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Titanic as you were in Rendez-Vous de l’Histoire de Blois

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The in-development video game Titanic: Honor & Glory was presented at the Rendez-vous de l’Histoire in Blois. Goal: recreate the decor and atmosphere of the legendary ocean liner down to the smallest detail.

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Nostalgia for cinema Titanic James Cameron and history lovers may soon be reconciled. For ten years, an international team of enthusiasts has been reconstructing the smallest details of a liner lost at sea in 1912 to make a video game or the real thing.Virtual Museum“.

To talk about it, two specialists, historian Antoine Reche (also a videographer on the Histoni YouTube channel) and Nicolas Murgia, historical artistic director of the project Titanic: Honor and Glory A gave “Play-Conference” This Saturday, October 8, during the Rendez-vous de l’histoire de Blois. The chance to find out, controller in hand, gives the passengers on the White Star a perfect loyalty to those who stayed for a few days.

Restoring them is not an easy task. “It is the most famous disaster in the world and we know very little about it“, observes Antoine Reche to report on the great challenge represented by the operation. The historian, author of a book on the ship, deplores the paucity of reliable sources.

In film, if there’s a detail we’re not sure about, we can leave it offscreen“, Release Nicolas Murgia.”There, people can explore and push as many doors as possible.

However, surprisingly few details are known about the most famous ocean liner in history. Much of it is known thanks to Father Frank Brown, a Catholic priest from Dublin who landed before the maiden crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

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A keen photographer, he was able to send some pictures of the ship’s interior taken in the Irish Sea, as well as his plans. The First Class Dining Room, recreated in the 1997 film, is one of the most famous locations thanks to period photos.

The only problem: a large part of the dubious plans, which were later made available, did not correspond to reality. Titanic Launched in 1912, she was continuously modified until the last minute before leaving the Belfast shipyard. As for press photographs, “Often it’s just the captain, and all the papers are taken from the same angle“, notes Nicolas Murgia.

The sources of this period have been supplemented by videos filmed at the ruins and later documents over the years. A study of the two “twin” ships of TitanicThat is Britannic (sunk in 1916) andOlympic (Served till 1935… and It even sank a German U-boat in 1918).

Many times, we had to rebuild very poorly known areas from almost nothing“, continues Nicolas Murgia.”We chose to add a sign to explain that such a detail actually comes from the Olympics or Britannic.

At other times, the concern for realism clashes with preconceived notions. Most luxurious cabins TitanicIt’s a far cry from Ross’s in the 1997 film, and in 2022 it looks downright basic. Or, to quote Antoine Reche: “We don’t want that in a Formula 1!“. Likewise, the aisles seem much narrower with a joystick in hand than in front of a movie screen.

The historian adds that this virtual model will later be useful to historians or amateurs. During the sinking, at least 20 minutes passed between the impact with the iceberg and the moment when the ship’s architect, Thomas Andrews, realized that the ship was doomed. “When you see the enormity of the ship, when you realize the distance to travel between the gangway, the hold and the engine room, to see the whole of what is going on, you realize that 20 minutes is not so bad!

The whole point is to bring reality back to a story that has become myth. Cameron’s film references myth rather than reality.

Historian and host of YouTube channel Antoine Reche

With a dozen enthusiasts, the THG collective is not in its first attempt: in 2013, they raised 20,000 euros for the first edition of the project.. Two years later, after deciding to change the graphics engine, this time they raised 60,000 euros thanks to crowdfunding on Indiegogo.

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In April 2016, on the anniversary of the drowning, they performed a live simulation of the disaster, from the impact from the iceberg to the giant’s last gasp.

Today, a large demo version is available for free download. This “Demo 401”, version 1.4 can be downloaded hereAllows access to approximately 30% of the ship’s interior.

As for funding, the THG team relies A Patreon account, those who are interested in it can pay them a small monthly amount. Next stopover: the release of version 1.5, which will provide 50% access to the liner.

In its final version, the game promises to even experience immersion in virtual reality as if you were there. Not even James Cameron would dream of it.

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