- Role: CEO / Producer
- Company: TeePee Studios
- Location: Melbourne, Australia
We spoke with Peter, the CEO and producer at TeePee Studios.
QRM: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do in the games industry?
Peter: I'm just a fabulous CEO and Producer of TeePee Studios, which is a game and film development company in Melbourne, Australia!
I strive to develop engaging content that can captivate audiences in some shape or form, as well as pushing for more content to be developed here in Australia for a world wide audience.
QRM: How long have you been involved in the game industry, and what projects have you worked on? What are you working on currently?
Peter: Nine months now, technically! We did begin as a film studio specializing in 3D animation and visual effects before that and grew to include game development. A lot of skills between both are rather transferable! We have Staff Wars: Wizard Rumble, which is already out on Steam and is having a new update launched soon! Dimensions Vs is going to be ready for early access in August on Steam and will be free to play! Along with those two with have three other games in early development and multiple film projects as well. Feel free to check them out at this link!
QRM: What inspired you to get started in the games industry?
Peter: My heart has always held a fondness for 3D animation and visual effects in both games and films! So I knew from a very young age this was where I wanted to be and here I am now. For me developing content that captivates people is where my heart and drive is. As a country grown boy I remember fondly of content such as Lord of the Rings and World of Warcraft captivating me as well as acting as an escape. Wasn't much to do there!
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?
Peter: Honestly we have queer influences over a few of our products and future products in early development but I'm not really sure if it is because of me that they all manifest.
Our studio considers queer influences as completely normal so when they are added it's because it felt right! So I'm not sure if it's necessarily my experiences as a queer person that leads to the inclusion of queer content manifesting in our games and films. Our team is super inclusive!
Our team has me of course as a gay man but our current team also sports openly bisexual women and men, non-binary people, and people of different ages and backgrounds. We see everyone as people first and that is something that I am super proud of in regards to my team and our developed content.
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.
Peter: That's a hard one!!! Ummm I love Tracer as a character from Overwatch and I'm not even going to start with picking which Dream Daddy [from Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator] is my favorite... But I'd probably say Farkas from Skyrim whom I married in-game; we went on so many adventures and slayed many a dragon together!
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.
Peter: I haven't encountered many issues with including queer content in our products; again our team is super inclusive and it's considered normal. Unfortunately though there is always people outside of the team with negativity towards it...
Whether it's people questioning why we included Hiro our fabulous fighter in Dimensions Vs or why in Project: S.E.E.D. we have a gay male couple with one of them being pregnant in the year 2712, in the end it doesn't matter much to us. We will do it anyway! Personally I think that roadblocks just need to be knocked down. There are always going to be people that are against your views as I'm sure you would be against many other people's views, the trick is just don't let it stop you.
If you aren't yet in the position to make push against the prevention of diversity—and key word, "Yet"—I like to take note of something RuPaul said: "Unless they gonna pay your bills, pay them bitches no mind!" And I think that is a good way to look at it but also note that when you have the chance to free yourself from others constraints feel free to leave those negative bitches behind!
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?
Peter: It's incredibly important. As mentioned earlier, I grew up in a country town and I guess to most people there I was a weird kid because I was different in more ways then one. Games and films were my escape as I am sure is for many queer individuals! It would have been better if I felt normal in those escapes instead of being different just like I was in the real life.
I believe that pushing forward and ignoring ignorance is vital to change and I firmly believe in pushing the normalization of diversity. I don't think queer content should be forced as much as I don't think other content should be forced either; the better way of looking at it is not holding back when content should be there.
QRM: Have you ever mentored somebody in your role in games, or been mentored? If so, what made these experiences worthwhile for you?
Question asked by @pepelanova.
Peter: Haven't mentored someone as of yet; our studio is still growing! We have however had a lot of guidance across the board from individuals but for the most part I set our own path along with my business partner Thomas.
QRM: In what ways can non-queer folk increase and support queer diversity present within games, as well as in the industry more broadly? How can we all work to support intersectional approaches to diversity, and why is this important?
Peter: Inclusiveness is important, period! And we need to push that fact forward together, we aren't as strong apart. I know I'm not without my team.
Queer people are normal; it's not like we are aliens from another planet... So I believe we should be represented normally just like everyone else.
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?
Peter: Don't give up, simple as that!