One of the first things people want to know is, “Why another version of Ultimate Werewolf?” After all, the game has been around since 2007, and has gone through three iterations already. What else could be done with it?
It turns out, quite a bit! Since the last edition was published back in 2015, we’ve listened to what customers liked, what they didn’t like, and what they’d like to see in the future. Here’s what players and moderators want:
1. Better artwork
That was the blueprint for Ultimate Werewolf Extreme, which is on Kickstarter right now, and will be shipping in 2021.
The biggest project by far was the artwork, so early in 2018 I started the process of finding exceptional artists, and found two of them: Simon Aan, who had just finished up work for us on Ultimate Werewolf Legacy, and Christine Mitzuk, who has done some incredible fantasy artwork. I tasked Christine with doing the bulk of the work, and over the past two years she’s created more than 80 new role illustrations, as well as additional items, like background and cover art. The Legacy game ended up having a lot of artwork that didn’t make it into the game (such is the process of playtesting legacy games), so we had a head start with Simon, who was put to work primarily on new roles. The end result is the most amazing artwork you’ll find in any social deduction game to date, so much so that we’re providing a complete additional set of tarot cards that really show off the artwork to backers of the Super Collector’s Edition of Ultimate Werewolf Extreme.
The Pacifist from Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe, by Sanjana Baijnath, 2014
The Pacifist from Ultimate Werewolf Extreme, by Christine Mitzuk, 2020
Balancing games for experienced players and moderators was much more difficult. Fortunately, there’s a huge community of Ultimate Werewolf players who are willing to offer their help and expertise. In particular, Aaron Newman, who runs the world’s largest Ultimate Werewolf meetup group, with over 1000 members, was eager to jump in and help. He developed a new method of game balancing that is focused more on how much information each of the roles provide to the village team, as opposed to the standard “role balance” values that we’ve always used. This new method keeps the balance of games as the primary focus when setting up a deck, and has resulted in tons of games coming down to 5 or fewer players before a team reaches their winning conditions. In addition, Aaron also designed several new roles, as well as creating more “balanced” versions of existing roles. Finally, Aaron came up with additional rules that further balance games, such as Celebration, which happens the night after the players eliminate a wolf during the day; that night, the village team takes the night off from using their special powers and relaxes, giving the wolf team a chance to catch up.
Adding more roles to Ultimate Werewolf seems like overkills; after all, there were about 75 roles in the 2015 edition, if you include expansion roles. But there are all sorts of great roles added to Extreme, with the standout role probably being the Illuminati, which is an independent role that learns everyone’s role on the first night of the game, and then wins simply by staying in the game until there are 3 or fewer players left. Having all of that information is incredibly powerful, but using that information is high risk, because it’s in everyone else’s interest to eliminate the Illuminati before the end of the game. It’s tricky to play well, but super satisfying to pull off. In a way, it’s the equivalent of the Tanner in the One Night Ultimate Werewolf series; except in this case you have to pretend you don’t know anything while secretly puppet mastering all of the other players.
While the aforementioned items are all great additions to the game, the one that will probably have the greatest long term impact is the new Moderator app. This app does triple duty by helping to configure new decks of roles based on player count, assisting with managing players, and then walking you through each step of each game, ensuring that you won’t make any mistakes or forget any important steps along the way.
The technically advanced app includes automatic player and role scanning, which allows the moderator to hold his phone in a front of a player and by scanning the back of their card, put their role into the app, and automatically tie it to their face and their name. It takes a fraction of the time that Moderators had to spend in the past, allowing them to to skip the long first night of writing down player’s names, and letting them focus on the game and interacting with the players more.
There are also lots of other little things that were added to the game, such as cool player items, a wealth of info integrated directly into the card artwork, and totally rewritten and revised rules. Backing the Kickstarter gets you a whole bunch of special things, like 3D mini’s of the player items, a full size warning sign, custom card sleeves, and even polarized card inserts. We couldn’t be more excited to bring this entirely new Ultimate Werewolf game to you!