Interview: Bezier Games / Matt & Dino talk about "Ultimate Werewolf Extreme"

Ultimate Werewolf Extreme on Kickstarter

"We have more Werewolf ideas in house than anything else. But we want to make sure you have time to enjoy and connect with each game, as opposed to running out and purchasing another game or expansion each month."

- Matt Ryan (Bezier Games)

Interview led by WereDINO on The Social Deduction Network Discord

Note: This is not a word for word transcript of the interview, some grammatical mistakes and other things of that nature were altered. For the full unaltered transcript, go find this interview listed under the interviews tab in The Social Deduction Network discord.

Mikrofon, Diskussion, Sprechen, Datensatz, Radio

Dino: Welcome, everyone! It’s a good day here at the Social Deduction Network because today we are joined by Matt Ryan of Bezier Games! Now you have a new Kickstarter campaign running right now for Ultimate Werewolf Extreme. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a social deduction game people play while skateboarding through obstacle courses, correct?

Matt: That's Tony Hawk's Werewolf Extreme, but very close!

Dino: Oh! Common error, I'm sure. So, ever since I discovered One Night Ultimate Werewolf a few years ago, I have been stalking your company like a hairy predator, prowling through the night, and I have noticed that you have created a few werewolf themed tabletop games like Ultimate Werewolf, Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition, Ultimate Werewolf Legacy, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, One Week Ultimate Werewolf, Werebeasts, Werewords, and Silver. Now, Ultimate Werewolf Extreme. Why haven’t you made more?

Matt: We actually pace ourselves for our fans. We have more Werewolf ideas in house than anything else. But we want to make sure you have time to enjoy and connect with each game, as opposed to running out and purchasing another game or expansion each month.

Dino: That is awesome to hear! As a fan, I want everything now, but as a family man on a budget, I am glad you are pacing yourself.

Matt: The Silver Series is also being paced out. As much as we can't wait to get to the Z deck.

Dino: So you already have a Z deck in mind?

Matt: So the way we have been building the games is very unique. We have many ideas for cards/powers/etc based on new unique things, as well as plenty of influence from our One Night and Ultimate Werewolf series. We have created a spreadsheet for card ideas; then when we start building a new deck we try and figure out good combinations, and a deck theme. We don't have enough to get to Z yet, but with a team as creative as ours, I don't imagine we will have issues coming up with fun ideas.

Dino: Right, like Coin focused on Card Flipping. I see.

Matt: Exactly, and the Bullet deck is a little more aggressive/interactive.

Dino: Maybe we can discuss Silver a big more later on. For now, I want to spend some time discussing Ultimate Werewolf Extreme. Why did you decide to revisit Ultimate Werewolf? Many people, myself included, had already considered your deluxe version and its expansions to be the perfect version of the game. What does Extreme add?

Matt: Well we recently did the same thing to Suburbia. There has been so much content released for the game, and so many special items people are always looking for, or a card pack they have missed. We wanted to collectively get all of those things into one place, improve them, and make it easy to find. So beyond upgrades, it also does add some really unique things. By far the most mind-bending is the moderator app for the game

Dino: Yes! One of the pains of moderating a game was having to write everything on paper: people’s names, their roles, when they wake up, etc. Will this version solve this problem?

Matt: It will indeed. You will no longer need a pen and paper, or dry erase board. By utilizing your smartphone, all you need to do is hold your camera up to a player with their role card facing them. When you do this it captures their role from a QR code on the back, puts a small picture of their face, and will be able to input their name as well. So you no longer need to refer to someone as "guy with big sideburns" or "person in star wars shirt".

Dino: Or whatever degrading description someone might create for me. Perfect! I have to say, the app is very exciting to me as I tend to moderate every game we play. I've played with students and it always works well, but moderating is stressful. It also includes all the roles from Deluxe, its expansions, and adds a bunch of new roles. What are some of the new roles you are most excited about?

Matt: The Illuminati is so cool. He is one I haven't gotten dealt in the games I have played yet, but it adds a little bit of extra tension. I am a huge Tanner fan, so having that extra tension keeps the game fun for me.

Dino: For anyone who does not know, the Illuminati is told everyone's role on the first night, but has to remember them, and wins if he makes it to the end. That's a pretty crazy one.

Matt: Yes, it is fun to play because you try and keep the teams balanced, and can make some very big plays.

