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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


    I’d maximised my bonuses and minimised my damage, and by my newly invented Man Metric, I’d won. “Oh!” Susan groaned. I felt empty.


    My tale of betrayal, lust, exploitation and character portrayal in the fifth dimension is up, and it’s about a freeware Flash game.

    What I don’t mention in my discussion of its lofty artistic accomplishments is that Masq is incredibly accessible, fun and addictive. Everyone I told about it wanted to play it, and everyone who played it loved it – to the extent that there’s an “I’m addicted to Masq” group on Facebook and I didn’t create it. If you’re convinced but haven’t read the piece yet, play the game first and read my waffle later.

    Bonus points if you can solve the murder on your first time through, and special bonus points if you can get yourself arrested for it.

    roBurky: I remember playing this ages ago. I ended up really disliking it because of its limitations. While there are a lot of possible endings, some of the plot is railroaded. I had no idea what was going on when that guy from work kept driving me to the bad guy's house halfway through, because my first few tries I wasn't reacting the way the game was expecting me to and it lost all sense of logical continuity in order to carry on with its essential scenes.

    The_B: I can't seem to play this since upgrading my computer. I keep getting the list error thing, where the web site says the solution is to have more memory. I have 2GB, and more than 100GB HDD space, so it's not that... :(

    The_B: Hurrah. It's working again, although I literally didn't change anything. Perhaps a restart of the computer was all that was required, but other than that I have no idea why.

    Iain: I've been playing it all night, and it's really good. On my last play through I managed to sleep with both Nikki and Susan. \o/

    I haven't solved the murder of Carlos yet, though.

    Jason L: Darn, another of my Big Cool Game Ideas implemented before I can never learn to create computer stuff - although in my algorithmic text adventure the recurring characters were going to be in a variety of stories, and as iterations accumulated the constancy of the characters would begin serving clues.

    So on the other hand, yay, a game I wanted to see made got made. Here's hoping it spawns a genre.

    Iain: (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)

    I've been playing this all week now, and I've managed to find out who killed Carlos, I've been shot by Williams, shot by Nikki, thrown in jail, had Susan get abducted, had Susan leave me, had Peter get killed by Williams and been framed for the murder, and lots, lots more.

    The level of intricacy in the multi-branching is amazing - and there are still at least five endings shown in the "Scenes you may have missed" that I've not found how to get to yet: Nikki tied up in the MASQ costume, Susan punching Williams in the face, ending up with Nikki and Andrew on the beach and getting confronted by the police when Williams tries to have Capricho killed at the show...

    Any ideas on how to get the beach ending? I really struggling with that one.