I Watched The 4th Anniversary Stream (Even Though You Probably Did, Too)!
I wasn't sure whether to make a stream summary for this one, since it was more a collection of announcements than a Q&A, but then I realised I was going to make notes for myself so I didn't forget what was said anyway, so at that point I figured I might as well do my usual thing and share them with the entire forum.
Usual disclaimers: the below is official information, unofficially worded, so don't read too far into the specific wording because that's just the way I've chosen to phrase it - unless it's in quotation marks " ", in which case it's a direct quote from the stream. If something is in square brackets [ ], that means it's not information from the stream, but my own note or conjecture, usually included for the sake of clarity.
This stream was split into four main sections: Year Review and Upcoming Content, The Community, the DBD Mobile Panel, and the New Chapter (Silent Hill). The stream was run by Game Director and Product Evangelist Matthieu Cote (@mcote), and featured various members of the development team from different departments in each section.
If you would like to watch the stream for yourself, it can be found at the below links:
The stream opened with a short video celebrating Behaviour Interactive, followed by one celebrating the 4th anniversary of Dead by Daylight.
1 - Year Review and Upcoming Content
Mathieu Cote - Game Director and Product Evangelist
Jerome Nguyen van Long - Senior Product Manager (in charge of the roadmap and deciding which features will be implemented into the game)
Stefan Beauchamp-Daniel - Producer (helps the team to make Jerome’s roadmap a reality)
Opening Announcements (Mathieu)
A big event was originally planned for the anniversary, with “balloons and animals and balloon animals”, which obviously couldn’t be carried out due to current circumstances. This stream was therefore conducted remotely, with each of the participants tuning in from their own homes.
This stream presented content from the Year 5 roadmap, as well as some updates and announcements from the DBD Mobile team. They also talked about the community, its composition, what it means to them and how the community team operates within that space. Finally, they discussed some of the upcoming content for the game.
Four years ago, the Charity Case was introduced. This was a cosmetic DLC containing 28 different items featuring a variety of content creators from around the world, from which all of the profits were donated to the Brain and Behaviour Research Fund. Within the last few months, the money raised from Charity Case sales has broken one million dollars. The Charity Case is still available for purchase, so if you would like to do so, you will be funding a good cause.
Some things in this stream were be covered more briefly than the developers would have liked, because they wanted to be able to “deep dive” into other topics. There will also be follow-up panels, blog posts, videos, Q&As, etc. designed to ensure that players are given as much information as possible on the subjects they care about.
Updates and advancements since last Anniversary (Mathieu)
In the past year, DBD has added a lot of new content and surpassed a number of significant milestones. This includes:
- Four new DLCs - Ghost Face, Stranger Things (the first chapter to feature two survivors), Cursed Legacy (the first chapter to expand on the backstories of existing characters) and Chains of Hate (featuring DBD's first gun).
- The Archives - three new Tomes have been released in the last year, each one with new improvements and new content.
- A major and "much needed" update to Freddy, which was generally very well-received.
- A major update to The Doctor.
- The release of dedicated servers on all platforms - obviously there is still more work to be done here, but overall this is a better and more solid basis on which to be building the game than the previous peer-to-peer connection.
- Disconnection Penalties, which have reduced the disconnection rate by 35% across all platforms since their implementation.
- The launch of the Switch and Mobile ports of the game - DBD is now available on almost every gaming platform in existence, and will continue to expand to those still remaining.
- Bunny Feng – the “most impressive piece of content… in the history of video games”.
- Within the last month, DBD surpassed over a million daily users across all platforms.
- In the last four years since its launch, more than 20 million people have now played Dead by Daylight.
2020 Roadmap - Dedicated servers (Stefan)
The transition to dedicated servers has been both challenging and exciting, and there are many ways in which the developers hope to continue improving the player experience in this area in the future. Specifically, there are three main features they hope to implement over the next year.
Firstly, they plan to increase the “rate at which the server runs”, which should reduce latency between player actions and server reactions. However, there will always be a minimum amount of latency present due to network limitations, so there will still be times when the client and the server are not perfectly in sync. They will therefore also be adding “movement extrapolation” (which will help to ensure that what the player sees is as close as possible to what the server registers), as well as both server- and client-side validation so that any critical interactions (interactions with the environment, interrupts, attacks, etc.) will feel as fair and satisfying as possible.
