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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.

Heat Signature’s Launch, And First Player Legend

A Leftfield Solution To An XCOM Disaster

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

New TF2 Maps And Medic Change In Two Months

I’ve been lobbying Robin Walker with increasingly bizarre suggestions for sprucing up the Medic, and he’s had some annoyingly good reasons why they wouldn’t work. Can’t wait to see what will.

Jack: Two months Valve time is never real time.

http://developer.val... ...Valve_Time

Jason L: Random thought: Do Medics actually need a nerf instead of a buff? Are they 'underplayed' because a team only needs a small number?

Alek: Jason is totally right, in my opinion. Medic is "underplayed", but only in the sense that a team doesn't need 5 of them. You need one or two good ones who can spread themselves out well and heal the right people, instead of being a servant to one or two people. If EVERYONE is playing this guy, then your team isn't good. You need to have a mix. And think about this too- How many people NEED to be healed? Spies, snipers, engineers, and other medics don't need your services. You can't keep up with scouts, really either. So your only options are demo man, heavy, and the pyro. And again- a good team has maybe one or two of each of these. So who does a medic need to prioritize? Maybe 3 people. Other classes can just run to the nearest dispenser or resupply area. Dieing is an unavoidable thing anyway- extending your life in this game is only important for really those few classes I mentioned, unless you are doing a full-scale, planned assault; everyone should be there.

Adding 36 or so achievements seems absolutely ridiculous to me at this point in time- unless you can give EVERY class 36 achievements, then it seems like you're just begging people to play a class that isn't always the majority of a team. It's a specialized class, like the oh so great spy- you need to learn it. Like was mentioned before (by Pentadact himself, I believe) the medic needs to be more like the Battlefield 2 one- he has to have a cool gun, and should be able to kick some arse while he doesn't have a job to do. Getting SLAUGHTERED because you're nigh completely defenseless is not fun.

Excuse me if I'm being long winded. It's just my take on the whole matter, and I thought it out. :\