Hi. I’m Shaz. I make games. I like exploring what games can be.
Under the name of Honey Tribe Studios I work with different artists and developers to create game experiences which are a little bit… different.
If you’re in the habit of playing games you will already know how engaging a good game can be. If you don’t, just watch someone play their favourite title and see how engrossed they are.
Typically we think of games as escapism and entertainment and nothing more. A way to unwind and relax in the evening before heading back into the office or classroom the next day. Or maybe just an short escape from boredom while on the train.
Well, how about if the game is about more than that? What if games let us explore different social and scientific concepts? Where we could learn more about ourselves, about others and about the world around us through gameplay?
I think games could be created which actively help us to understand concepts that had previously been unknown and unthought by any given individual. In short, I think games can make us smarter. Of course, that depends on the game.
So… this is something I want to explore a lot more. My first release, Honey Tribe, is a mix of fact and fiction. It uses simple gameplay to tell a story which informs the player about real the world event of colony collapse disorder. This is something which is decimating honey bee populations every year. This, in turn, will effect human life.
The idea is that the player can explore the factual side of the game if they want to. They can read the story text, unlock the facts and click through to the videos with extra information. Or they can skip all that and just enjoy the hand drawn art and charming soundtrack. It’s completely up to them.
My 3rd release, McBank, is a satirical puzzle game. It blends puzzle gameplay with real world issues of greed and control. It’s very much a personal game. I’m expressing my views about the modern world with all it’s economic absurdities.
We trundle along, accepting how things are, not caring enough to change how we live. Instead, the majority of us continue to worry about money. Whether that be in the form of being able to pay the mortgage, being able to pay for education or being able to pay for food and energy. And meanwhile we continue to let a relatively small number of greedy and ruthless individuals hoard all of the wealth and take control of our societies.
My newest game in development BFF or Die is all about team work and communication. Players will need to plan strategies and help each other in order to win. The basic reasoning behind the design of the game is that I think our society would be a lot better off if we were all in the habit of practicing co-operation rather than competition every day.
My goal is to explore games that provoke thought and/or positive behavior. To inspire different kinds of thinking and actions across a range of subjects.
Maybe you know someone who never showed interest at school but will happily play video games for hours? Think of all the different concepts they could be introduced to them if there were more games that pushed the boundaries of what gaming can be.