Hello! I'm Tom, I write about video games for a living at PC Gamer. I'm also making a game called Gunpoint, I sometimes write short stories and stuff, and I like figuring out how to be happy. In my spare time I enjoy looking to the right and laughing at nothing.
Absorbing: Hurry up and take my money.
john: How would i get the demo?
Darius: The Wing Commander series did it very well, the games are still playable today...
Owen Simpson: I am now going to tell you my melee weapon ideas plus primary for...
Zack Shadows: I would really love to test this game, it looks AMAZING. I have a...
KevD: Just saw your game on Random Encounter. It looks brilliant....
NounVerber: I had a similar idea to this. Instead of eating enemies you just have to FIND them (by...
Dean: Thank you sir. You have changed the way I argue, on the Internet and otherwise, forever....
Sly: I know this is fairly redundant, but here goes anyway: Yey Southampton! I’m in my final year of...
nova?a: Although I would be one to try to be as pacifist as possible, it would add...
By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.
Hey Tom, why are you always cooking noisily when you make videos? Because I am finishing my videogame, so vidbloggiovlogging kinda has to cram into any downtime I get. Hope the noise isn’t too annoying.
Gunpoint has 44 achievements on Steam – that’s only 5 less than Deus Ex 3. Only one is inevitable in a given playthrough, and that’s for completing it.
The rest are a mix of acknowledging very distinct playstyles, encouraging you to try new gadgets, recognising insane, obsessive or impressive decisions, letting you know certain feats are possible, and in one case helping you understand what just happened (some testers don’t realise what’s happening when they make an infinite loop in Crosslink).
A few are secret to surprise you, and a few are secret to avoid plot spoilers. These are the rest, with their magnificent icons by our artist John Roberts: Continued
I talk a bit about games vs stories: how they end up ruining each other, and how I’ve tried to avoid that in Gunpoint.
I mention the gender of the main villain in Gunpoint in this, but it won’t tell you much.
My second piece of published fiction will be out in July this year, as part of This Is How You Die: the second collection of stories about a machine that can predict your death.
But! Editor David Malki is also Kickstarting a card game based on the same concept, and since it’s blown its funding goal by over 1000%, they’re releasing a few stories from the anthology to say thanks.
One of them is mine! You can read it now! Here it is!
It’s about a supervillain’s henchman tasked with the job of having their enemies killed in a way that doesn’t contradict their predicted deaths. It is called: LAZARUS REACTOR FISSION SEQUENCE!
If you can’t read it, go here.
A quick update on how Gunpoint’s going.
I AM SO SORRY I LEFT AUTOFOCUS ON! I will remember to disable it next time. My camera is great at everything except detecting how far away an almost stationary human in the center of the frame is.
“It has the atmosphere of a cheerful village fete, but in a village that couldn’t exist. At one point, we seem to be in a cloud: a thick haze turns everyone in the street to silhouettes, picked out by spectacular rays of golden sunlight. Confetti floats through the air, and hummingbirds pause to probe flowers. Two children splash each other in a leaking fire hydrant.”
“Half an hour later, for reasons I won’t go into, I’m ramming a metal gear into a man’s eye socket until blood geysers all over my face. I’m drenched. Everyone’s screaming. Four more men are coming for me, and this blunt steel prong is all I have to kill them with.”
I’m trying to see if it’s possible to do this level without punching anyone. Not for the first time, my conclusion was: “Nope. Hmm, unless…”
I have to get to those stairs. The guard will shoot me if he sees me. I can’t open the building’s other entrance from the outside. Continued
I don’t argue on the internet anymore. The short version is: it usually gets hostile, and that drives everyone further away from changing their minds.
But I spend a lot of time thinking about whether there’s a way to contribute to a discussion without derailing it. Whether there’s some way of knowing, in advance, that what you’re about to say will make you look like an asshole, start a fight, or be outright wrong.
I think there is. Continued
The closed beta test of the new SimCity is out, for those in on it. I am! There’s the city I built!
You can see and read about Tyler’s city, built in a different region to the beta, here.
It’s a very demo-y beta: you only get 1 hour before you have to start from scratch. My first one was a single long road, but I quickly discovered that having industrial stuff anywhere near your residential zones poisons everyone and, more importantly, reduces the land value. Continued
It hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet, but for some, if you go to Settings in Twitter, you’ll get the option to download an archive of all your tweets.
Anyway, I got mine, and I wondered if I could use it to make old stuff more accessible. Continued
“In Skyrim, a mage is an unstoppable storm of destruction. In real life, a mage is just an illusionist: they can’t do much except trick you. If one of them turned out to be the world’s only hope of salvation, hijinks and sudden death would inevitably ensue. Since these are my two favourite things, I’ve decided to try playing this way.” Continued
Published a long while back, don’t think I ever linked it here. A long-suppressed rant at mainstream action game design.
“The instant the first character speaks, I reflexively want them to shut up. If there’s text on screen, I’m not reading it. If there’s a cut-scene, I’m skipping it. If there are no enemies to shoot, I shoot my friends, and if I can’t shoot my friends, I shoot just next to my friends and then swing my crosshair onto them as quickly as possible in a lame attempt to glance them with a bullet I know won’t do anything. I thought that was normal.
Then, playing Bulletstorm the other night and hating every second of it, I had an awful realisation: this is my fault. I’m the reason games suck now. I’m the lazy, belligerent jerk every mainstream shooter seems to be designed for, and it’s because of gamers like me that they’re built this way.”
The creative director of Bulletstorm responded to me, which led to an interesting discussion.