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Game development








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.


By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

  • RoboLeg: this game would be PERFECT for mobile, and I’d happily pay 10 bucks or so for it.
  • Jepp: 1) Please keep critiquing games by building new ones :) 2) The non-hand holding, simple systems integrating...
  • Jack: Are you going to release Morphblade for iOS or the Nintendo Switch? I would really like to play this on my...
  • Spaceman Moses: One-eyeing this on my phone from the depths of my covers I lazily ask: what do you mean XCOM2 clarity...
  • kripto: For what it’s worth, I also like Morphblade more than Imbroglio. Although, to be fair, I’ve also...
  • Hitman header tunnel

    Rewarding Creative Play Styles In Hitman

    Far Cry Primal Thumbnail

    Postcards From Far Cry Primal

    Snowball jack header

    Solving XCOM’s Snowball Problem

    Kill Zone and Bladestorm

    Kill Zone And Bladestorm

    BAFTA Featured

    An Idea For More Flexible Indie Game Awards

    Sectors Header

    Teaching Heat Signature’s Ship Generator To Think In Sectors

    DXHR Open area

    What Works And Why: Multiple Routes In Deus Ex

    Heat Signature Natural Numbers

    Natural Numbers In Game Design

    Pharma Header

    Naming Drugs Honestly In Big Pharma

    Writing vs Programming

    Make A Game Tutorial Thumbnail Featured IMage

    Let Me Show You How To Make A Game

    New Heat Signature Video: Galaxies, Suction And Wrench-Throwing

    Her Story banner

    What Works And Why: Nonlinear Storytelling In Her Story

    My Idea For An ‘Unconventional Weapon’ Game

    From Gunpoint To Heat Signature: A Narrative Journey

    The Cost Of Simplifying Conversations In Videogames

    Invisible Header

    What Works And Why: Invisible Inc

    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


    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


    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


    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 Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

    Dark Messiah

    The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot


    Arguing On The Internet


    Shopstorm, A Spelunky Story

    Stealth Games

    Why Are Stealth Games Cool?


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

    Suspicious Manifesto

    The Suspicious Developments manifesto


    GDC Talk: How To Explain Your Game To An Asshole


    Listening To Your Sound Effects For Gunpoint


    Understanding Your Brain

    What Makes Games Good

    What Makes Games Good

    Seat Quest

    A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

    Deckard: Blade Runner, Moron

    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


    I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

    Machine of Death

    My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

    Blood money and sex

    Blood Money And Sex


    A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

    Second Life

    First Night, Second Life

    SWAT 4

    SWAT 4: The Movie Script

    A Big List Of Music I Like

    The New Pornographers
    The Laws Have Changed; A Testament To Youth In Verse; Chump Change
    Genre: dazzling, explosive power-pop

    Belle And Sebastian
    Sleep The Clock Around; I’m A Cuckoo; Seymour Stein
    Genre: meek, fey indie-pop

    The Delgados
    Favours; The Light Before We Land; Witness
    Genre: majestic, orchestral indie-pop

    Arcade Fire
    Tunnels; Lies; In The Back Seat

    Architecture In Helsinki
    What’s In Store; The Cemetary; Wishbone

    The Magician; Welcome; Thank You For Living

    July, July; Angel Won’t You Call Me?; The Soldiering Life

    Do One; Catch Me Up; Rex Kramer

    Step; Canada; California

    Mates Of State
    Goods (All In Your Head); Whiner’s Bio; Ha Ha

    Radar Brothers
    You And The Father; Shifty Lies; Rock Of The Lake

    The Upshot; Endora; High On The Downside

    Let’s Call It Love; The Fox; What’s Mine Is Yours

    Feather By Feather; Lazy Rain; River Guard

    Speedy Car; Cybele’s Reverie; Metronomic Underground

    Yo La Tengo
    Moonrock Mambo; Damage; Autumn Sweater

    AC Newman
    The Town Halo; Miracle Drug; On The Table

    Add N To (X)
    Party Bag; Hit For Cheese; Metal Fingers In My Body

    Air Miami
    Dolphin Expressway; I Hate Milk; Sweet Little Heartbreaker

    Aluminum Group
    A Blur In Your Vision; Two Lights; Rrose Salivy’s Valise

    At The Drive-In
    One-Armed Scissor; Alpha Centauri; Pattern Against User

    Nobody Really Knows Anything; Where Do The Nights Of Sleep Go To When They Do Not Come To Me?; I’ve Got Pictures Of You In Your Underwear

