Meet the Clever Crew: Mattieu!

Hi there! My name is Mattieu Bégin, or just Matt. I am the co-founder and game director at Clever Plays. I live in Montreal, Canada, where Clever Plays is based. Here are some fun facts about me: I have been married for more than 20 years, I have two wonderful children, a dog and two geckos. I love board games, science (I actually used to be a biologist/geneticist before changing careers), I enjoy heavy music, science fiction books, team sports, and of course video games. 


Get to Know Matt!

What is your role on the Clever Crew? 

I play three main roles in the team: that of being director, producer and game designer of all of our games. But since we’re a small studio, with typically around 6 to 8 people in the production team, I end up doing a ton of other things, including writing, QA, integration, UI art, publishing, and anything else we don’t have a specialized person for.


What makes you really excited about your job? 

Being creative is my main and most powerful driver. At Clever Plays, our philosophy is to make sure our games have something unique, something that will surprise gamers. But innovating is really hard. It’s like choosing to walk in the thick of the forest when you could use the trail. But it is oh so satisfying when, after weeks or months of work, a feature finally clicks. That’s what makes me wake up every morning.


What would you say is the most difficult part of your role?

The sheer breadth of the tasks that I have to perform, given the size of the studio. Like most people, I can’t possibly be good at everything, so I need to find ways to work around my weaknesses and focus on my strengths.


What was your favourite memory of working on Operation:Tango?

Playtests. Most people probably don’t know that, but the development of Operation: Tango was very challenging on many levels. It is sometimes hard to keep the faith when things don’t seem to be working out. But whenever we ran playtests, it was such a joy (and a relief) to witness players genuinely have fun with what we were creating. It kept me running.


What made you want to become a game developer?

I have been creating games since I was 10 years old, although they were board games, card games and role-playing games back then. That has always been my passion. I just did not know I could make a career out of that until my late twenties. Then I worked 6 years for a AAA company, and it was the game Bastion that made me realize that indie games were a thing, and that it was realistic to found a studio and follow in their footsteps.


Were there any games from your childhood that were super influential to you?

Although my childhood was in the 80s, I guess the golden age of video gaming for me was the second half of the 90s on PC, with games like Baldur’s Gate, Civilization 2, Starcraft and Diablo 2.


What is your favourite game you’ve played in the last year?

Because of my profession, I do try a large amount of games every year. However, having a work approach to games has the negative effect of sucking some of the fun out of it. When I am not studying games, I find myself returning to a few not-so recent favorites such as Darkest Dungeon, Battle Brothers, Slay the Spire, and Super Auto Pet.


What are your hopes and goals for the future of Clever Plays?

Success for the game we’re currently working on, what else? I think we have a rough gem in our hands currently, with many ways this game could appeal to people. We’re in the process of refining and shaping it. Let’s hope we can match the great vision we have for it. In the longer term, it is to keep making innovative and immersive game experiences of all kinds.


This or That Section:

PC or Console?  – I have “PC” tattooed on the heart, what can I say …

Coca-Cola or Pepsi? Water when I work, otherwise fresh organic juices.

Cats or Dogs? I like animals in general, I actually spent years studying them.

Halloween or Christmas? Both are great. The two best special days of the year.

Pancakes or Waffles? Not a fan. My son makes awesome waffles however!


Want to learn more about the Clever Crew? Check out our post all about our Community Manager! Read it Now!