to matchmake, you would ONLY be able to matchmake with other Cheaters (without realising).
You were there…
You’d made it…
Queuing for Cheater Island™
Now, if you can imagine:
- You need 40+ players to actually populate a game.
- Cheater Island isn’t a location in the real world…
- Cheater Island had it’s own set of global servers
- You’d need enough cheaters in your region in order to start a Cheater Island game
- If there weren’t enough cheaters… you’d all just be falling forever…
There were a few genuine bugs that would cause similar things to happen, but mostly, when people said they were “falling forever” they were cheaters and we didn’t want to give them extra info.
I’m sure you’ve noticed we try to be super open and upfront with you in all of our communications. It’s been very difficult to talk about cheaters though, because everything we say gives the cheaters more ammo. They were using any info to improve their cheating.
For a long time, there weren’t enough cheaters to actually start these matches up. As we lowered the threshold on our detection, more and more cheaters were getting caught, but still… no Cheater Island matches. Cheaters were all falling forever and saying the game was broken…
At this point cheaters started to realise that they could team up with friends who weren’t cheaters and they could matchmake with them… They were escaping Cheater Island. 👀
🚨 Oh no 🚨
We raced to patch this out before they all realised.
Cheaters also realised that they could use family-sharing to share their game to another account and then use the other account to bypass Cheater Island. We disabled Family Sharing to fix this problem. Dealing with cheaters is difficult… they’re honestly very crafty.
During all of this time we kept increasing the thresholds on our cheat detection. We were 100% confident that anyone being flagged as a cheater was DEFINITELY cheating. This was super important to us. We didn’t want to falsely ban anyone.
Last week something exciting happened! There were finally enough cheaters to actually matchmake and create Cheater Island matches!
Here’s a new problem though: people were uploading videos that we think are Cheater Island… Somebody actually uploaded this video to Reddit with the title: “Ever played a round of Fall Mountain where all the players are cheating?” The problem is… this LOOKS like Cheater Island but we can’t be 100% sure.
Here's another video that we think is Cheater Island
The person recording isn't cheating…
Either they didn't cheat, just for the video…
Or it's a genuine server and a legit player…
Either way, it makes the game look bad pic.twitter.com/wxTyIA9Urr
— Fall Guys 👑 (@FallGuysGame) September 14, 2020
The person recording isn’t cheating. Either they didn’t cheat, just for the video, or it’s a genuine server and a legit player. Either way, it makes the game look bad.
We DO know that Cheater Island matches were happening, we just DON’T know if that’s what those videos show. For that reason, we have closed down Cheater Island. Instead, cheaters are now unable to login.
We are continuously improving the threshold on our cheat detection too. Our cheat detection system was good, but we hadn’t expected so many players and we had no idea the lengths that some players would go to cheat.
We tried to create a system around “Honesty”, but as soon as we realised we were in an arms race we called up the experts at Epic.
Now… Our next update is called: BIG YEETUS AND ANTI-CHEATUS
I’ll tell you more about the Yeetus part later, but the Anti-Cheatus part… We’re actually adding Epic’s Anti-Cheat which will be a huge step forward as we continue to improve things!
I realise this has been an insanely long thread, but that’s the story of Cheater Island and the reasoning behind why we’ve been so cryptic and vague!
Damn those pesky cheaters!
Source: Fall Guys