The Chinese Room returns to its horror gaming roots with Still Wakes the Deep, set on an off-shore oil rig in the middle of a storm. Something terrifying is onboard, and you must venture through the corridors while struggling to survive. In a new video, the development team discussed world-building and its pillars for art direction.
Described as “if Stanley Kubrick lost his mind shooting a documentary aboard an oil rig,” Still Wakes the Deep’s aesthetic is more “transcendental, experimental” like the works of Kubrick and Dario Argento. In terms of making the environment scary, the developer found the task easy due to the claustrophobic and dark corridors.
The three core pillars of the art direction are “Making it Personal,” “Authenticity,” and “A Terrible Beauty.” Much research was done on how oil rigs worked, how people lived on them, etc. During the story, you’ll also return to previous areas which are damaged and have undergone changes. The third pillar is the most mysterious, but there’s a “duality between something fascinating and mesmerizing” yet horrifying.
Still Wakes the Deep is out in early 2024 for PC and Xbox Series X/S while also launching on Game Pass.