With a year and five major updates under our belts, we’re happy to report that The Realm Beyond graphical overhaul is still going strong behind the scenes here at Dead by Daylight.
Our latest update lovingly revisits some of the earliest and most important parts of Dead by Daylight with a rejuvenation of several of our original Survivors including Dwight, Meg, Claudette, Jake, Nea, Ace, Feng, David, and Kate. We asked Lead Character Artist, Damien Devaux , Senior Character Artist, Eric Bourdages, and Product Manager, Justin Brown to bring fans up to speed on their work.
Why was now the right moment to update the original Survivors?
DD: There’s really never a perfect time to do something like this in a live game, but we’ve been working on this update for over a year now. It takes a lot of collaboration, a lot of departments coming together to not just revisit these character models, but our processes as well.
It’s been six years since these first characters were created. Technology evolves, and player expectations evolve at the same time. We always want to do better as a team and give our community updates that show we’re here to support the game from every angle. And with this update, that involved going back and giving a little more love, visually, to these fan-favorite characters as Dead by Daylight continues to grow around them.
Dwight Fairfield Updated Graphics
What was the process for taking an older model of Survivor to the next level?
EB: On the modeling side we focused the majority of the changes towards our older characters with the newer ones still getting some slight tweaks and polish. We used scan data in combination with the new sculpts we created in order to get a higher level of anatomy and skin detail. We also updated the characters’ head geometry to work better with the animation team’s improved facial system. At the same time, the textures have all been updated to 4K, giving higher resolution to the player, and helping to create more lifelike characters.
Claudette Morel Updated Graphics
Were there any major challenges in updating these character models?
EB: One of our main concerns was losing some of the characters’ personalities from their original assets. The biggest challenge became not changing things completely but enhancing what was already there to help our older characters stand alongside our newer ones. We’re lucky to have extremely passionate fans and we knew that many of them would have a strong reaction if we made major changes to characters that they’ve loved for years. So we focused on authenticity and identity, making sure their personalities and unique features were always the foundation.
Some characters who were a little more cartoony or vague in their details were given more definition to better portray who they are. Now rather than have a character’s personality come from an expression that was built into their face, we’re able to give our animators a better range of freedom to create more expressive characters and bring their personalities to life in different ways.
David King Updated Graphics
What are some other changes we can look forward to in these characters?
EB: We really took the time to revisit the entire Survivor library including a variety of outfits and hairstyles. That included updating the majority of prestige outfits to unify them with the current style of the game. Fans should see some of the more noticeable changes on head pieces of older characters like Dwight, Meg, Claudette, Jake, Nea, Ace, Feng, David, and Kate. We’re hoping these changes will breathe new life into characters and outfits and give fans a chance to rediscover them.
Meg Thomas Updated Graphics
How should all of this work affect the overall experience for fans?
JB: Not only do characters that all look consistent work to create a more immersive experience for fans, but these changes also provide us with two more areas of added value in the future. The first is that we can now be more precise with our lighting values. We no longer need to light a scene to support two different art styles which adds to the overall quality of our visuals. The second is that along with our new Survivor models, this project also allowed us to update our facial rig for all characters. We’ll now be able to push our facial animations further than ever in future updates, giving our characters more realistic and believable expressions, and bringing more emotion to Dead by Daylight.
Feng Min Updated Graphics
See you in the Fog.
The Dead by Daylight Team.