The Long Path of Frustration: A Case Study with Dead by Daylight

  • Pablo DelatorreEmail author
  • Carlos León
  • Alberto Salguero
  • Cristina Mateo-Gil
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10306)


Playability is a key factor in video-games. From a narrative standpoint, the play process is usually designed as sequences of episodes triggered by the player’s motivations, which unfold along a sense of suspense-relief. Suspense, as a factor on engagement, has a strong impact on the narrative of video-games: when it decreases, so does the engagement. This is a common pattern when players are aware that losing is unavoidable. As we point out, many players disconnect from the game in this situation. In this paper we evaluate how suspense affects playability, to analyse how the lack of uncertainty due to the knowledge of the rules may degrade Dead by Daylight game players experience when they are bound to fail. We have observed that players acknowledging that there are no chances to win tend to leave the game. Results also reveal that suspense is modulated by the player’s knowledge of the game.


Video Sequence Game Design Game Rule Narrative Discourse Exit Door 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work has been supported by the Andalusian Government under the University of Cadiz programme for Researching and Innovation in Education 2015/2016 (SOL-201500054211-TRA); by the IDiLyCo project (TIN2015-66655-R) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness; and by the projects WHIM 611560 and PROSECCO 600653 funded by the European Commission, Framework Program 7, the ICT theme, and the Future and Emerging Technologies FET program.


  1. 1.
    Aylett, R.: Emergent narrative, social immersion and “storification”. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Narrative and Interactive Learning Environments, pp. 35–44 (2000)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bakkes, S., Spronck, P., van den Herik, J.: Rapid and reliable adaptation of video game AI. IEEE Trans. Comput. Intell. AI Games 1(2), 93–104 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Behaviour Interactive. Dead by Daylight (2016).
  4. 4.
    Belmi, P., Neale, M.: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? thinking that one is attractive increases the tendency to support inequality. Organ. Behav. Hum. Decis. Process. 124(2), 133–149 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Clover, C.J.: Her body, himself: Gender in the slasher film. In: Her body, Himself, chap. 6, pp. 91–133 (1987)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Freytag, G.: Freytag’s Technique of the Drama: An Exposition of Dramatic Composition and Art. Scott, Foresman, Chicago (1894)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    From Software. Demon’s Souls (2009).
  8. 8.
    Gun Media, IllFonic. Fryday the 13th: the game (2017).
  9. 9.
    Kojima Productions. Metal Gear V: the Phantom Pain (2015).
  10. 10.
    Korhonen, H., Koivisto, E.M.: Playability heuristics for mobile games. In: Proceedings of the 8th Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, pp. 9–16. ACM (2006)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lewis, M.L., Weber, R., Bowman, N.D.: “They may be pixels, but they’re MY pixels:” Developing a metric of character attachment in role-playing video games. CyberPsychol. Behav. 11(4), 515–518 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mimimi Productions. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun (2016).
  13. 13.
    Müller, I.: Gaming after dark-visual patterns and their significance for atmosphere and emotional experience in video games (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sapolsky, B.S., Molitor, F., Luque, S.: Sex and violence in slasher films: Re-examining the assumptions. Journalism Mass Commun. Q. 80(1), 28–38 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    van Nuenen, T.: Playing the panopticon: procedural surveillance in dark souls. Games Cult. 11(5), 510–527 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Vaz, B.: La convergencia ludo-narratológica en el diseño de videojuegos de rol: las mecánicas jugables de Dark Souls contra el diagrama de flujo de Mass Effect. Razón y Palabra 92(diciembre-marzo), 1–28 (2015)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wei, H.: Structuring narrative interaction: what we can learn from heavy rain. In: Si, M., Thue, D., André, E., Lester, J.C., Tanenbaum, J., Zammitto, V. (eds.) ICIDS 2011. LNCS, vol. 7069, pp. 338–341. Springer, Heidelberg (2011). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-25289-1_43 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zillman, D.: Anatomy of suspense. In: The Entertainment Functions of Television, pp. 133–161. Psychology Press (1980)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Delatorre
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos León
    • 2
  • Alberto Salguero
    • 1
  • Cristina Mateo-Gil
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad de CádizCádizSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations