Line Wobbler is a one-dimensional dungeon crawler game with a custom wobble controller made out of a steel spring and a five meter long ultrabright LED strip display. The entire game runs on an arduino, including sound, particle effects and 120+fps.
The game is a one-dimensional dungeon crawler where the player navigates obstacles and fights enemies to reach the exit of a series of increasingly difficult levels. Movement is controlled by bending the Wobble controller left and right, while enemies are attacked by flinging the spring. Obstacles such as lava fields, conveyor belts and slopes (which can be modelled according to how the strip is placed in real life) challenge the navigation skills of the player.
Line Wobbler is an experiment in minimalism in game design, use of novel input mechanics, and the incorporation of physical space into the game. The restraint to only one dimension poses a formidable challenge for creating engaging gameplay, artistic direction, and technical realisation.
The player is eased into the game by a limited set of obstacles (enemies, lava, force fields) and a familiar color scheme (green - good, red - bad). At the same time they are challenged by the unusual display form factor and the novel controller. The spring-based controller has been created specifically for this game to provide unusual tactile feedback and provide unique control schemes such as bending and flinging the spring, which have been mapped directly to core game concepts (movement and attack).
The flexible LED strip can be (and has been) adapted to wherever it is installed, for example by running the game along the ceiling, up trees or over other architectural features.
The audio has been kept simple and reminiscent of old arcade games and compliments the fast gameplay by directly converting the spring movement data into sound.Line Wobbler was created initially at the Exile Game Jam in Denmark in autumn 2014. It has since been refined with an emphasis on a smooth difficulty curve, controller responsiveness and a fast LED refresh-rate of over 100 fps.
Robin Baumgarten - Controller, Audio, Hardware, Game Design
Matthias Maschek - Initial Game & Level Design, Display idea
IndieCade Festival 2015 - Game Design Award