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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

    Heroes Season Two

    The trailer is on YouTube, and it doesn’t look very good, but! I’d like anyone else who’s watched the first two seasons of Alias to say it with me, when the moment arrives:


    Alias became terrible after – perhaps during – season two, but it was so much fun until then. Heroes has already borrowed one of its best actors, and shown that he was responsible for most of his character’s likeability. Now it’s got the other. I only hope he’s smarmily yet competently evil, and crops up unexpectedly in almost every storyline – it’d be just like old times.


    The rest is just depressing. Sylar’s still in it. I don’t even trust them with the guts to keep the Petrelli’s out. Last season’s finale was riddled with so many tedious tropes that I have no faith left in their ability to excite me. Entertain, probably.

    Thomas Lawrence: I haven't seen the trailer, anxious as I am to come to the new series as unspoiled as possible in this workaday Internet of ours, but I nonetheless have a comment/mini-rant: why is everyone moaning about the Petrelli's continuing to exist?

    It was already an established fact that Peter would survive his own exploding (cf. "Five Years Gone") with naught more than a scar. Ok, his brother is less defensible, but I for one enjoyed the character too much to see him thrown away on the weak resolution to the season one finale. In honesty, the finale was so feeble I'm pretty glad they seem to be intending to carry on as if it had no consequences whatever.

    Would people really be happier to see both Peter and Nathan out of the show? Why? So we can have more time to watch the continuing saga of DL and Niki?

    Tom Francis: I thought that Five Years Later episode was a possible future, like the one Future Hiro comes from. Because in that future, didn't the city get blown up? Weren't they all talking about going back, and changing it, so that their future would never come to pass?

    I like Peter and Nathan too, but when you show me two guys fly into space and explode, I'm going to take issue with the idea that they're okay after all. Although in a way, even if they do bring the Petrellis back, Sylar's confirmed return bothers me more. Because it's a plotline that hinges on everyone involved temporarily acting like an inconceivable idiot and assuming a mildly stabbed nigh-invincible supervillain is finally dead forever and there's no need to check or even look at the body for more than three seconds.

    Thomas Lawrence: Yes, "Five Years Gone" was a possible future, but it still established that Peter could survive blowing himself up. He confesses to Niki/Jessica that he and not Sylar was the bomb that blew up NYC, and yet there he is with naught more to show for it than a scar. Hence, the physics of the thing is established - Peter could explode and then go on living. I'm assuming that his powers work the same in the alternate future, of course, but why shouldn't they?