Still Wakes the Deep, The Chinese Room’s oil-rig survival horror promises to be pretty scary. There’s a monster but the sense of isolation could be almost as unsettling. However, as revealed by the developer, it’s also set to be absolutely authentic to the 1970s.
Developers The Chinese Room recently posted their second developer diary, which delves into the game’s lighting, its music and much, much more. It’s absolutely worth a read if you’re eagerly anticipating its early 2024 release. But that’s not what’s caught our attention.
What’s got us grinning is the revelation that The Chinese Room spent months poring over footage of 1970s oil rigs. The game is set in the 1970s but the developer isn’t just trying to replicate the general feel. It’s gone even further than that.
The Chinese Room has set out to replicate everything, right down to the button layout. They dug through the BBC and BP archives to accomplish this, a task that might, to some, sound tedious. But we’re fascinated by the idea of resurrecting this slice of history in meticulous detail. Sure, some of those rigs are still around, but here you’ll be experiencing one during its heyday.
“Every button, every display on these control panels was deeply researched”, The Chinese Room explains. We’re looking forward to the inevitable YouTube video where someone gets an actual 1970s oil rig worker to rate the game on its attention to detail.
Yes, we are absolutely nerding out over oil rigs, a subject we’ve had relatively little prior interest in. We’ve spent a portion of this morning on YouTube, exploring both the mechanics of oil rigs and the human factor. The Chinese Room, what have you done to us?
It’s also got us wondering, what kind of discussions does The Chinese Room have regards authenticity? According to the developer diary, QA spends so much time with the game they’re expert at spotting what’s changed. Maybe they’re sending back reports like, “I think you’ll find Button A should be three inches to the left. Also, that kind of corduroy was only in common use after 1982.”
We’re looking forward to ignoring the monster and just gawping at button panels when Still Wakes the Deep arrives next year. It’ll be landing on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC (wishlist it on Steam here). Abd