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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

This Is The Winter Of Our Disco Tent

You demand some awesome new music to listen to on a loop for the coming weeks and thereafter associate with Christmas forever! It is a reasonable demand, and I shall do my best.

I cannot stop listening to Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, which even if you don’t particularly like me you have to admit can only be amazing from the title and band name. I can’t point to anything specifically Christmassy about it, but it still seemed seasonal even the first time I heard it. It is way better than This Home On Ice, which I think is a better-known song of theirs. The guy’s voice is so immediately unmelodious that you have to get over any problem you might have with it in the first few seconds, and after that, the way its loose, sharp, narcoleptically over-casual sound droops off the stiff, lush music creates a weirdly pleasing harmony. How about that.

Destroyer. You can’t go far wrong with Destroyer. The name is misleading, they’re not rubbish metal, although I’m not quite sure what they are. Craig would class them as “gay medieval music,” but that goes for more or less everything I listen to. Suffice to say they can make the line “Students carve hearts out of coal, and I just thought I’d let you know” catchy. That doesn’t really suffice at all, and I don’t have a link except to this rather unrepresentative song, but if you think you might like a band with verses like “It’s just Crystal Country showing us that everything must break to be beautiful, and honey, that’s what I meant when I called and said ‘This is fucked.'” – you’ll probably get along just fine.

craigp: Not that there's anything wrong with “gay medieval music”. My last.fmlist is dominated by a man who makes it almost exclusively. This is the song for me at the moment. Rufus Wainwright singing a song I can't stand at the best of times. OPM2 poison the office with Jeff Buckley's version of it : Hallelujah

Utterly unseasonal as well, but my bedroom's so warm it doesn't feel like Xmas at all. I'd love to link to some of the Squarepusher I've been listening to, but there's little hosted to prove the man's greatness. His album “Music is Rotted One Note” is absolutely incredible. “My Sound” off of that and “Tundra” from “Feed me Weird Things” would be a nice, semi-representative introduction to the man.

craigp: Oh, and "Tetra-Synch" off of "Ultravisitor", which squiggles better than any song. Ever.

Rossignol: Squarepusher! Ultravisitor is a thoroughly squiggly ablum.