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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.

  • html color: This is the information I am looking for. This article is clear and easy to understand. I’m...
  • Grant: Thanks to the start of this video, I’ve just now noticed that during the static flickers while staring...
  • Ben: Great analysis. During the lab sequence in the Prey intro, you were looking around for tells that Morgan is in a...
  • 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...
  • 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

    Google Oozes Connectivity

    Google are always doing interesting things, and one of the reasons I get excited about our current era is that a company distinguishing themselves by not being evil do so well. In fact, they’re the defining architects of the internet itself, and the internet is a big enough deal that history will look upon the computer itself as a footnote to the revolution it enabled. Google are the largest part of a change that isn’t merely technological, cultural, societal or domestic – it’s a milestone in the evolution of the species. There’s ‘can use tools’, ‘brain has well-developed speech centre’ then ‘Googles’.

    The new thing is that they’re giving free wireless internet access to the whole of San Francisco. If they move into banking, expect them to drop free money from planes.

    It’s hard for me not to imagine a huge translucent blob of connectivity enveloping the city now. There is something wildly futuristic about the idea of free wireless access everywhere – didn’t dialling up, paying per month and plugging things in always feel a little archaic? But more than that, the scary and exciting thing to me is that the internet itself now has an enormous, incredibly rich and powerful agent in the physical world. Google just want the internet everywhere, so much so that they’ll bring it about at their own expense. Until now it’s been a force of nature, growing according to a mess of conflicting interests of parties fighting it out, using the net as a battleground. Now its growth is going to be directed and encouraged by an apparently benevolent corporate super-power. It has become a thing trying to take us over, rather than one waiting for us to realise we want it.

    Maybe the story sounds more trivial than that, but to me there is something huge about the idea of giving a free connection to everyone in a city. Not a voucher to have one installed, just free connectivity hanging in the air itself, waiting to be picked up by a wireless network card. Suddenly that city is super-connected – the barrier to being online in a serious way having plummeted from an expensive subscription and installation to a simple $20 component – and the implications of that could be vast. It doesn’t take a visionary to see the city-wide radius increasing, or at least being copied elsewhere, and in the very long term it could actually accentuate the developed/developing country divide – education, information skills and even which parts of the brain and body are more developed are going to get more and more significantly different between super-connected countries and offline ones. It’s the stuff of sci-fi, but in fiction this kind of schism has always been characterised as dystopian. Reality looks more positive, however ugly that divide might get, it’s sharper for one side being raised, not the other lowered.

    craigp: *Googles for Tom's tale of ballooning*.

    roBurky: Wow.

    That is amazing and super-good. Considering the hotel in my nearby town charges £5 an hour for use of its wireless internet access, I'm pretty shocked at this.

    Mr Dan: I think when you connect to their Internet you get Google Ads. Not sure how though, but i think you do.

    So lets for a second say that 10% of people in San Francisco decide to use this Wireless Internet, which they will, because it's free. Looking up on the net that equals 3,500,000 using their service. That's 3,500,000 looking at ads. They then sell the ad space for lots of money to big companies, naturally.

    So it's not exactly an entirely self-less act. Although it is still entirely great. I just wouldn't say they were doing it for the good of mankind or anything.

    If they end up repeating the process in other cities it just adds to their list of users. Eventually so many people will be connecting to their networks that Google could switch to their own version of the Internet entirely.

    Jason L: Yeah, that's the really awesome part of Google - they're smart idealists. They find ways of doing good that also do well.

    Jason L: As long as it's necropost week, I hereby officially eat crow. Time for a new motto, I guess.