All posts

Games

Game development

Stories

Happiness

Personal

Music

TV

Film

TOM FRANCIS
REGRETS THIS ALREADY

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.

Theme

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

    He’s Gone Too Far

    That’s it, Intro Guy. You are now so bad that you entirely counter-act the greatness of the programme that follows your intolerable gloat. I actually regret watching this episode, the intro was that bad.

    It’s not just that an intro is unnecessary, it’s this intro in particular. It’s an intro made by people who don’t just look down on their audience, they actually hate them. It’s the kind of intro I’d produce for I’m A Celebrity And The Suffocating Numbness Of My Life Has Driven Me To New Lows Get Me Out Of Here. It’s openly an advert for the very thing it is a part of. It doesn’t stop at explicitly summarising the themes and symbolism of the preceding season, it actually explains in bullet-point form what’s going to happen in the following episode, and shows clips of it. At first you think it’s going to insult your intelligence, but it quickly becomes clear that the disdain, the spite its authors hold for you far exceeds their restraint, and the insult is merely an appetiser for the flurry of gashing, wrenching, deep and bloody wounds they plan to inflict. And the salt in your mutiliations is a voice-over whose patronising sickly smarm is so drippingly viscious you could choke on it.

    There’s no mistaking the venemous cynicism behind this – I spend most of my days feeling it – but attached to something as great as Heroes it becomes an even darker spectre. This is disdain for one of the few remaining wonderful things on television, and only the blackest of burnt, drowned, dead, dead souls could feel it with this level of vacant dispassion. I don’t know who writes these, but I can tell you that they have no irises – their obsidian pupils fill the entirety of their lidless and unblinking eyes.

    Chris: It didn't help that the worst voice-over yet was followed by the worst episode in Heroes' short history. The week-long wait always leads to me forgetting to zap past the hideous voice-over too, damnit.

    Masked Dave: I must say, I always assumed they were aiming at achieving the same thing as the editorial blurb you often get at the start of comics. I mean, it is basically meant to be a comic book in live action form (the moment I realised the subtitles were happening inside invisible speech bubbles blew my mind).

    If so, they've nailed it completely.

    Unfortunately, those bits suck, and unlike with comics, I can't just not read them.

    CannedLizard: If you think that one is bad, avoid next weeks. They show a clip of a scene which turns out to be the cliff-hanger scene right at the end of the show, or so.

    Zeno Cosini: Oh God, I love that obsidian pupil / lidless unblinking eye thing. It reminds me slightly of this image by The Eyechild: http://photos1.blogg... ...e-Bird.jpg

    Rob: American shows do have a habit of bookending amazing shows with complete crap. I think Intro Guy has retired from the series now to be replaced by Dr Suresh' disembodied voice, which is still pretty annoying.

    It's a great show but it would be better without the recap, the narration and the wanky HEEEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOO theme which plays pretentiously over absolutely everything.

    I'm still completely in love with it, though.