Hello, People of the Fog!
If one were to create a Mount Rushmore of 80s horror icons, you’d be hard-pressed not to include Hellraiser’s Pinhead on the side of that cliff. Even though, let’s face it, he’d be an absolute nightmare to sculpt.
Few villains can claim to be as memorable, prolific, and downright original as this staple of horror cinema. All the more reason it was so important to do Pinhead justice as we welcomed him into Dead by Daylight.
We tapped our creative team to shed some light on the process, the pleasure, and the pain of taking everything that makes Pinhead unique… and translating it into a video game.
The Hellraiser Chapter is available now in Dead by Daylight!
That Cenobite vibe
Calling Pinhead “recognizable” is an understatement, and no matter how fun the apex Cenobite might be to play, if the look and feel isn’t right, the fans’ connection to the character is lost. Getting it right starts with the source material.
“We watched and rewatched that original movie again and again to try and make sure our movements and behaviors in-game rang true with Pinhead,” shared Animation Director, David Prenoveau. “After discussion with the design and art teams, we tested these movements on an existing Killer – The Trapper – to make sure we could actually feel that very specific Cenobite vibe coming through even on another character model.”
It’s said that during production of the original Hellraiser, explicit direction was given to Pinhead to subdue his movements and gestures. The goal was for the character to maintain an aura of complete control at all times. The challenge then fell to David and his team to translate that same essence into Dead by Daylight, where Killers need to be very mobile.
“Pinhead is very stoic in the first two movies. His movements are restrained and effortless,” explained David. “We just couldn’t imagine him doing things like kneeling down to pick up Survivors and tossing them over his shoulder.”
“In DbD we have a basic set mechanics that are common to all Killers like picking victims up and tossing them onto hooks. For every single one of these we asked ourselves ‘how can we make sure this really feels like Pinhead?’ Our answer ended up being to use his chains and hooks as an interaction tool. As the player you control Pinhead’s chains and use them to manipulate Survivors in ways other Killers need to do by hand. We’re hoping this touch makes the player feel even more powerful when they’re playing as Pinhead!”