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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.

Heat Signature’s Launch, And First Player Legend

A Leftfield Solution To An XCOM Disaster

Rewarding Creative Play Styles In Hitman

Postcards From Far Cry Primal

Solving XCOM’s Snowball Problem

Kill Zone And Bladestorm

An Idea For More Flexible Indie Game Awards

Teaching Heat Signature’s Ship Generator To Think In Sectors

What Works And Why: Multiple Routes In Deus Ex

Natural Numbers In Game Design

Naming Drugs Honestly In Big Pharma

Writing vs Programming

Let Me Show You How To Make A Game

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

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

What Works And Why: Invisible Inc

Our Super Game Jam Episode Is Out

What Works And Why: Sauron’s Army

Showing Heat Signature At Fantastic Arcade And EGX

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

The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

Heat Signature Needs An Artist And A Composer

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

Gunpoint Patch: New Engine, Steam Workshop, And More

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

Raising An Army Of Flying Dogs In The Magic Circle

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

Drawing With Gravity In Floating Point

What’s Your Fault?

The Randomised Tactical Elegance Of Hoplite

Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

Heat Signature: A Game About Sneaking Aboard Randomly Generated Spaceships

The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

A Story Of Heroism In Alien Swarm

One Desperate Battle In FTL

To Hell And Back In Spelunky

Games Vs Story 2

Gunpoint Development Breakdown

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

My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection

Not Being An Asshole In An Argument

Playing Skyrim With Nothing But Illusion

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

A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot

Arguing On The Internet

Shopstorm, A Spelunky Story

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

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

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

A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

Deckard: Blade Runner, Moron

Avoiding Suspicion At The US Embassy

An Idea For A Better Open World Game

A Different Way To Level Up

How I Would Have Ended BioShock

My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

Team Fortress 2 Unlockable Weapon Ideas

Don’t Make Me Play Football Manager

EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

My Galactic Civilizations 2 War Diary

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

Blood Money And Sex

A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

First Night, Second Life

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.