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Dead by Daylight board game creator on future expansions: “Playability is more important”

New killers could come to board game after Kickstarter, but publisher Level 99 says it’s being “really careful”.

The Dead by Daylight board game may see future expansions that bring the latest killers from the video game to the tabletop, but not if they make for a worse game, publisher Level 99 Games has said.

Dead by Daylight: The Board Game is due to launch on Kickstarter later this month, adapting the multiplayer survival-horror video game to a one-versus-many board game for three to five players. As in the original video game, the survivors must flee a pursuing killer and restart enough generators to escape, using movement cards and collecting helpful items to avoid the killer’s attacks.

Dead by Daylight board game miniatures
Image credit: Level 99 Games

The board game’s Collector’s Edition will include all of the playable characters up to the All-Kill DLC expansion released for the video game in March 2021: a total of 16 killers and 17 survivors, all represented by miniatures. The cheaper standard edition will include seven survivors and six killers pulled from the full roster, as well as reducing the number of maps in the box from four to two. Level 99 previously confirmed that none of the licensed characters from other movie and video game franchises - such as Halloween, Resident Evil and A Nightmare on Elm Street - seen in the video game will appear in the board game.

No additional characters will be locked behind stretch goals or separate expansions offered during the crowdfunding campaign, designer D. Brad Talton confirmed to Dicebreaker, with the contents of the base game and Collector’s Edition each offering a fixed number of characters.

“There's one box - in one box you have the base game, and in one box you have the Collector's Edition,” Talton said. “And you open that one box and you set up the game quickly and easily. In my mind, a lot of small boxes really detract from the playability of a board game.”

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Asked whether Dead by Daylight: The Board Game could see future expansions that bring characters released for the video game since the All-Kill DLC to its tabletop counterpart, Talton left the possibility open.

“We are really excited about the new characters, and especially the new original killer [Carmina Mora, The Artist] that's been released since then,” the designer said. “There's a ton of cool content coming out for Dead by Daylight.

“As far as doing an expansion, of course, nothing is set yet. We need to complete this project first. But through this all we've developed a really good working relationship with [Dead by Daylight developer] Behaviour. And with the success of the game, it would be a pretty obvious move to continue to create content.”

However, Talton insisted that future expansions would only be released if the publisher could ensure that players’ experience of the upcoming board game wouldn’t be negatively affected by the extra content.

“On the flip side of that, we designed this game very specifically for accessibility,” he said. “So I want to be really careful about creating a lot of small expansions. That was something we actually floated and rejected fairly early on: what if we put each chapter in a separate box? Because you could charge, you know, $10, $15 a box. And that's what most of these Kickstarters do. And I said, ‘No, I don't want to do that.’

“I know we're probably leaving money on the table. But playability is more important. I want to make a game that we're going to be printing three or four years from now, not a game that's going to make a lot of money on Kickstarter and then disappear. So for us, the focus has always been on making that core game as strong and accessible as possible.”

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