Horror Game Legend Ikumi Nakamura On Designing New Dead By Daylight Looks

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Ikumi Nakamura, laminitis of game improvement workplace Unseen and E3 convention fan-favorite, has designed 3 caller skins for nan celebrated asymmetrical endurance scary crippled Dead by Daylight. The collaboration is portion of a bid of announcements developers made during nan game’s Year 7 Anniversary Broadcast past week, which besides revealed Iron Maiden-themed skins, a caller Killer character, and a menacing cameo from wide beloved/feared actor Nicolas Cage. While players will person to hold for summertime to person immoderate of it, Nakamura talked to maine complete video chat (through a translator) astir nan outfits she designed, and nan attraction she put into them makes them look worthy waiting for.

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It’s not only this care, though, that makes Nakamura’s caller designs compelling, but besides their enveloping “curse,” nan connection she chooses to summarize them. “Each of nan characters has that [cursed] aspect.”

Nakamura is not 1 to cower from an approaching curse. She’d clasp it instead, emotion for illustration nan scary genre is her “home,” she says, and that designing for it is “an innate ability.” In 2010, she joined Resident Evil head Shinji Mikami’s recently formed crippled studio, Tango Gameworks, and worked connected respective of its scary titles, including 2022’s Ghostwire: Tokyo, for which she acted arsenic imaginative director. She’s continually inspired by notable Japanese horror head Kiyoshi Kurosawa and much recently, Ari Aster’s deranged 2019 movie Midsommar, wherever a commune’s flower-power show ends successful wide murder.

“I want to beryllium successful nan festival,” she says.

Dead by Daylight arrived successful Nakamura’s life successful nan overmuch little brutal, but still sometimes exhilarating, shape of an email. Developer Behaviour Interactive reached retired “one day, retired of nan blue,” she says, asking her to create caller skins for existing DbD characters arsenic portion of its Artists From The Fog Collection, which contains outfits made by 5 different artists.

“I was very excited,” Nakamura says. “I asked Behaviour to prime a fewer celebrated characters,” and demonic Killer The Oni, Killer Julie Kostenko, and reliable motorcyclist Survivor Yui Kimura were put successful her hands.

The remainder of nan process was simple, she says. Nakamura looked to each character’s unsocial backstory for her sartorial choices, which skew acheronian gray, coated successful somber levels of grime. This is connected purpose, particularly for nan Oni, an outcast samurai disgraced by his unchecked bloodlust.

“I pictured wherever he would live, what benignant of manner he would have,” Nakamura says. “He astir apt wouldn’t beryllium clean, surviving heavy successful a upland aliases something, truthful that’s reflected successful his outfit: a small spot disheveled, a small spot dirty.

Ikumi Nakamura's characteristic exemplary for nan Oni is displayed against a achromatic background.

Image: Behaviour Interactive

“I looked astatine his inheritance and applied a small spot of a caller position to it.” In Nakamura’s design, nan Oni’s horned disguise is replaced pinch uneven, yellowing candlesticks. Instead of bulky, astir immaculate armor, he wears a ragged achromatic yukata weighed by rows of low-slung beads. If nan Oni wears Nakamura’s outfit, gore will nary longer splatter impenetrable boots, but bare feet pinch patches of raw, reddish tegument and achromatic toenails, beingness impervious of his sickness.

It’s a fearsome return connected nan character, but Nakamura is peculiarly proud of her feminine mentation of Julie, who, successful Dead by Daylight, is simply a personnel of The Legion, a squad of homicidal teenagers.

Nakamura takes Julie retired of her unassuming achromatic jacket, jeans, and hoodie and wraps her successful a weighty ‘70s-style Japanese schoolgirl uniform. But nan prim azygous is dotted pinch blood, and Julie seems to person embroidered successful it a threat successful kanji, for illustration a “delinquent girl,” a personnel of nan vintage sukeban subculture.

“There’s nary existing [sukeban] characteristic successful nan game,” Nakamura says, “so I’m excited to spot really nan users for illustration it.”

Ikumi Nakamura's characteristic exemplary for Julie is displayed against a achromatic background.

Image: Behaviour Interactive

She approached designing nan Killers, who, successful Dead by Daylight, are tasked chiefly pinch pursuit, and Yui, a Survivor, who mostly conscionable needs to escape, otherwise retired of necessity. “One is pursuing someone, 1 is being followed,” she says.

Survivor players “need to beryllium capable to show nan slayer is coming, [so nan Killer themselves] needs to guidelines out,” Nakamura continues. She added nan candles to nan Oni’s caput to make his attack much obvious, and she tried to make being susceptible thing of a style prime for sporty Yui.

“I made an outfit that goes good pinch [potentially] being injured,” Nakamura says. “The worldly of nan design”—mesh, spandex, and leather—“goes good pinch blood.”

She’s practiced reasoning difficult astir this—storytelling done a top, bottom, and brace of shoes—in her decades spent designing original scary characters. She knows that “if nan characteristic is going to die, they person to dice successful a beautiful way.

“If nan characteristic is simply a killer, I see really they would look erstwhile nan animation is put in, and what benignant of limb they’re going to use,” she says.

Nakamura hopes that players will beryllium capable to create a amended knowing of their favourite characters done her cursed, but poetic, Dead by Daylight collection.

“Many players mightiness not beryllium alert of each character’s background,” she says. “I would emotion for users to understand their stories [through my designs] and deliberation astir why they became a Killer, aliases why they became a Survivor. If they tin consciousness that, that would beryllium great.”

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