'We're on solid moral ground': If you don't like Still Wakes The Deep's use of yellow paint, then take it up with OSHA and the HSE

Person pulling a safety leaver
(Image credit: The Chinese Room)

I've always found yellow paint useful, whether that be for knowing where I can park my car or helping me figure out the best way to traverse an environment in a video game, but as some players have a problem with this bright signpost the developers from Still Wakes the Deep wanted to set the record straight. 

During my time on the Beira D oil rig I encountered plenty of horrifying creatures and tragic scenes, but British health and safety standards weren't one of them. There was a good amount of yellow paint, especially outside the rig, but this didn't break my immersion or ruin the suspense—if anything, it made my journey seem more realistic. 

"We've got [loads] of reference images that show yellow paint, because it's a safety aspect, you have to be able to see, it's dark and windy, you have to know where the steps are," lead developer Rob McLachlan tells me. "We feel we're on solid moral ground. It's important to make these routes clear to see. And [yellow paint] was a really good way for us to create an environment that was genuine." 

Plastered on ladders, railings, and valves across the Beira D this yellow paint comes in handy more often than not. When you feel like the world's falling apart around you, figuring out which switch to press or plank of wood to trust with your body weight isn't something you want to spend too much time on. These signals also meant that I could race through the rig darting across platforms and jumping over gaps as if I knew the layout like the back of my hand, which I should, as the protagonist Caz has spent some time working here already. 

But it's not like the paint is thrown on with no thought at all: "We tried to hide it in genuineness as well," project technical director Louis Larsson-De Wet says. "So it doesn't look like it's been placed there on purpose, though, you do realise it after a while. But we've tried to hide it a bit so you don't notice it at first." 

The paint here honestly doesn't stick out like a sore thumb in the same way that it can in other games like the Resident Evil 4 remake, where yellow paint is less expected, but if you still have a problem with it, then you should probably take the issue up with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that concludes "Yellow shall be the basic color for designating caution and for marking physical hazards such as: Striking against, stumbling, falling, tripping, and "caught in between." The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also has similar rules, which state that caution and warning signs must be yellow.  So it looks like the yellow is here to stay, at least for safety reasons.  

Elie Gould
News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.