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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.

  • 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...
  • Jack: Are you going to release Morphblade for iOS or the Nintendo Switch? I would really like to play this on my...
  • 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

    If Things Go Right

    Well, now there’s nothing in my room. This monitor is balancing on this PC, and this keyboard is on my lap as I slouch against the wall on the floor, wearing a suit for some reason. The room is shaking with the bass of Cat Power (still great), Sufjan Stevens (still amazing) and Sondre Lerche (new! Awesome!), reproduced with extraordinary fidelity and volume by my £25 surround sound system, which is in a heap on my bed, underneath a lamp. I have, officially, moved out of this place.


    I’m not feeling too bad about the thunderous noise because Rich is out and the guys in the flat below are playing bland reggae loudly anyway. Rich has dubbed them Jonnie Potsmoker and Smokey McPot, and having watched Dude Where’s My Car on a whim the other day, I now get the reference. We’re not going to miss these guys. Although now I’ve tried this cinema-volume music thing, I may miss that. The better half of Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us sound amazing like this.

    [Pause for the vocals-only bit I can’t help but sing along to]

    I’m hearing a pretty muted or negative reaction to Graham Linehan’s (Father Ted, Black Books) new sitcom The IT Crowd from, like, the three people whose opinions I’ve heard. This is wrong! It’s fantastic. The second episode more than the first, perhaps – some of the actors seemed to ham it up a bit in the first, Chris Morris included, but I was still won over by it.


    It’s not really a satire of an IT department, any more than Black Books was about a book shop or Father Ted was about being a priest. Like them, it’s an elaborately orchestrated farce of secrecy, politeness and bureaucracy with a twist of the surreal. What distinguishes it from inferior comedies like The Green Wing is its reluctance to write any of its characters off: none of them are dehumanised charicatures, all of them are at least somewhat likeable, and for me sympathy is essential for humour. I can’t laugh at people I entirely hate.

    What made me use the word ‘fantastic’ instead of great, apart from a reluctance to resort to the absurdly over-used sentence “It’s great,” is that I keep suddenly thinking of a particular scene and cracking up – the only real litmus test for a sitcom. It’s the fire scene, but not specifically the:

    Moss: (writing an e-mail in front of a fire) ‘Fire exclaimation mark. Fire exclaimation mark’

    That they picked out for the preview clip – it’s the line before.

    Moss: ‘Dear sir or madam. I am writing to inform you of a fire.’ (backspacing) No, no, that’s too formal.

    I’m skirting the real subject of this post, mostly because I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to talk about it. But it’s happening soon, it’s both figuaratively and literally a dream come true, and I’ll tell you all about it as soon as I’m no longer under contractual obligation to shut the hell up.

    Jason L: You Brits and your actually-good sitcoms. Now I need to hunt that down online - if it comes to the US, you just know it'll go through the same machine as The Office.

    Bobsy: Worse: think Coupling.

    Also, Scrubs is awesome. Never forget.

    FinalSin: It's got a lot of charm, particularly when you compare it to higher-budget comedies. The thing is, sometimes the jokes seem to laboured, and too focused on 'Ho Ho! They're geeks! Yes!'

    Though last night's was sublime.

    Tom Hardy: The show's fine - it's just that somehow it seems as though there's some terrible curse crippling several of the jokes per episode. As though there was phenomenal communication difficulty between the writer/director, the editor and the actors. In particular, Moz's mug, this week. The payoff was good, but the setup seemed so horribly elongated and laboured that you couldn't really focus on its later achievements.

    Also, the woman is terrible. Otherwise, I like it, if only for the Messigo's joke.

    Jason L: The DVD set came out and they apparently did incredibly ace 1337 subtitles: http://z1.invisionfr... ...topic=5332

    mqkrwzsylq: amature home sex clips

    Joey Z: Love the IT Crowd...and the only reason I found it is because of my "Top PIcks for Joey" on Netfilx. Fricken great.