Behaviour and Remedy devs discuss flashlights, fear and Alan Wake in Dead by Daylight

Behaviour and Remedy devs discuss flashlights, fear and Alan Wake in Dead by Daylight
Images via Behaviour Interactive | Remedy Entertainment

Written by 

Jack Roberts


19th Jan 2024 16:24

Fresh from the Dark Place, Alan Wake has found his way into yet another nightmare realm as he enters The Fog of Dead by Daylight as a new Survivor. Following the release and critical acclaim of Alan Wake 2 which snuck onto many a game of the year list (including our own), it seems like a natural fit to have Remedy’s tortured writer fight back against the malevolent Killers within the game, joining the likes of fellow horror icons Ellen Ripley and Nicolas Cage.

We were invited to a roundtable discussion between Dave Richard, Senior Creative Director of Dead by Daylight, and Kyle Rowley, Game Director of Alan Wake 2, where we got an insight into the collaboration between the two studios and discovered the creative processes that led to Alan Wake’s inclusion in the Realm of the Entity.

Approaches to horror

Dead by Daylight is known for being a museum of horror of sorts, where alongside original characters like The Trapper, The Spirit, and The Singularity, characters from legendary horror licences are also running amok, from The Xenomorph to the most recently added Chucky.

But Alan Wake has drawn on its own inspirations to create a beguiling character. While the first game leaned heavily into the likes of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and the works of Stephen King, Kyle Rowley stated that more contemporary influences influenced the creation of Alan Wake 2.

Particularly, as Rowley explained: “More modern art house horror. So, especially the A24 movies, like Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse and The Witch and Ari Aster with Hereditary and Midsommar. What we find interesting about those movies is that it's more about the characters and the drama that takes place within that horror story”.

Alan Wake as he appears in Dead by Daylight
Click to enlarge

But in coming into Dead by Daylight, I wanted to know which Killer Alan would be the most afraid of, which Dave Richard said would likely be The Dredge. Richard explained that The Dredge is “a nightmare that has the power of nightmares. He then can shapeshift into your nightmares. So I think it'd probably be the scariest to Alan.” Rowley agreed: “That sounds like a horrible, horrible thing for Alan. More nightmares on top of nightmares.”

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Creating a nightmare realm

Despite being inherently different games, Alan Wake and Dead by Daylight share one inherent feature of a nightmare realm. DbD’s Realm of the Entity and Alan Wake’s Dark Place share unique properties that help induce their characters’ respective nightmares, especially now since their worlds are colliding.

Ikka Villi as Alan Wake in Alan Wake 2
Click to enlarge

In creating The Fog of DbD, Dave Richard explained that they wanted it to be “as ambiguous as possible to leave a lot of the theory building to the fans”. For those inherently familiar with the game, the Entity’s Realm is a conglomeration of worlds that have been drawn into it.

In describing Alan Wake’s Dark Place, he said that “it's a kind of nightmare space that feeds on elements of your psyche and then conjures it in a nightmarish way. And I think that's very similar to kind of some of the concepts with the Entity Realm in Dead by Daylight

The flashlight is mightier than the sword

Of course, one of the most important tools in Alan Wake’s repertoire is his humble flashlight, an item that is undoubtedly familiar to many a DbD player. While it may be a Survivor’s best friend, it’s the bane of Killers who are forced to face the blinding lights and risk losing their precious quarry.

In the case of bringing Alan Wake into Dead by Daylight, integrating the flashlight was an essential factor when deciding on Perks that would complement his character. “Every time we go through a process of creating perks for a character,” Richard explains, “we identify their core pillars, what type of abilities they usually have in their own game and how it can translate into gameplay elements in Dead by Daylight.

"I think Alan has been one of the smoothest experiences in creating the Perks because there's so many parallels between Alan's skill set and what happens in DbD.”

Alan Wake shines a light in the eyes of The Huntress in Dead by Daylight
Click to enlarge

Alan Wake’s new Perk, Champion of Light, allows Survivors to move faster when shining a flashlight and hinders the speed of Killer when they manage to blind them.

While this is something Killers may fear, this is a paragraph catered for the Survivors, and with Alan Wake entering DbD, he's firmly secured himself in the pantheon of horror icons.

Alan Wake is making his way into Dead by Daylight on 30th January 2024. If you’re looking for more guides in the run-up to his release, be sure to check out our Dead by Daylight and Alan Wake homepages where you’ll find our Killer tier list and a breakdown of all the trophies you can collect in Alan Wake 2.

Jack is a Guides Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) & MA in English and Creative Writing, he was also the Gaming Editor for The Indiependent. When not pondering which game has the best cup of coffee (and drinking far too much of it himself), he can often be found playing Dead by Daylight, Street Fighter or making yet another build in Bloodborne.

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