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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

    Highlight Of 2006: Previewing Oblivion

    I said I’d tell you what these were that week, by which I meant this month, of which there are now only three days left. So, going chronologically, here’s number one.

    Reviewing it was of course the bigger deal, but the four-hour preview event that night in a London hotel was the first time I actually went there, so to speak, and that made it magical in a way that’s tough to communicate to non-gamers. When I say playing a new game is like going to a country you’ve never visited before, it sounds like I mean “almost as good as”, and that’s misleading. It’s much, much better than that. It’s better than going to a planet you’ve never visited before. When the game is good, and you know it, and you have a game-enabled brain, stepping out of your skin and into that screen is a sublime form of physical and psychological transportation to which drugs, love and space travel cannot compare.

    And much of that culminated with me punching a rat in the face. Those who had no great pre-release interest in Oblivion found the opening dungeon pretty dull, and certainly it’s one of the weakest parts of the game, but it was designed for me and my kind. We’re the Morrowind obsessives, people who spent longer in this game’s predecessor than on any vacation, and who would delight in every little change as they were introduced to us one by one. And the sensation of cold-cocking a dog-sized rodent mid-air with a conclusive right-hook is something every human needs to feel at some point in their lives. Whunk!

    For all the joys out in that enormous and spectacular world, it was how physical it all felt that would captivate me. Plenty of games have worlds as big, plenty of games are open-ended, there are even some now that look as good. But none feel so right, convince so totally, whunk with quite that fidelity.


    Tomorrow: snow, heroism, lightning and abdominal pain!

    chad: I *just* got the last of my 50 achievements in this game last week. If you're playing on PC, what this means is that I've completed the main quest and all of the guild and arena quest lines in the game, just as I did in Morrowind on the PC. So after all that, I think it's safe to say that Oblivion pales in comparison to Morrowind. The graphics, while nice, are nowhere near the jump Morrwind over its predecessor. I could probably forgive that, if not for the craptacular new auto-leveling of enemies, and the lack of any kind of flight spell. Exploring just isn't as fun when you feel safe that the game isn't going to throw you anything you can't handle. It's lacking the sense of danger Morrowind had, which kept me from venturing out too far for fear of getting in over my head. Fast travel kind of sucked too. I prefer the taxi system of Morrowind.

    Still a great game, or I obviously wouldn't have played it so much, just not *as* great as Morrowind.

    Nice screen cap, btw.

    mariano: kinda cool game

    but i still prefer morrowind cause lot of thing

    for example,you walk in the middle of night and you have more fear than a crappy actual terror game lol.

    but okay i must admit obvilion pwns in the combat system but the fucking auto leveling system ruins the magic of the game...