- Role: Independent game developer
- Location: Sydney, Australia
We chatted with independent game developer Raul Haagensen, 'basically makes things in [his] own bedroom'.
QRM: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do in the games industry?
Raul: I grew up in Estonia, but I've been living in Australia since two years ago, and game-wise I just make them on my own. Also, I've only recently come out to myself, and started figuring out the whole business with this queerness thing, so it's all pretty new to me.
QRM: How long have you been involved in the game industry, and what projects have you worked on? What are you working on currently?
Raul: I have been making games since like almost a year ago. Since then, I've been dabbling with Unity and Ink and a bunch with Bitsy; a lot of it has just been learning to code and figuring out software. So far I've only finished two little Bitsy things plus one other vignette thing that I rather like. At the moment I'm working on an immersive sim inspired Bitsy thing, and also a kind of text-based thing about asexual physical intimacy.
QRM: What inspired you to get started in the games industry?
Raul: I’ve always wanted to make games and, in the past, on numerous occasions I’ve sort of tried to teach myself Unity, but for some reason I never stuck with it. But then this summer I tried again, and it just clicked.
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?
Raul: For the time being, it means putting stuff into my games that directly relate to my experience as a way for me to kinda understand my queerness and gender. For instance, that physical asexual intimacy thing is kinda that for me. At the moment it’s definitely just limited to my own queerness, both because I’m still trying to figure it out, but also because it makes finishing things easier (or rather it’s supposed to, I still have trouble finishing stuff).
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.
Raul: Definately Yuri Katsuki from Yuri on Ice. I was watching it around the same time I was slowly coming out to myself, and it was sort of my first time seeing what a relationship might look like as an asexual person. Also he’s very cute. 😊
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.