Werewolves Within

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Werewolves Within
Information
Developer Red Storm Entertainment
Publisher Ubisoft
Platform Oculus Rift (Platform), SteamVR,
Device Oculus Rift CV1, HTC Vive
Type Full Game
Genre Social VR
Input Device Oculus Touch, SteamVR Controllers
Game Mode Multiplayer
Release Date Fall 2016
Website Werewolves With
Infobox Updated 8/1/2016

Introduction

Werewolves Within is a Social VR game developed by Red Storm Entertainment, an Ubisoft studio based in North Carolina [1]. It is a multiplayer “social deduction game”, where players try to figure out who is the killer werewolf among them by arguing between themselves and using the game’s mechanics like signaling that they suspect that a specific player is a werewolf [2]. The game is played online, and the users interact with each other in the virtual village of Gallowston [3].

Werewolves Within has been demoed on PCs with the Oculus Rift headset, and is planned to release on all major VR platforms in the fall of 2016 [4] [5]. This game is not the only investment that Ubisoft is going to make in VR during 2016. Besides Werewolves Within, the studio will also publish a game called Eagle Flight, which is an aerial open world game about eagles [5].

Inspiration for the Game

Werewolves Within is a VR adaptation of a popular social party game that had its origins in the 80’s. The first iteration of it started in Russia (it was called Mafia), and in the 90’s the game had been commercialized and taken another forms, such as Werewolf. In all of the different forms that the game has taken, a group of friends take on different roles and try to figure out who is the outsider that is trying to kill them. The creative director for virtual reality at Red Storm studio, David Votypka, mentioned that while thinking about ideas for VR games, Mafia was mentioned and they started working on trying to emulate the social play aspect of the game into VR [6].

Gameplay

In Ubisoft’s VR game, five to eight players interact online [7]. Roles are assigned randomly to them at the beginning of the match. The roles provide special abilities that can help the players to figure out who the werewolf is [2]. For example, a player can be assigned the role of a village tracker or the role of a turncloack. In the first case, if the player leans in either direction and a werewolf is on that side of them, he or she will hear a growling, while in the second, the player assigned that role can only win if the werewolves win, and knows who they are [6]. Players are on two sides and there is position tracking that allows for the leaning mechanic, in which a player can also have a private chat with the person immediately at his or her side [4]. The in-game avatars move according to the volume and inflection of the voice, and there are also some hand-gestures available with the use of a controller [3].

After five minutes of arguing, the player casts a vote in who they think is the werewolf. To win a round you have to correctly choose who the werewolf is, survive as a werewolf, or convince the others that you are the werewolf (when the role of the “deviant” is assigned to you) [6].

References

  1. Hayden, Scott (2016). Hands-on: Ubisoft’s First Social Game “Werewolves Within”. Retrieved from www.roadtovr.com/hands-ubisofts-first-social-vr-game-werewolves-within-launching-fall
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chalk, Andy (2016). Werewolves Within is a VR “social deduction” party game coming this fall. Retrieved from www.pcgamer.com/werewolves-within-is-a-vr-social-deduction-party-game-coming-this-fall
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kraft, Courtney (2016). Ubisoft brings party games to VR with “Werewolves Within”. Retrieved from geekandsundry.com/paranoia-gets-virtual-with-ubisofts-werewolves-within
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wilson, Jason (2016). Werewolves Within is Ultimate Werewolf in virtual reality – and it’s social, too (update). Retrieved from venturebeat.com/2016/03/15/werewolves-within-preview
  5. 5.0 5.1 Reparaz, Mikel (2016). Werewolves Within brings multiplayer deception and deduction to VR. Retrieved from blog.ubi.com/werewolves-within-brings-multiplayer-deception-and-deduction-to-vr
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Crecente, Brian (2016). Ubisoft brings Werewolf party game to virtual reality. Retrieved from www.polygon.com/2016/3/15/11231148/werewolves-within-ubisoft-werewolf-virtual-reality
  7. Ubisoft. Werewolves Within. Retrieved from www.ubisoft.com/en-US/game/werewolves-within

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