2020 Roadmap - Matchmaking (Jerome)
The current matchmaking system uses ranks to match players, which is a time-based system that resets every month. The upcoming system will instead use an algorithm to analyse the events and outcomes of each trial in order to define player skill level, which will help to create “a better and fairer matchmaking system”.
This algorithm has already been in place on the live servers for the last several months, although it was used only for “simulation” purposes during that time, not for actual matchmaking. The results from these tests are looking very promising, so now all that needs to be done is to polish off some final details in preparation for a live release within the upcoming month.
2020 Roadmap - Upcoming live changes (stefan)
Over the years, there has been a lot of content added to the game, and more with every release. It is important to the developers to ensure that everything which already exists in the game is on par with the newly released content. To this end, they plan to continue revisiting older characters, perks, add-ons, etc. to ensure that they remain balanced, interesting, fun and "competitive" [by which I assume he means comparably viable to related features - such as other killers, for example].
This is something they have already been doing in the past, and in particular they have received extremely positive reactions to their most recent update which made adjustments to many of the existing maps. They will therefore be continually looking to improve existing maps while releasing new ones at the same time.
Similarly to last year’s introduction of the End Game Collapse, they will be releasing a new feature along the same lines which will affect the start of the match instead. This is a topic that has been discussed widely within the community, and which the developers themselves also feel strongly about – the beginning of the match can be quite busy and stressful for both roles, so they will be looking into “cleaning up” the start-of-match experience and making it as fun as possible for all parties involved.
2020 Roadmap - Crossplay (stefan and jerome)
Now that the game is available across so many different platforms, this naturally gives rise to the question of how players might be allowed to enjoy the game together regardless of platform. This is one of their most-requested features, and it is now confirmed that it will be coming to the game within the next year.
There will be new features added to the existing friends list which will allow players to search for and add friends from other platforms, which they can then invite to join Survive With Friends or Custom lobbies. At the same time, crossplay will be integrated into the base matchmaking system, which will have the additional benefits of quicker and fairer matchmaking due to the larger player pool. It is also hoped that crossplay will help to “diversify the meta” across different platforms by shaking up various platform-specific gameplay trends.
The “cross-friends” and “crossplay” features will be introduced in two waves: firstly, cross-friends will be enabled on platforms which already support crossplay (namely, Steam and the Windows Store), and then the console platforms (Xbox One, PS4 and Switch) will be added to the pool later. Players on all five platforms will be able to play with one another. This is expected to be fully implemented by the end of this year.
Cross-progression is something that the developers have also been considering, and about which they are currently in discussions with partners. Because these discussions are still ongoing, they cannot provide details right now, but cross-progression is definitely something that they [BHVR] would like to introduce in the future.
2020 roadmap - Graphical Update (Mathieu and Jerome)
Within the next year, there will be a major graphical update to DBD, which will help to ensure that the game remains “relevant”, not only mechanically but also visually among its peers.
Last year, the developers received very positive community feedback following the overhaul of Lery’s Memorial Institute. This year, they will be not only updating every map in the game, but also reviewing all the animations, assets, lighting and visual effects. The goal is to improve the game’s atmosphere by making it feel more tense and creepy, focusing on DBD’s central themes as a horror game. This is a very ambitious undertaking, which is why it will be carried out in several phases throughout the year. A full team has been assigned specifically to this task.
Examples of said asset revisions:
Before-and-after comparisons of what they game might look like after the graphical overhaul (bear in mind that all of these are still works in progress):
2 - The Community
Mathieu Cote - Game Director and Product Evangelist
Gabrielle Murphy (aka @not_Queen) - Lead Community Manager
Gabrielle Malvar - Influencer Manager for DBD and DBD Mobile
For the developers, the community means two things: firstly, us, the players – those playing the game, talking about it, creating content for it, creating art inspired by it, etc. This is what makes Dead by Daylight an “amazingly rich and passionate environment”. It is important to the development team to understand who is part of this community, and how the development team can make sure that the voices of all community members are heard.
The second side of the community is the community team. When the game first started, this was a very small group of people running everything on their own, but now it has expanded to a team of some 50 members around the world, whose job it is to represent and engage with the game’s entire global playerbase across many different platforms and languages. This section of the stream discussed who these people are and how they carry out their jobs. It also included a section on the Fog Whisperers, content creators who help to “bring the good word of Dead by Daylight to the masses”. Finally, it discussed planned community events and activities for the upcoming anniversary celebrations and for the rest of the year.
