After almost five years, Dead by Daylight is still going strong. Over its lifespan we've seen countless iconic characters make it to the live game, alongside a deep plethora of updates that keep it feeling fresh at every turn. To get an insight into how Behaviour Interactive manages to keep the game interesting and what they plan for the future, we spoke with Dead by Daylight's creative director Dave Richard.
Gamereactor: Did the team at Behaviour Interactive always have plans for expanding the game for such a long time after the initial release?
Richard: We have to admit that the early success was surprising. Nevertheless, we did design Dead By Daylight to keep players interested for as long as we could. The core structure of the game allows for the constant addition of new ingredients. For example, perks and powers can be added to the mix, making the game exponentially richer. The procedural maps, the procedural progression, and the players' agency in choosing and using their builds keep the experience fresh and create unexpected and memorable scenarios.
Gamereactor: What were your inspirations for Dead by Daylight?
Richard: We worked on similar games for years before the release of DBD, making the baggage of inspirations quite challenging and lengthy to discuss. That said, the main inspirations come from everything horror, from classic slasher films to folklore and urban legends.
Gamereactor: As we know by now, the game features several iconic characters such as Ash from Evil Dead and Michael Myers from Halloween. Was this always the plan, or were you initially going to focus on unique characters?
Richard: It was always part of the plan. We have been in work for hire business in the games industry for decades, making, pitching and working in collaboration is second nature. We used these acquired skills to convince partners to jump into the adventure with us! How cool is it to see all of these iconic characters together!
Gamereactor: How would you describe your collaboration with the owners of these characters?
Richard: Every partner is unique; nevertheless, there is one thing that is true of them all: license owners are passionate about their licenses. We respect and appreciate this because we love these characters too. Working with partners is fun and challenging. We want to make them proud and represent their characters well. Most importantly, we want to please the fans.
Gamereactor: What is your current focus in order to keep players playing the game?
Richard: We'll continue to surprise players with the addition of unique characters that bring gameplay possibilities to the already large pool of choices. We are currently also working at updating older parts of the game which need to be modernised. Our recent efforts target the environments and characters' visuals, adding lighting, atmospheric effects and making them look more real and spooky.
Gamereactor: Almost five years have passed since the release of Dead by Daylight. The amount of survivors as well as killers were from the start pretty few but the roster has grown tremendously. Are you still planning to keep updating the game with DLCs, or are there plans for a sequel?
Richard: We currently think that it is better to continue to grow and support this title. Our community invested time and money in DBD and we want to continue this exciting adventure with the players!
Gamereactor: The killer vs. survivors genre have really exploded. We've seen it in Friday the 13th, your sad to say, no longer available Deathgarden, Last Year as well as Dead Realm. Why do you think this has become such a popular genre?
Richard: There's always been an attraction for alternative multiplayer games, and I think the access to tools/engines, particularly to the indie scene, allowed the genre to bloom. Asymmetrical games are particularly arduous and risky to make; it takes a specific studio profile to get into this type of work successfully.
Gamereactor: As far as you know, who would you say is the most popular killer as well as survivor in the game?
Richard: That's always a challenging question to answer. Popularity is heavily skewed by accessibility, as in which characters are available to most players when they start. The huntress is often at the top of this list. Her range hatchets and trick shots are fun. For the survivors, Claudette and Nea are the most popular.
Gamereactor: Will you keep expanding the game with unique characters, or will you keep mixing them with iconic characters from movies and games?
Richard: Both. We are always on the lookout for more collaborations that would add to the game in an impactful way. We will also keep creating original content. Our goal is to expand the thematic and gameplay space.
Gamereactor: Could you give us a hint of your next plans for the game?
Are you working on a new killer?
Richard: Our release format continues to be a new chapter every three months, so you can expect new characters to drop in the next chapter in march. We will give no details at this time.
Gamereactor: Who would you describe as your personal favourite of the killers and survivors and why?
Richard: For Killers, I am usually playing The Wraith. Something is entertaining for me in being able to disappear and surprise the survivors. I also like to ring his bell to taunt and make the survivor second guess my intentions. For the survivors, I tend to switch depending on my mood and the fashion of the day! You'll find me in-game as Feng, Kate, or King.
Gamereactor: If you were to release Dead by Daylight 2 - what would you want to add or maybe remove from the first game?
Richard: Nothing like that. A game as a service is in constant evolution. It is thus possible to review and correct almost anything, given time and effort. We made choices in DBD that made perfect sense when we took them, even though we need to update them today. Changing these choices would not necessarily make a better product. I am proud of our story and of each team member who participated in this fantastic project!
Dead by Daylight is currently available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia.