How the developer’s own claustrophobia inspired first-person horror, out June 18 – PlayStation.Blog

With Still Waking the Deep releasing on PS5 tomorrow, we wanted to highlight some of the inspiration for the environments of the upcoming first-person horror story. From the beginning, we decided that Still Waking the Deep would be set on an oil rig and that the team wanted to show different fears and phobias. One of the main fears is the ocean; another is in isolation.

One of the first levels I worked on from scratch was the space inside the engineering area of ​​the rig, with a lot of machinery inside these four metallic, echoey walls.

I wanted to try and face my fear of claustrophobia, which in retrospect is a strange thing, because it’s a very vivid fear for me due to my personal experiences. Ultimately, I find it quite useful and appealing to use my own triggers to build an environment that can evoke similar emotions in the player.

I pulled out of my core childhood memories of claustrophobia while we were developing Still Waking the Deep.

I remember attending an outdoor event with a lot of kids and they had set up a big wooden crate with lots of little wooden compartments for the kids to play and crawl through.

By the time I reached the halfway mark, I remember the turns becoming tighter and tighter and the angles becoming more difficult to navigate.

My heart was pounding and I started hyperventilating. I still remember the feeling of wood under my fingers, the sounds, the smells.

When our main character Caz enters the technical area of ​​the oil rig, you immediately feel trapped. The hallways are narrow, the ceilings are low, every surface is metal, and there’s a lot of heat and moisture trapped in the air around you.

Because there are no windows, you lose the sense of where you are. Now imagine you are moving through this space, while you are covered in water, oil, rust and dirt, and you realize that there is something else there with you. All you want is to get back to the top of the rig for some fresh air, but the only way to get through is to get into even tighter spaces.

The sound team did an excellent job capturing these vivid, nightmarish horror sounds.

As I tried to evoke certain emotions with strange dark sights and sounds, I began to imagine how terrible it would feel to have all that moisture in the air along with dirty, greasy water seeping in. your overalls.

You have this constant combination of engineering components like hot pipes and machinery but then every time you step outside you’re hit with brutally cold weather, cold steel. I wouldn’t say it’s comforting but I think it would make for a thrilling story.

The strength of The Chinese Room lies there. On one hand, we have people who love storytelling, whether it’s through film or writing, and on the other hand, we have musicians and sound technicians from different walks of life.

Can I say that doing Still Waking the Deep conquered my fears? Sure is not. If anything, it’s a growing fear of what’s lurking in the dark! Still Waking the Deep launches tomorrow on PS5.


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