The #wasplove game

freshness:

Some insects form complex social groups, and the behaviours underlying these social groups are influenced both by the species' genetics and the environment that they live in.

Together with Dr. Seirian Sumner at University College London, we designed and made a game that allows people to build their own wasp society, toying with the limits of biology.

Players take on the persona of Polistes dominula, the European paper wasp, making life choices about where and how quickly to build a nest, how to allocate colony members to different jobs, and balancing the tasks of bringing in food, brood production and care. When environmental catastrophes hit, parasites arrive, or humans put you at risk, the resilience of the colony will be tested.

The game is 100% hand illustrated and open source, and is exhibited at the Eden Project from 14 January 2020, as well as being available online here.

wasps.png

This project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and was developed collaboratively as part of a 'Pathways to Impact' on a research grant. Further images from the game development process are available here.