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videogame / site-specific

The game was originally created on a 10-day game-making workshop in a former mining town of Banská Štiavnica (Slovakia). The theme of workshop was “power”. My idea was to make a game from a perspective of 17th century miner in his job of pushing a mine cart full of ore (town was famous for its silver and gold mining) out to the surface. Power manifests itself in relation between miner and a dangerous, unpredictable environment of the mine. Player is forced to follow only one path and “do his job”.

The idea of hopeless repetitive hard work is also reflected in game controls, where an aspect of physical work is present. The original version of the game uses a custom made controller – a pressure sensor mounted to the wall and powered by Arduino. Player needs to physically push against the wall to move the mine cart and progress in game. There is also a web version of the game, where a brute force is replaced with smashing the same button as fast as possible. You can play the web version here if you want to destroy your keyboard.

installation view with Arduino-controlled pressure sensor

After I got the prototype running, i decided to completely re-work  the art style, so the game visuals resemle original black and white etchings and woodcuts from 17th century. This somehow gave the game more authentic feel and strengthened the grim and fearful experience – which is, in fact the main goal, as the gameplay itself is basically a walking simulator with no real end or a reward for the player.

reference imgs

etchings and woodcuts used as a reference

mine6 mine5

graphics is essentially black and white, light just adds a tint