The Mine

Hot Knife collaborated on ‘The Mine’ with artist Jay Price and Shape Arts to create an immersive 3D interactive environment to be published across mobile platforms. This mobile App enables users to explore an abandoned basement and interact with objects that convey messages about ableism and discrimination of disabled people.

Jay Price beautifully designed the interior space, featuring volumetric lighting, and realistic stained glass windows.
Given that The Mine
‘s end platform was mobile, we faced some unique technical challenges to produce these stunning effects.

Volumetric Lighting
, we needed a performant method for achieving volumetric lighting. In the past, we have used 3D geometry to create a similar effect. Using a mesh means that we don‘t have to calculate the volumetric lights dynamically; they are essentially semi-transparent sheets that create the illusion of volumetric lighting.

An issue was that this mesh is static
. We needed the lights to move across the scene, to mimic the effect of a car driving past from above. We used Blender to rig the mesh with bones, which then enabled us to animate them within the game engine.

Additionally, the game incorporated a rubbing plaque mechanic, allowing players to use their phone to reveal artwork by Jay. This mirrors a physical rubbing plaque that is being physically exhibited by Jay themselves.

Finally key 3D assets were painted in Substance Painter to obtain the level-of-detail required for close-up inspection. 

All interactivity and User Interface [UI] elements were written for cross-platform deployment. All aspects were rigorously tested throughout the project build, ensuring controls worked across all available mobile platforms.

The coding framework was designed to be both cost-effective and performant, catering to a diverse range of mobile technologies. This ensured that the app could run seamlessly on devices spanning from the lowest-end to the very latest models.

You can experience the Mine but clicking on the Play stores below, or contact us should you want to talk about any similar projects.

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