The Community Team (Gabrielle Murphy, aka not_queen)
The Dead by Daylight community and its level of engagement has grown enormously over the last year, across a wide variety of platforms. On the forums alone, over 80,000 discussions were created, and over 800,000 comments were posted within the last year. At the same time, the official Dead by Daylight Discord channel has grown to over 100,000 members.
The community is also present internationally on local platforms such as VK, Bilibili, WeChat and Niconico, run by specialised local Community Managers. There is even a dedicated Twitter channel just for the Japanese community.
The following image montage was presented to showcase every member of Dead by Daylight’s international community team [I won't tag them all here, but feel free to look them up for yourself]:
Community art and cosplay
[There was also a montage of fanart, craft and cosplay submissions from the community. There are too many for me to screenshot here, but I’ve timestamped this section of the stream below for anyone who’s interested]:
Community in-game cosmetic contest winners (Gabrielle Murphy, aka not_queen)
After the success of last year’s competition, the developers were very keen to host another for the game’s fourth anniversary. They received over a thousand amazing entries, which made deciding the winners extremely difficult. They began by narrowing it down to 30 killer and 30 survivor entries, and then the winners were chosen from among these by the Art and Creative Director.
Jane Romero - Incognito (by @emmawagemans)
Yui Kimura - Taimei (Ganster) (by @sakitam0917)
The Legion Susie - Come Apart (by @Marsha)
The Huntress - The Silver Lone Wolf (by @Yabuta)
Legion, Frank - NEVER STOP SLASHING !! (by @Certere)
Freestyle Claudette (by @Nohequin)
Fog Whisperers (Gabrielle Malvar)
The Fog Whisperers are official partners of Dead by Daylight who create content for the game, including livestreams, YouTube videos and animations. Every time a new chapter is released, the Fog Whisperers are granted Bloodpoints to spend in the PTB and Auric Cells to buy cosmetics, as well as DLC giveaway codes and exclusive content to reveal to their audience. The Fog Whisperers have a unique logo to represent them, which can also be worn as a charm in-game.
If you would like to recommend your own [or someone else’s] content to the Dead by Daylight team to be considered for the Fog Whisperer program, feel free to tag them on social media and use the hashtag #IntoTheFog.
[This was followed by a montage of gameplay footage from various Fog Whisperers, and video submissions from others, sharing their personal experiences and thanking the developers and their own communities. This segment begins at the linked timestamp below]:
Fourth anniversary celebrations (Gabrielle Murphy, aka not_queen)
For the fourth anniversary, a variety of contests, raffles, play sessions with developers, Q&As and other activities have been organised by the community team to run throughout June. The schedule for these activities will be made available on Dead by Daylight’s official social media platforms.
3 - DBD Mobile Panel
Valentine Dessertenne – Associate Producer
Julia Dionne - Community Manager for DBD Mobile
DBD Mobile Launch and introduction (Valentine and Julia)
A huge number of people have backed DBD Mobile since it was first announced, including over a million players who participated in the beta testing phase. As of April 16, the game is officially available in most regions, and has already gained around 3.5 million players.
The entire team working from home made the launch something of an unexpected challenge, but in the end it went off very successfully. The team began work on DBD Mobile two years ago, so its official release after all their hard work putting it together during that time was a huge milestone.
DBD Mobile brings the same experience and sensations of the main game to the mobile platform. In order to achieve this successfully, controls had to be adapted for touch screens, and the UI had to be adjusted to compensate for the lack of available audio typical of the mobile gaming experience. DBD Mobile also introduced the blood market (an adaptation of the bloodweb which was intended to provide the same rewards in a more mobile-friendly format), and a mobile-specific tutorial. Other highlights include exclusive skins, daily rewards, and disconnection bots, designed to take over the roles of players who disconnect from the game.
DBD Mobile, unlike the PC and console versions of the game, is also completely free, and the majority of characters and cosmetics can be unlocked through playtime alone, while those remaining may be unlocked through commitment to daily challenges and other in-game rewards. The game is available to play now on both Google Play and the App Store, and thanks to the completion of pre-registration stretch goals, players will also start off with an extra character and bonus in-game resources.
