Of all the games at the Perth Games Festival this year, World’s Fastest Pizza is probably the most socially reprehensible, if not the funniest. Laid before me at the display was an arcade stick made from two stacked pizza boxes with the stick poking through a torn hole in the logo emblazoned on the box face. It had no other buttons, and beside it stood a lanky figure who motioned toward the machine with a bobbing head gesture, eyebrows waggling suggestively above a manic grin. I stood up to the machine and grabbed the arcade stick, the plastic slipping in my hands from the sweat now forming under the grinning gaze of my companion. Fumbling my way through a number of stages and up to the first boss, I faltered and was met with a Game Over screen, when suddenly I heard a voice mutter into my ear, “Hi, I’m Oscar! I made World’s Fastest Pizza!”
Can you tell us about World’s Fastest Pizza?
I can. It’s a top-down, run-and-no-gun game about pizza delivery in modern Australia. Think Fat Pizza meets, I dunno, hell.
Why did you inflict– er, develop this game? What were your inspirations?
I was on the bus and this lady was cutting sick at the driver for wearing a turban. I felt like he handled it but I felt really shitty afterwards, so I made a game about a guy who has to serve people who hate him for no reason. It might be politically incorrect, I’m not sure.
The game is really simple, there aren’t any controls besides movement, was that an initial part of the design?
Yeah I guess it was because I wanted the moral of the story to be that he is the bigger man, because he just keeps doing his job and doesn’t engage with the negativity and violence. I feel like if he had all these abilities that you activated, it would kind of bring him down to their level. As it is, he could just be pretending it isn’t happening.
“I’d like to speak to you about our savior, Tortoiseman.”
You’ve caricatured the seedier side of Australia, and otherwise used Australian stereotypes as a humorous influence on classic sci-fi or videogame tropes. Can you take us through some of what’s in the game and why you wanted to include it?
I think I’ve made this game sound really serious so far haha! Yeah, it’s totally over the top satire. The main character is an alien who is sent to earth as a baby after his planet is destroyed, so there’s this superman analogy going on. I just got thinking that if Superman had come to Australia instead of the U.S.A, he would have been treated pretty differently. Likewise, all the sci-fi stuff came from a comment I heard someone say which was “Everyone hates people-smugglers, but loves Han Solo” which I find funny. Aside from that, there’s just a whole bunch of things that I associate with Australia today.
Do you think that games in general could stand to see more Australian themes and characters in them, humorously offensive or otherwise?
Yeah totally. More so Indigenous themes, though. The most unique trait of videogames is the ability to make you feel both guilt and pride over your actions. I think games in Australia should be used to bridge the huge gap in the knowledge that modern Australia has of Aboriginal culture. That’s why it pisses me off so much that the government refuses to see them as a legitimate art form.
How did you get started in making games? Do you work full time on these projects?
I started making games when I was 16. I got Game maker and just made like 100 shitty twin stick shooters and platformers. I kind of gave it up after highschool though, but got back into it after university. I work full-time from home, I used to have an art space, but they closed it down:(
“I just got thinking that if Superman had come to Australia instead of the U.S.A, he would have been treated pretty differently.”
Your display for World’s Fastest Pizza at the Perth Games Festival (PGF) was certainly unique; a veritable art piece in itself. Can you give our readers a quick run down of what was there?
Pizza-flavoured Shapes, Fly swat, condoms, goon bag, little creatures pale ale, centrelink letters, Winfield cigarettes, and a big poster of the game signed by Flume and Hillary Clinton.
How can the Perth gaming community help support their local developers and the development scene in Perth?
Sign any petition, write any letter, shake any fist at a cloud that gets the government to bring back proper videogame grants. They really have no clue how behind this country is compared to even developing nations. For shame, ‘Straya, for shame.
What was the response to World’s Fastest Pizza at PGF this year?
People loved it! Way less people took offence to it than I thought. There was this one guy who wouldn’t bloody leave…
Who was the best player at the event, by far, without a doubt? This would be the player who got further than any other throughout the festival.
Me, followed way, way, way, back by you.
“People loved it! Way less people took offence to it than I thought.”
Why do you want to make games?
If someone tells me today some rule about game design, art direction, marketing, financial viability–anything to do with videogames, I can safely say that rule will be broken in the coolest way possible by some person by the end of the year. There is literally NOTHING stopping you from making games, anyone can do it, and the best and most critically lauded games are the weirdest ones! Games are the most exiting and liberating artistic medium I’ve ever encountered and I want to be a part of that.
So, can… Can I have the Pizza Box Arcade Stick? Or the old-school looking box cover you mocked up for the display?
Ask Louis from SK games, he made it haha. I just nicked it from his office. He wanted to affix a giant dildo to it, so I had to save it.
Here are some places where you can show your support for World’s Fastest Pizza: