How Deep Is the Dark Water? is an experimental game that imagines a cross-strait war. The player, guided by a fleeing man, slowly wanders through memories and visions constructed by the context of the war and individual experiences. At the same time, the player finds another layer of meaning of war for individuals, cultures and nations by discovering the messages hidden in each scene.


From historic dwellings to steam trains carrying displaced people, from bomb shelters filled with fear and violence to burned cultural traditions, from confrontations with the ghosts of refugees under the water to the emotional orgy of social media, what is always present in this game is the back of the fleeing man who represents a helpless individual and an object that cannot be possessed or perceived clearly. As a response to the tensions in the world, this work does not directly portray war, but tries to let the player feel the separation, fear, violence and trauma of war in the process of chasing the fleeing man. Water is an important imagery in the work and is almost everywhere. The black seawater carries not only the sound of shelling, but also individual nostalgia, love, hate, and confusion.


How Deep Is the Dark Water? creates an interactive scenario that allows the player to read text (or short poems) hidden in the game space, by using the right mouse button to zoom in on an object, look away, and in some cases, to see the text superimposed on the object. This technique stems from the artist’s long preoccupation and experimentation with reading texts in virtual space, and is in line with the special significance of reading in this work – the texts are the weak repercussions that lurk beneath the surface of historical events.


How Deep Is the Dark Water? is presented in black and white, except for certain things accentuated with color in an attempt to achieve simple yet heavy quality. Minimalist and lacking a clear-cut narrative, the work explores the ability of video games to mediate reading and affect, guiding the player with cinematic interactivity and connecting the act of “wandering” in video games with the individual feelings in the time of war.



Director / 3D Artist / Programmer / Sound Artist:
Rhett Tsai (Yuxiao Cai)

Yuri Kuzmin

Title Font Design:
Mofan Zhai

Brazilian Portuguese Translation:
Pedro Fadel (Festival ECRÃ)

Special Thanks:
Chia-Lin Lee, Dongting Fu, Guangli Liu, Jiahui Wang, Lauren Moffatt, Lihao Shao, Wenjing Shen, Zhan Gao, Zhipeng Wang

Full sounds and assets credits inside the game.


– 简体中文
– 繁體中文
– English
Português (Brasil)

Recommended System Requirements

– OS: Windows 10 64-bit
– Graphic Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
– CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9700K CPU @ 3.60GHz
– RAM: 16GB

Matters Needing Attention / Assuntos que precisam de atenção / 必读 / 必讀

– Please make sure the game folder is placed under the Latin-letters-only path, otherwise some parts of the game content may be lost.
– Play in dark environments for best experience.
Copyright ©2023 Rhett Tsai (Yuxiao Cai), All Rights Reserved.

– Certifique-se de que a pasta do jogo esteja no caminho somente letras latinas, caso contrário, algumas partes do conteúdo do jogo podem ser perdidas.
– Jogue em ambientes escuros para melhor experiência.
– Não use este trabalho para exibição ou uso comercial sem permissão.

– 请确保将游戏文件置于「拉丁字母(如英文)」路径下,否则将引起错误;
– 暗环境将提供最佳游玩体验;
– 版权所有,侵权必究。

– 請確保將遊戲文件置於「拉丁字母(如英文)」路徑下,否則將引起錯誤;
– 暗環境將提供最佳遊玩體驗;
– 版權所有,侵權必究。