- Role: Software Engineer
- Company: Codemasters
- Location: Near London, UK
QRM had a chat Pete Goodwin, former Software Engineer at Codemasters!
QRM: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do in the games industry?
Pete: I'm a 58 year old pansexual developer that started with 8 bit microprocessors and have been in the software industry about thirty years now.
I remember games like Moria, Rogue, Adventure... all text based games of the time. I became involved in audio when I worked for a small company called Sensaura. They developed software for sound cards that they licensed to other companies to give them 3D audio for games. The sound card market started to dry up, and we started developing game audio software and it appeared in Black and White and a few other games. I remember helping out with Just Cause with the Swedish developers when they used our audio engine.
QRM: How long have you been involved in the game industry, and what projects have you worked on? What are you working on currently?
Pete: Four years at Codemasters, my name appears on GRiD, DiRT and F1 2011. I have several personal projects I'm working on since I'm not in the games industry anymore. One is a visual novel based on my own experiences inspired by others who've done similar things.
QRM: What inspired you to get started in the games industry?
Pete: I never thought of myself as a games developer until I started working in audio, became friends with a developer at Codemasters and landed a job through that friendship. I've loved playing games and at Sensaura we used to play a lot of Unreal Tournament at lunchtime. We customised our server to use audio taunts and had wacky avatars. The game would be peppered with "RESPECT MY AUTHORITY" from one of the other developers.
QRM: In what ways do you feel your experiences as a queer person manifest in the games you work on, and influence the work you do?
Pete: I don't think it does, but since I came out all those years ago I've always been open about myself. I met one other gay person at Codemasters who still involved in the games industry.
QRM: Do you have a favourite queer character—in games or media more generally? If so, what is it about them that makes them your favourite?
Question asked by @kamienw.
Pete: My favourite non standard character was Odo from Deep Space Nine. He's not queer but alien enough to represent 'other' to appeal to me.
QRM: Have you ever encountered roadblocks in trying to include queer characters in games? What do you think is preventing greater diversity within games?
Question asked by @dustinalex91.
Pete: We're invisible in the industry that is full of heterosexual males. I did notice a lot of European developers, so in diversity there were a lot of nationalities. It's just there were very few queer or female developers.
QRM: Why do you think it is important that queer audiences are able to see themselves represented in the games they play, and in the developers who make the games they see? What can we do to improve the industry for queer audiences and devs?
Pete: For too long we have been invisible and ignored, treated as a sad character and killed off. Just being treated as normal and part of the crowd rather than special in some odd way.
QRM: Is there a message that you would like to share with the queer game players, game studies researchers, and other interested folks who comprise the Queerly Represent Me community?
Pete: Don't give up on your dreams, don't let others discourage you or try to pinhole you.
You can find more from Pete on his blog.