Global Warning is a cooperative multiplayer tabletop arcade game that uses LED lights and wood instead of a standard screen. The gameplay is "Pong with a twist" as players work together to reflect projectiles of solar energy that threaten to destroy earth.
The game also includes a generative soundscape. As players interact with the game, a unique series of chordal tones, percussive stabs, and melodic bleeps/bloops are produced; all driven by a bass drum that increases in tempo as the game progresses.
The project required a quick turnaround time, so I'm very proud of what my partner Caleb Rugg and I accomplished. We developed the game from scratch - designed it, built it, and programmed it - all within a two-month period so we could exhibit it at Helsinki's annual Flow Festival. It was exciting and stressful, but totally worth it to see thousands of people playing and enjoying, what we created. It was also featured at 2019's Sónar music festival in Barcelona.
To me, the simple decision to place a thin layer of wood over the LEDs creates a sense of magic. This singular design decision sparks curiosity and engages the players, as the lights they control appear to emit from a piece of wood.
Global Warning was one of several games to come out of a workshop tutored by indie game developer Robin Baumgarten and Helsinki-based media artist Matti Niinimäki.