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TOM FRANCIS
REGRETS THIS ALREADY

Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.

Theme

By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

Super Game Jam Header

Our Super Game Jam Episode Is Out

Shadow of Mordor Header 2

What Works And Why: Sauron’s Army

Heat Signature Talk

Showing Heat Signature At Fantastic Arcade And EGX

Projects

What I’m Working On And What I’ve Done

Murder, She Wrote

The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

Heat Signature Wide 2

Heat Signature Needs An Artist And A Composer

Heat Signature Floorplans Header

Improving Heat Signature’s Randomly Generated Ships, Inside And Out

Gunpoint Steam Workshop

Gunpoint Patch: New Engine, Steam Workshop, And More

Distance Header

Distance: A Visual Short Story For The Space Cowboy Game Jam

The Magic Circle

Raising An Army Of Flying Dogs In The Magic Circle

Floating Point Blog Launch

Floating Point Is Out! And Free! On Steam! Watch A Trailer!

Floating Sine

Drawing With Gravity In Floating Point

Fault

What’s Your Fault?

Hoplite banner

The Randomised Tactical Elegance Of Hoplite

Gone Point

Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

Heat Signature Thumbnail

Heat Signature: A Game About Sneaking Aboard Randomly Generated Spaceships

GRappling Hook Thumbnail

The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

Alien Swarm Heroics

A Story Of Heroism In Alien Swarm

FTL Story

One Desperate Battle In FTL

Spelunky Banner

To Hell And Back In Spelunky

Game vs story graph

Games Vs Story 2

Gunpoint Breakdown

Gunpoint Development Breakdown

Max Payne 3

Five Things I Learned About Game Criticism In Nine Years At PC Gamer

This is how you die

My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection

Clouds

Not Being An Asshole In An Argument

Skyrim Diary - Frostmere

Playing Skyrim With Nothing But Illusion

Mainstream Games

How Mainstream Games Butchered Themselves, And Why It’s My Fault

A-Rock-and-a-Hard-Place-Trio-Jan

A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

Dark Messiah

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot

Arguing

Arguing On The Internet

Stealth Games

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

Violence

E3’s Violence Overload, Versus Gaming’s Usual Violence Overload

Suspicious Manifesto

The Suspicious Developments manifesto

GDC

GDC Talk: How To Explain Your Game To An Asshole

Crosslink

Listening To Your Sound Effects For Gunpoint

Happiness

Understanding Your Brain

What Makes Games Good

What Makes Games Good

Seat Quest

A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

Beneath Suspicion

Avoiding Suspicion At The US Embassy

Open Worlds

An Idea For A Better Open World Game

Level Up

A Different Way To Level Up

BioShock Ending

How I Would Have Ended BioShock

Meet the Spy

My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 Unlockable Weapon Ideas

Football Manager

Don’t Make Me Play Football Manager

EVE Assassins

EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

GalCiv 2

My Galactic Civilizations 2 War Diary

Gnome

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

Machine of Death

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

AOL

A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

Second Life

First Night, Second Life

SWAT 4

SWAT 4: The Movie Script

Morrowind

Vivec

The Basics
Massively single-player first-person RPG – a huge and freely explorable fantasy world, hundreds of quests, of which the main plot line – the longest game I have ever played – accounts for less than half. You can be stealthy, fighty, magicky or any combination thereof, you can join guilds, go anywhere, kill anyone and anything and – importantly – take its clothes and anything else it might have had. Combat is real-time, and requires nimble fingers to jump around, dodge and aim. Skills level up the more you use them, rather than by assigning stat points, so you become the character you’re trying to be.

Kalen Yeso

The Appeal
RPGs ought to be the best games in the world, but virtually all of them have achingly dull combat and insist on a third-person view. The Elder Scrolls series has been chugging merrily down the lineage set out by Ultima Underworld, and with each iteration, more people say “Hey, that looks way better than the frustrating and unengaging rubbish we consider good!” Morrowind was when the series moved to what we recognise today as a true 3D engine – 3D accelerated, everything made of polygons. It’s about being in an RPG world for pretty much the first time – physically hitting monsters with a sword to hurt them, having to aim your fireballs like an FPS. Climbing mountains that even the developers don’t know are climbable. Stumbling upon a wooden door set into the rock, going inside and finding a smuggler’s hide-out with bodies, diaries and a story to be deduced. Short answer: it’s first person.

Go For The Neck

The Essential Experience
Filling out a form. It’s a clever conceit for character creation – the Census And Excise Office asks you to fill out your personal details for their records. The magic of the moment, though, is threefold: a) the music – the perfect fantasy theme tune, full of grandiose scale, promise and magic, b) the sheer range of options, even before you get to choosing skills and abilities – there are thirteen races, and c) seeing the world for the first time – you’ve just come out of a prison ship, so you get the three-hit combo of the lovely water effects, a giant tick standing in the lovely water effects, and the unearthly noise the giant tick standing in the lovely water effects makes.

DemonDoll: I want to point out that I respect this game above all others for not feeling the need to hold your hand. It's bastard-child Oblivion went backwards in this regard but in Morrowind you could run like the wind and leap over mountains without cheat codes. If you're dedicated you can make a 100% Chameleon set which makes your character !UNTARGETABLE!. There are virtually no games in existence which place no caps on the player. If you can drink a potion of +10 Intelligence, then you can drink 100 of them for +1000 Intelligence. There are just no arbitrary limits where the game tells you that you've had enough fun and it's time to stop now. At the same time the combat was rather boring and I couldn't slug through the whole thing (trying to do everything, of course, not the main quest).

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Gunpoint problem?

Don't post them here, I'm a useless idiot! E-mail tech support with as much detail about your system and the problem as possible, and they can actually do something.

Question?

There's a page about the games I've worked on, what I use to make them, and what platforms they're coming to.

Formatting

URLs get turned into links automatically. You can use <i>HTML</i> but not [b]forum[/b] code.