    Super-Connected; Untitled And Unsung; Now They’ll Sleep

    Ben Folds
    Landed; Rockin’ The Suburbs; Not The Same

    Ben Folds’ Five
    Army; One Angry Dwarf And Two-Hundred Solemn Faces; Narcolepsy

    Black Box Recorder
    Girl Singing In The Wreckage; Goodnight Kiss; Weekend

    Camera Obscura
    Lunar Sea; Eighties Fan; Teenager

    Cat Power
    Nude As The News; Maybe Not; Speak For Me

    Health And Efficiency; Love; Superman

    Clint Boon Experience!
    Comet Theme Number One; Only One Way I Can Go; Seventeen And Over

    Cuban Boys
    Cuban Boy 2000; Disco Boy; Kenny

    Dirty Three
    No Stranger Than That; Sea Above, Sky Below; Hope

    Flaming Lips
    Race For The Prize; Slow Motion; The Gash

    Fun Lovin’ Criminals
    Swashbucklin’ In Brooklyn; All For Self; We Are All Very Worried About You

    Porn Shoes; Canada Water; The Stars, The Moon, The Sun And The Clouds

    Go! Team
    The Power Is On; Bottle Rocket; Panther Dash

    Godspeed, You Black Emperor! *
    Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven!**; Moya; Blaise Bailey Finnegan III

    Tiptoe; Lovely Head; Horse Tears

    The Sweetness Lies Within; The Sad Witch; Wicker Girl

    One; Obstacle One; Obstacle Two

    Jeffrey Lewis
    The East River; The Chelsea Hotel; Springtime

    Jim O’Rourke
    Movie On The Way Down; Something Big; Through The Night Softly

    Ladybug Transistor
    A Burial At Sea; Choking On Air; Song For The Ending Day

    He Took Her To A Movie; Flicking Your Switch; The Way That I Found You

    Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun; On A White Lake Near A Green Mountain; Teen Angst

    Modest Mouse
    Float On; Life Like Weeds; Doing The Cockroach

    Green Grass Of Tunnel; Weeping-Rock Rock; I’m Nine Today

    ?; Just A Dream; Rette Mich

    Roll With The Wind; Elevate Me Later; Unfair

    Pernice Brothers
    Number Two; Seven Thirty; Weakest Shade Of Blue

    Penny Arcade; Mother Of Pearl; Track Of The Cat

    Laughing Up My Sleeve; Nothing Left To Say; I Almost Touched You

    One Illness; The Government Of Spain; Cacophony Number A

    Better Luck Next Time; I Never Want To See You Again; A Case Of No Way Out

    Sit Down, Stand Up; Fog; Dollars And Cents; nothing pre-Kid A

    Sigur Rós
    Svefn-G-Englar; 01; Vidrar Vel Til Lofturasa

    Ted Leo And The Pharmacists
    Me And Mia; Walking To Do; Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone?

    Telstar Ponies
    A Little Cloud; The Fall Of Little Summer; Sail Her On

    Trembling Blue Stars
    St Paul’s Cathedral At Night; The Ghost Of An Unkissed Kiss; Haunted Days

    Ugly Casanova
    Hotcha Girls; Barnacles; Parasites

    Virgin-Whore Complex
    Wise And Mighty Emperor; Unrequited Love; I See More

    Jesus, Etc; Theologians; Company In My Back

    asshole: damn u like agay bands

    Tom Francis: What an asshole.

    Dave: lol, pwned

    Jesus: I was in maine, and stuck listening to Ugly Casanove and Lightning Bolt for 3 weeks straight, that and my friend having sex with every girl in that town. I still wake up screaming.

    Tom Francis: Huh. And I never really believe people when they say the bible still has contemporary relevance.