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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.

  • 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...
  • Spaceman Moses: One-eyeing this on my phone from the depths of my covers I lazily ask: what do you mean XCOM2 clarity...
  • kripto: For what it’s worth, I also like Morphblade more than Imbroglio. Although, to be fair, I’ve also...
  • Hitman header tunnel

    Rewarding Creative Play Styles In Hitman

    Far Cry Primal Thumbnail

    Postcards From Far Cry Primal

    Snowball jack header

    Solving XCOM’s Snowball Problem

    Kill Zone and Bladestorm

    Kill Zone And Bladestorm

    BAFTA Featured

    An Idea For More Flexible Indie Game Awards

    Sectors Header

    Teaching Heat Signature’s Ship Generator To Think In Sectors

    DXHR Open area

    What Works And Why: Multiple Routes In Deus Ex

    Heat Signature Natural Numbers

    Natural Numbers In Game Design

    Pharma Header

    Naming Drugs Honestly In Big Pharma

    Writing vs Programming

    Make A Game Tutorial Thumbnail Featured IMage

    Let Me Show You How To Make A Game

    New Heat Signature Video: Galaxies, Suction And Wrench-Throwing

    Her Story banner

    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

    Invisible Header

    What Works And Why: Invisible Inc

    Super Game Jam Header

    Our Super Game Jam Episode Is Out

    Shadow of Mordor Header 2

    What Works And Why: Sauron’s Army

    Heat Signature Talk

    Showing Heat Signature At Fantastic Arcade And EGX


    What I’m Working On And What I’ve Done

    Murder, She Wrote

    The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

    Heat Signature Wide 2

    Heat Signature Needs An Artist And A Composer

    Heat Signature Floorplans Header

    Improving Heat Signature’s Randomly Generated Ships, Inside And Out

    Gunpoint Steam Workshop

    Gunpoint Patch: New Engine, Steam Workshop, And More

    Distance Header

    Distance: A Visual Short Story For The Space Cowboy Game Jam

    The Magic Circle

    Raising An Army Of Flying Dogs In The Magic Circle

    Floating Point Blog Launch

    Floating Point Is Out! And Free! On Steam! Watch A Trailer!

    Floating Sine

    Drawing With Gravity In Floating Point


    What’s Your Fault?

    Hoplite banner

    The Randomised Tactical Elegance Of Hoplite

    Gone Point

    Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

    Heat Signature Thumbnail

    Heat Signature: A Game About Sneaking Aboard Randomly Generated Spaceships

    GRappling Hook Thumbnail

    The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

    Alien Swarm Heroics

    A Story Of Heroism In Alien Swarm

    FTL Story

    One Desperate Battle In FTL

    Spelunky Banner

    To Hell And Back In Spelunky

    Game vs story graph

    Games Vs Story 2

    Gunpoint Breakdown

    Gunpoint Development Breakdown

    Max Payne 3

    Five Things I Learned About Game Criticism In Nine Years At PC Gamer

    This is how you die

    My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection


    Not Being An Asshole In An Argument

    Skyrim Diary - Frostmere

    Playing Skyrim With Nothing But Illusion

    Mainstream Games

    How Mainstream Games Butchered Themselves, And Why It’s My Fault


    A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

    Dark Messiah

    The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot


    Arguing On The Internet


    Shopstorm, A Spelunky Story

    Stealth Games

    Why Are Stealth Games Cool?


    E3’s Violence Overload, Versus Gaming’s Usual Violence Overload

    Suspicious Manifesto

    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

    What Makes Games Good

    Seat Quest

    A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

    Deckard: Blade Runner, Moron

    Beneath Suspicion

    Avoiding Suspicion At The US Embassy

    Open Worlds

    An Idea For A Better Open World Game

    Level Up

    A Different Way To Level Up

    BioShock Ending

    How I Would Have Ended BioShock

    Meet the Spy

    My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

    Team Fortress 2

    Team Fortress 2 Unlockable Weapon Ideas

    Football Manager

    Don’t Make Me Play Football Manager

    EVE Assassins

    EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

    GalCiv 2

    My Galactic Civilizations 2 War Diary


    I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

    Machine of Death

    My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

    Blood money and sex

    Blood Money And Sex


    A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

    Second Life

    First Night, Second Life

    SWAT 4

    SWAT 4: The Movie Script

    This Month In Terrible, Part 1: Anti-DRM T-Shirts

    To fight the good fight against the evil legions of Digital Rights Management that are currently making it impossible for anyone on the planet to enjoy music, people who like to steal things have banded together to come up with a T-shirt design that will shame all multinationals into simply cancelling their copy protection plans and releasing all of their music for free, ceasing to exist in the process. Some highlights:

    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    Ohh, now I get it!


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    Quite a reasonable point.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    I- no hang on, what?


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    Ahh. Right. Well, I think this is clear enough. DRM must be stopped to save the king of puppet-berets from pointing to the trolley of film reels.

    The only thing I’m still not sure of is what would actually happen if you did cut the string in this diagram.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    Whatever they’re paying the guy who came up with this, it’s not enough.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    The gentleman’s protest.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    When those suits see this, it’s gonna blow their minds. “That’s- that’s what we were! All along!


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    I don’t get this one. Is the dove music, and he’s been locked up but can still fly somehow, or has the dove stolen the padlock of DRM from the olive tree of music and is now taking it to the trash out back?


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    Intellectual property regulation? Sir, I refer you to my cock.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    As a satirical acrostic backronym, this only really fails by one letter.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    This may actually be the best diagram ever drawn. I hadn’t realised before how many games and documents from space were simply bouncing off our atmosphere because of the Anti-DRM padlock. We should get rid of that thing. I don’t know why the Australians even built it.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    Yeah! Let DRM out of the cage that is music! Music is killing DRM!


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    I hadn’t really thought about it before, but preventing me from copying music is a little like raping me.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    I think we can all agree with whatever the hell this means.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    See, because it’s like, DRM is the three-legged green-eyed Giraffe of Dismay, and the RIAA is the elderly man riding it, and that makes people with fans dance like John Travolta.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    Yes. This is just like that.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    And we all know how rubbish disabled people are.


    anti drm tee shirt contest design

    Isn’t that just kind of annoying?

    Bobsy: I haven't giggled that much in ages. Well done, sir!

    Tentaculat: Wait a minute. That's not rape, that's the Heimlich Manoeuvre! Look, the Green guy is obviously choking to death... and DRM guy is saving his life. Hooray for DRM guy!

    Timmargh: Haha, good stuff.

    I was going to write a small essay about the fact that I took offence at the "disabled people are rubbish" comment until my live-in carer pointed out that I am, in fact, a crap crip. The bitch is always right ...

    Tom Francis: Heh. That design got a depressing number of votes, so I think if anything it needed an even more offensive summary of its bigotry. The even scarier part of the equation is that it appears to create a person.

    Dabs: I lolled. Although as you say, the disabled person design and Martin Luthor King Jr. comparison were more depressing than anything else.

    Dabs: Luther, even. I've been confusing him with Lex again.

    SenatorPalpatine: I want the "DeaR Me!" shirt badly.