Care to step aboard the RMS Titanic? What seemed like an impossibility is slowly becoming a reality. Vintage Digital Revival and Four Funnels Entertainment have recreated the interior of the stricken vessel in immaculate detail. It’s part of their long-gestating ‘Titanic: Honor and Glory’ video game project.
As shown on Gamology’s Facebook page, a game sequence takes viewers from the swish dining room to the steamy engines of the mighty ship. A male character voiceover helps set the scene, together with an Irish soundtrack which puts players in mind of movie classic ‘My Heart Will Go On’.
“The exterior and interior will be modeled allowing for full VR exploration with stunning 3D detail” the group explain on their main YouTube channel. Heading up the project are Creative Director Tom Lynskey, Project Manager Matthew DeWinkeleer and Modeler Kyle Hudak. The crew is comprised of numerous talents from around the world.
While raising the Titanic in a game may sound trivial, the team have gone all out bringing 1912 to life. Fulsome tribute is paid to the history and heroism of that fateful night, when the White Star liner hit an iceberg. Gamology and others call it “the most authentic recreation of any historical subject”.
Just as director James Cameron brought the story to life with an action-packed romance, so designers tell their own tale. “As Titanic races through the icy waters of the North Atlantic, Robert Morgan battles the odds to clear his name of horrible crimes” states the Indiegogo crowdfunding page from 2015. The project’s website states the game focuses on a mystery scenario.
They also mention two modes – a “Free Roam” or “Story Mode”. Each provides a rich historical experience, depending on whether the player wants to run around or simply take in the sights. When the game is completed, it can be played on PC, VR headsets and other consoles according to publicity materials. The group used Unreal Engine 4 as backbone for the process.
Another YouTube channel has been launched by the games masters, providing education and information about history’s most well-known maritime tragedy.
They aim to set the record straight, as well as entertain an audience. The channel writes, “a mammoth reason she (the Titanic) is so famous is due to exaggerations in her story. Falsehoods and myths fly as proven facts”.
The digital wizards are also tackling the story of HMHS Britannic. Titanic’s sister ship also sank, in 1916. This time the culprit was a German sea mine, rather than any natural threat.
Titanic itself suffered a 300 ft tear along the hull from the iceberg. It took an agonizing 3 hours to be consumed by the waves. 705 survived out of over 2,000. The casualties of Britannic were thankfully much lower – 30.
Both vessels were built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Those wanting to get an extra flavor of the times can go on a virtual tour of the industrial landmark, courtesy of Vintage Digital Revival/Four Funnels (a subsidiary of LLC).
Game or no game, the historical recreation and passion for the period has impressed the public. Equally anticipated, though viewed more cautiously, is Titanic II. Not a follow up to Cameron’s Hollywood epic but a full scale replica of the ship.
Billionaire Clive Palmer is the man behind the resurrection. Reported in 2018, he told BBC News, “Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty.” He believed the ultra-ambitious result would “be the ship where those dreams come true.”
Approx half a billion dollars has been spent to date, since the voyage was announced in 2012. Titanic II should take to the water in 2022, following the original route.
How the pandemic has affected progress remains to be seen. Palmer and co have competition in the form of the “Romandisea Titanic”, currently under construction in China. Reportedly this will sit in a reservoir and is not designed for open water.
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Some wish to live out history on a real boat, whereas others are happy to bask in Titanic’s glory from the comfort of their homes. It all goes to shows that, while the craft was consigned to a watery grave, interest in the tragedy remains undiminished…