SHIRO is a homage to Japanese Design to be released for iOS and Android in three parts. In the puzzle game, players reconcile past and present with empress Gemmei, travel through dark forests to invite spirits to the shrine of old Yoshida, and climb Mount Inari with an outcast fox.

SHIRO means white, or emptiness, and is thereby waiting to be filled by you and your ability to connect the loose strings of divination. By solving puzzles, you will intuitively hear and learn words of Japanese language, or as a native speaker of Japanese, learn words in English.

A first prototype of SHIRO was developed during our exchange semester in Kyoto, Japan. Our interest was to work with Japanese aesthetics and designs and to share stories hardly known to people outside of Japan. The resemblance of modern smart devices and traditional Japanese lacquerware was the basis for SHIRO’s style. One year later (2016), we made another research trip to Japan and developed the game further.


Game developer: Topicbird

Topicbird is a two-human-studio for connective virtualities, run by Jasper Meiners and Isabel Paehr. They develop games and interactive art for virtual, playful and critical realms.
Currently the studio’s developers are graduating from the School of Art and Design Kassel where they’ve studied New Media. Their interests are collaboration, queering, critical making/serious play, and research based game development.