Below are a selection of statistics from games played so far in DBD Mobile:
Upcoming features in DBD Mobile (valentine and Julia)
Based on the established roadmap for the period of June to September 2020, the DBD Mobile developers will be releasing updates on a monthly basis, alternating between new content and quality-of-life updates. For example, in June they will be introducing a new map, followed by a selection of quality-of-life improvements in July, a new map and killer in August, and another new gameplay feature implemented in September. All of these updates will also include new character customisation options for players to enjoy. At the same time, the team remains committed to improving stability and performance, as well as general tweaks and polishing overall.
[These announcements were followed by a montage of in-game footage from DBD Mobile, linked below]:
4 - New Chapter: Silent Hill
Mathieu Cote - Game Director and Product Evangelist
Dave Richard (@Dave) - Creative Director
New chapter introduction (Mathieu)
The first licensed chapter introduced to Dead by Daylight, Halloween, cemented the game as a “great reference for horror in video games”. Today’s reveal was another milestone on that same track, with the introduction of another major license which the developers have been looking forward to for a long time.
[The trailer for the new chapter was shown at this point in the stream and can be viewed below]:
New map: Midwich Elementary School (Dave)
The new map represents one of the most iconic locations in Silent Hill – Midwich Elementary School. It is filled with locations, surprises and secrets for fans of the original games to discover, and features a central outdoor courtyard, which is a new kind of map layout for Dead by Daylight.
New survivor: Cheryl Mason (Dave)
The survivor in this chapter is Cheryl Mason, who fans may know as Heather Mason, the protagonist of the third Silent Hill game. In that game, she is revealed to be a reincarnation of two souls – this theme of duality, as well as her link to the “dark forces of Silent Hill”, is reflected in her personal perks.
Soul Guard grants the player Endurance after being healed from or recovering from the dying state, and also allows them to recover fully from the dying state while cursed.
Blood Pact links the player to the obsession such that if either is injured, they can see one another’s auras. After one of them is healed, they will gain the Haste effect for a short time.
Repressed Alliance allows the player to block generators using the power of the Entity.
New Killer: Pyramid Head, aka "The executioner" (dave)
The killer is Pyramid Head, known in Dead by Daylight as “The Executioner”. This is the “classic” Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2, “straight from the tormented mind of James Sunderland”.
Pyramid Head has a ranged attack which can pass through solid objects to hit survivors.
He can also plant his weapon in the ground and draw trenches through the map. When a survivor steps on one of these trenches, they will become “Tormented” – a killer effect which allows Pyramid Head to entrap the affected survivor in a “Cage of Torment” instead of hooking them.
The Cage of Torment functions in a way that is mechanically similar to a hook – survivors are stuck there and can be saved by other survivors, and in the meantime will progress through three stages, ending in a sacrifice. However, by automatically transporting downed survivors directly to a Cage, Pyramid Head saves time otherwise spent on picking up, carrying and hooking the survivor.
When a survivor is able to be sacrificed, Pyramid Head may kill them using a “mini-mori” after downing them, instead of hooking them for the third time.
Pyramid Head’s perks are “tools for deception”.
Forced Penance will cause any survivor who takes a protection hit for another to be inflicted with the Broken status effect.
Trail of Torment will make the killer Undetectable when they break a generator, but will also highlight said generator with a yellow aura for survivors.
Deadbound links a healed survivor and their healer, such that if the two move too far away from each other, both will become Oblivious.
Legendary Outfits (dave)
Legendary outfits are a new type of cosmetic which is being introduced with the upcoming chapter. They will change not only a character’s clothes, but the character themselves. The first Legendary skin to be introduced alongside the Silent Hill chapter will be Lisa Garland, which will allow players to transform Cheryl into Lisa when equipping it.
4.0.0 PTB (mathieu)
The Player Test Build, featuring the new Silent Hill chapter, is available now on Steam. The full release will be around three weeks later (June 16th).
[More information about the PTB can be found here: https://forum.deadbydaylight.com/en/discussion/155309]
… To everybody on the Dead by Daylight team who helps to make the game a reality – programmers, artists, designers, community management team, marketing team, PR team, video editors, data analysts, etc. – and to the players, who help to make Dead by Daylight a “vibrant and exciting community” through all the constructive and positive feedback and support they provide.
[Happy 4th Anniversary, Dead by Daylight! Here’s to many more to come 🥂]