Robin Baumgarten is a German Independent Game Developer based in London. He is working on video games and strange experimental hardware controllers, and also dabbles in artificial intelligence, photography and travelling. After starting out with mobile games, he is now focusing on making and exhibiting custom hardware games for museums and festivals. The most recent of those, Line Wobbler, a one-dimensional experimental hardware game, has been featured in over 30 exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Oslo, Toronto, Berlin and London, and has won several prizes.
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 colour scheme (green - good, red - bad). At the same time he is 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.