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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

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.