Queer Leap

Queer Leap is a thematically and mechanically queer 3d platform game inspired by the quantum leap phenomenon.




Created as a personal project.




TC Zhou  :  Game design, concept, visuals, and programming

Queer Leap is a thematically and mechanically queer 3d platform game inspired by the quantum leap phenomenon and the concept of queer temporality.

Queer Leap references the quantum leap phenomenon in Physics, where electrons in an atom can leap to the next energy level by absorbing photons of the right frequency. Similarly, in our world, queer people can make queer leaps with courage and contemplation, leaving behind the constraints of “straight time” and embracing queer temporality.

This game challenges the idea of a player’s control in games by disrupting their agency. It reflects how in real life, we often believe we have control over our destiny, but in reality, our fate is often shaped by the systems that surround us, leaving us with limited choices.

The game creates an illusion of control by allowing the player to make decisions such as when to jump to avoid danger and collect rewards. However, the system is too complex to predict, and the player’s vision is limited, making it difficult to navigate.

The player controls a moth that is drawn to fire but also gets burned. This is similar to how queer individuals pursue love and liberation, facing obstacles and limited agency. The moth must decide whether to keep trying despite the difficulties, hoping to eventually reach joy and peace.

Players of the game help queer moths make queer leaps so they can fulfill their burning queer desires, represented by a heart and a flame. Two non-intersecting orbits represent the old and new lives. The old-life orbit follows a restrictive life schedule: friends and family expect queer people to finish school, get married, and raise children according to societal norms. These expectations can quickly become overwhelming and hinder their ability to live fully. However, the new orbit follows queer temporality, where life events such as education, marriage, and parenthood become optional, and queer people are free to pursue them at their own pace.

Making queer leaps is not easy. Living in the new orbit may mean becoming a lonely foreigner, and the new orbit is still new and shaky, born out of the recent struggles of queer people. However, as more queer people make queer leaps and call the new orbit home, the living conditions will gradually improve.