Dino: Must be tricky. In a few years, will you come out with Ultimate Werewolf Extreme 3000, because I’ll be so on board for that! It could also be followed by Ultimate Werewolf Extreme 3000 Turbo… Please tell me this is the plan. ...Side note: I would love Ultimate Werewolf Extreme 3000 even more than I love Iron Man.

Matt: Most games have very good iconography so everyone can read and understand them. In Ultimate Werewolf it is unique because really only the moderator needs that information to put the deck together. So what we have done is hidden the information in the art. Things as simple as the height, or jagged-ness of the fence on the card. But it makes it feel more immersive.

Dino: It's pretty cool how the cards subtly convey so much information. And it doesn't take away from the art.

Matt: As someone who moderates it makes it great as well. You can quickly make choices.

Dino: Sounds awesome. Setting up a game tended to take some time for me. Trying to balance the game when I had X amount of players was always tricky. I have noticed that the Standard Villager and Werewolf are the only two roles that appear in every single one of your werewolf themed games. Roles like the Troublemaker and Robber appear in most of them, as well. Is there jealousy among roles like the Rascal and Pixie who only appear in one iteration?

Matt: Well some of those guys are new to the family, so they haven't had time to get jealous yet. But yes, we do run a highlight reel each year for roles that have been retired, and play a sad song.

Dino: Oh… Roles have been retired? That is sad…

Matt: Sometimes we can find ways to bring them back in other games, but sometimes they just don't fit. So One Night roles that wouldn't work in Ultimate, or vice-versa.

Dino: The Alien must be upset. He had a whole One Night Sequel where he was the star, but he hasn't returned. How do they feel about The Mortician? This guy never showed up until One Night Ultimate Alien, but now he’s popping up everywhere!

Matt: Haha. So he is one I enjoy. Like I said, huge Tanner fan here, so the fact that his win condition is so unique makes me extra excited to see that card dealt to me.

Dino: Personally, as a fan, I get a kick out of seeing roles recycled for new iterations. When promo images for new games are released, I like to guess which characters they are. Does Bezier Games get joy out of creating roles for one game and then finding a new way to incorporate them in a different game?

Matt: We do, in house we essentially call it the "Were-verse", we love keeping things in the same universe. Even little things like One Week taking place in the Castle of Mad King Ludwig, where you see both familiar rooms from one title, and roles from another.

Dino: Yes, that was cool!

Matt: It's like Easter Eggs in the games, it connects us to the game, and players can connect with them too.

Dino: Ultimate Werewolf Extreme comes with some awesome extras for the fans. Could you tell us about the bracelets and the Tarot sized cards?

Matt: The bracelets are one of the most entertaining things to have as a moderator. They are red slap bracelets that say RIP on them that you place on players as they are eliminated. It makes it easy to tell who is in and who is not (sometimes people don't always remove themselves from the circle, which is totally fine), but at a glance it makes it easy as a moderator to tell. Also it is fun to slap them on people. The cards really highlight the new art, bring able to see the full character really brings them to life and shows off how great this art is.

Dino: Backing at the Super Collectors' Tier gives backers those things and much more. Pretty cool. You have lots of Stretch Goals (or Stretch Roles, as your campaign labels them) already unlocked. At this point, do you feel like we have a good shot of unlocking them all, or is Bezier Games prepared to keep adding them indefinitely throughout the duration of the campaign?

Matt: We try to keep them real and achievable. And we have learned from previous campaigns to have some bigger goals beyond what you just post. That in mind the ones that we post after the originals typically are more work for us, and that is why they are further out. Or ideas that didn't make it all the way to production for one reason or another. But we always put up goals we are proud of, or think are really fun. Dino, what is your favorite role in Ultimate Werewolf?

Dino: Hmm... I really like The Big Bad Wolf. He adds a lot of nerves to the Villagers. He gets killed, it's a big relief. I don't know if he's my favorite, but he's the first one I thought of when you asked. Students I've played with really like having him in games. If I may change the subject for a little bit, I have heard you say that you greatly enjoy the Silver Games. Can we expect another Silver Game or two in 2021?

Matt: There are actually a few big announcements/surprises coming from the Silver line THIS YEAR! We plan on announcing the Silver D deck, and it should be available for the Holidays this year! We also are going to add the Bullet deck into the free app you can download on your phone. The Silver Series is a very fun card game. I grew up playing card games so it is one I get really excited for.

Dino: What? I was not expecting that! I knew about Silver Bullet being added to the app, but not about a game coming this year!

Matt: Yes, BIG NEWS HERE FOLKS! You are one of the first to know.

Dino: Wow! I was going to say, I have seen you in interviews, and this was never announced! The games are named alphabetically. We had Silver Amulet, Silver Bullet, and Silver Coin. Next is D, so what will it be? Silver Dollar, Silver Dice, Silver Dagger…? Tell me if I’m close. Silver Dino (please, oh please!), Silver Dog, Silver Daisy, Silver Dynomite, Silver Doughnut...?

Matt: I will tell you it is one of those first 3. But I will not tell you which one... You will have to wait!

Dino: Oh! Silver Dice would be really cool… Guess we'll have to wait and see, but I'm glad we broke some news and got things narrowed down! Trying to recover from that… What is the Wolfpack, and why should people become members?

Matt: Wolfpack is a very highly elite group of soldiers we have trained to infiltrate and bite highly influential celebrities, turning them into one of us. OH WAIT…

Dino: Ugh... Shhh!

Matt: It is a membership to the Bezier Games website. It costs you $5, and if gets you some HUGE benefits:
Free shipping in the US
Preferential pre-order shipping
Monthly deals
A cool song and dance number from Dino*
*while supplies last

Dino: I became a member, and it more than paid for itself after using it the first time. You won't be disappointed with the song, either. I practiced many hours in the shower, so... the results speak for themselves.

Matt: Typically shipping is about that much anyways. So may as well join, and get it for a whole year!

Dino: Nice. Matt, I would be remiss if I did not ask: Will there be another One Night? I think we are all ready for One Night Ultimate Ghosts, or whatever it might be. What can you tell me about this? You’ve broken news with us once, and it went very well. Let’s keep it going.

Matt: Like I said, we are always flush with ideas for these things. So we have a couple of ideas floating around the office about what/when the next one will be. But currently there is so much great content for One Night, we have to give people time to get plenty of use of Super Villains. This year we have some really good strategy titles coming out. They are Maglev Metro; a game where you are rebuilding cities transit and replacing them with magnetic levitation trains, and Whistle Mountain; a game where you are building scaffolds and machines using airships to gather resources and get points. Those take a ton of playtesting and time. So we will put that back on the list in 2021 (maybe 2022 at the latest).

Dino: Okay. It will definitely be exciting when that franchise comes back. And those tile placement games look really cool. I assume you might offer a similar answer to this one, but... Werewords, One Week Ultimate Werewolf, Werebeasts, Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition… Any talks about adding expansions or revisiting these franchises?

Matt: All of our ideas for expansions or revisiting a title is based on interest of the community, as well as making sure we feel like releasing it in a new edition or adding an expansion will add to the game in some way. For games like Werewords, we were able to revisit it in a Deluxe Edition adding additional roles and new art. But as much as the community LOVES this game, we don't think we could make an expansion at this time that would make it a better or more enjoyable game. Games like One Week on the other hand, which is a game we play in the office frequently, we could easily add expansions and more rooms. But sadly the community interest in this game was not as large as planned. So if for some reason it ever does have a large community we can release new room tiles in bonus packs (Like roles for One Night).

Dino: I understand.

Matt: Prior to being on this side of the table, I never knew how much thought and calculating goes into making those choices.

Dino: I can imagine. You have to make great games, but you also have to make wise business decisions. I have always thought it would be cool if Bezier produced a werewolf themed trivia game. Maybe one where players play cooperatively to earn the highest cumulative score, but where one player is secretly trying to sabotage the group by getting questions wrong. That could be fun, right? Haven't seen anything like that on the market… And the Mortician could be in it! And it could be similar to those awesome games you've made before like America: The Game.

Matt: That does sound like a fun game. If you would like you can always submit the idea through our website. Who knows, maybe it is something our company could look into.

Dino: Maybe, I will, Matt... Maybe I will… I know I went on a lot of tangents here, but it is only because I love your company and its games so much. Matt, thank you so much for being here! I hope everyone goes to Kickstarter and supports Ultimate Werewolf Extreme, another of Bezier’s awesome games!

Matt: No, thank you for spending time with me. We always love the support, and appreciate all you do for the community of dirty stinkin werewolves!

Dino: That's kind of offensive, but you are welcome! :)