Ever have a dream where you can’t move freely and just sort of manage to wake up lest the demons get you? Insidious reference aside, No Brakes Games’ Human: Fall Flat is kind of the same thing. You play as Bob, a normal guy who has dreams of crazy puzzles and must somehow fall through them using physics to open a mysterious door. Sounds convoluted? Perhaps but since when did a dream really make sense?
GamingBolt spoke to Tomas Sakalauskas, the one man developer of No Brakes Games, to learn more about Human: Fall Flat and the response it’s received so far.
"The multiple dreamscapes came about through a wish to have a diverse range of tools and a context for them."
What inspired the premise for Human: Fall Flat and how did that expand to encompass an entire game?
Human: Fall Flat was born out of an experiment using Intel’s Real Sense tools. They had a camera that could track hand movements so I made a prototype where players used their hands to solve puzzles. When I started considering Human: Fall Flat as a game with a character and one that would go on PCs and consoles I worked out how to adjust these hand controls to become L2 and R2 or mouse buttons.
The multiple dreamscapes came about through a wish to have a diverse range of tools and a context for them. The Castle sees you playing about with medieval tools like carts, mill wheels and catapults. The Demolition level has wrecking balls, cement bags and giant wheelie bins for you to play around with.
How has the response been so far to the game?
Overwhelmingly positive. I got the community involved during an ‘early-access’ stage on itch.io so I was able to actively respond to feedback and extensive community playtesting. A lot of streamers and YouTubers were interested in the game and created multiple videos of their antics, updating them as I added new levels. I’ve since lost count of how many videos have been made, but I love watching them.
Can you tell us about the fully interactive environments and the gameplay possibilities this presents?
The environments are very different and each have their own challenges. You can’t swim so getting across the Water level will require some ingenuity (and an understanding of how things float). In the Power Plant it’s all about connecting wires, firing up furnaces and operating machinery. In terms of gameplay possibilities that’ll come down to your imagination, but we do tempt the player with some fun possibilities like turning a chain into a zip-line or surfing on a mattress.
"Co-op in Human: Fall Flat is for better and for worse an entirely shared experience."
How many possible solutions are there to puzzles?
Countless. Your only goal is to get to the exit at the other end of the level. So it’s all about finding different routes to it. As mentioned earlier different paths are hinted to the player but they’re also encouraged to use their imagination. The extent of this went far beyond what I expected. Folks who speed-run the game have some very clever tricks they’ve discovered to fling themselves across levels and slip around obstacles. With this open design it’s entirely possible that a fun distraction (like firing yourself out of a catapult or riding the sails of a windmill) will result in you finding a new area or solution.
Are there side-activities and the like that players can complete for different rewards (sort of like Goat Simulator’s “challenges”)?
The Steam, Xbox One and PS4 versions all have achievements for players seeking an extra challenge. These include reaching the highest points of levels, collecting hidden items and messing around in particular ways – like throwing a speaker through a window.
The co-op mode intrigues us. Does it significantly open up more possibilities with regards to puzzle solving?
That depends on your friends. Co-op in Human: Fall Flat is for better and for worse an entirely shared experience. You’ll be able to help each other out with moving items or driving vehicles but there’s nothing stopping one of you from bundling the other into a wheelie bin and driving it off a cliff.
What we’ve found so far is that when players do work together they can reach new places and find new solutions. For instance, larger objects might be hard to manipulate on your own, with two pairs of hands you’ll have greater control.
"We have another Steam Workshop update coming for PC soon, after that you’ll have to wait and see!"
How is progress on the game’s console versions? When can we expect to see it release?
The game is out very soon! You can pre-order now on Xbox One and PS4 and get a free copy of Manual Samuel which is a fun ‘dexterity adventure’ game. We’re releasing on May 9th on PS4 and May 12th on Xbox One.
Will updates and bug fixes arrive on consoles at the same time as the PC version? How difficult will it be to maintain development on three different platforms?
The PC Version is being updated alongside the console version and will release in the same week.
What can you tell us about the free content update that’s coming up?
For PC players the content update includes the new Aztec level and character creation options.
What are your plans for future content? Will there be any new modes or options for players to tinker?
We have another Steam Workshop update coming for PC soon, after that you’ll have to wait and see!