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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

25th Hour

I inflicted both Die Hard 2 and Legends Of The Fall on myself this weekend, both abysmal wastes of time. I would like to suggest that Die Hard 2 is to Die Hard what The Phantom Menace is to The Empire Strikes Back. I would further put it to you that most of the relentless misfortunes of the imbecilic characters in Legends Of The Fall might have been averted if there had been more than one woman in the film’s universe. I was forced to watch both because I was too tired to move once they had started, and the remote was way over there.

But! Bank holiday weekend films can end on a high note! 25th Hour, 10pm, on BBC Two. Profoundly worth watching, primarily for the hilarious DEA agent duo. But also because of Ed Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman and The Other Guy as horrifically mismatched friends. It’s mildly well-known for Ed Norton’s character’s reflection’s racist rant about New Yorkers, which is riveting in the same way as a car accident.

I have to stop writing now, or the film will actually start before I post this, and the one person who would otherwise have seen this between now and it being too late would not in fact see it at all, and it would be too late.

Edit: That DEA Agent search in full:

This sofa is not very comfortable.

Maybe it’s your posture. Posture’s very important.

No, it’s this Castro convertible. It’s very uncomfortable. It’s kinda… kinda lumpy.

Get it over with.

I just don’t understand. It looks like such a nice sofa. How much did you pay for this sofa, Ms Riviera?

Maybe it’s the padding.

Ho yeah, could be the padding.

Probably the padding. Yeah, there’s something lumpy in here, Mr. Brogan.

You know, it’s a good thing I found this? It’ll make your sofa much more comfortable to sit on.

Jonty: Car accident, you say?
http://www.lookatent... ...htm?page=1

Warning: is riveting. Unfortunately.

The_B: I missed this. Damn!

craigp: Did you know the woman who is the face of Alyx in HL2 is in this as "Woman With Baby"?

Tom Francis: I did not! Nor does that role stick in my memory.