Valve were considering adding female characters to Team Fortress back in 2009, but eventually decided against it. A set of characters designed by ex-Valve artist Drew Wolf depicts several female variations of eight of TF2’s classes – the only one missing is the Pyro.
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On his website, Wolf says the characters were “an internal pitch project aimed to bring female characters to the cast of Team Fortress 2.” The requirements of the project meant that there are lots of different variants on every character; Demo(wo)man, for example, has an elderly white lady feature as one of their variants.
Wolf says that making sure the new characters had their own identity was a significant part of development. “I was responsible for story, character development and visual design,” he says. “With the exception of their class function, It was important that each design presented an entirely new character. I wanted these characters to live on their own and add dimension to the current roster of in-game characters. The goal of the project was to dive deep into possibilities and facilitate creative discussion.”
While there are characters that have obvious comparisons with the current male characters, a lot of the concepts have formed a unique take on each character. Personally, I like the incredibly cheerful-looking Heavy variant, who almost looks like something off of an alt-history WWII propaganda poster.
Sadly, Wolf doesn’t say why the concepts were never taken further, and given that these came from 2009, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see more than these images. You can see the whole collection here.