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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.

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: The Movie Script

Anne Diamond Reviews Games

Finds They Pass Through Her Corporeal Form Too Easily


What the hell is going on with that photo? Did somebody hit her with a copy of Dead Rising so hard that it stuck five inches into the flesh of her shoulder? Is some previously unnoticed fold of unctuous fat obscuring the tops of the rest of those game boxes? (Via Craig)

WeakLemonDrink: "allowing children to play on computers unsupervised is as dangerous as letting them play outside on their own."

Now... that's just a lie, isn't it?

The_B: No no, there's a completely rational explanation for this.

"I stopped playing when I was set on fire and something splattered blood all over my visor."

"When I played, I was stabbed to death with pitchforks among fountains of my own blood."

Basically, she doesn't actually exsist. Like Santa. Or something.

Seniath: Regarding RE4 - "Chemical attack", "earth roamed by zombies". *sigh*, why even bother 'reviewing' it if you're not even going to pay attention to what is actually going on.

Andrew: Hahaha, what a bad photoshop...she must have held up the games only once, then did the pose for the face or something, hilarious!

And the actual piece? yeah, typical Daily Mail by my reckoning - not that it's a good thing.

james: you can defenitely tell if she has never touched,seen or heard of video games in her past,cod 4 and assassins creed are not tht violent

Jason L: Oy, again with the poisoned chalice. Hundreds of thousands of people die in a nuclear attack. The player, among other things, beats people callously for information and st other people dramatically through the throat. 'Not tht violent'. Plenty of points to be made here, as ever; that ain't one of 'em.

Ayan: this photo is freaking me out. allthemoreso because i don't really understand where it has come from, i have no idea who she is, and it makes me think of Dolores Umbridge. besides the instinctive- huh? why?

Zeno Cosini: It's that look of matriarchal gravitas that pisses me off. None of those games are half as gory as ADJUSTABLE GASTRIC BANDING SURGERY though, eh Anne?

Ludo: The best part of this article lies in the photo just beneath this one that bears the caption "Harmful: A Government-commissioned report says that video games can desensitise children to violence" with a big picture of two children playing Mario Kart.

Jason L: Seems right to me. Presumably actually hurting people would desensitise you the fastest of anything, and I would guess that no game in history has caused as much actual, child-on-child violence as Mario Kart. FUCKING BLUE SHELLS.

The_B: Ah yes, the blue shells have caused more than one SNES/N64/DS to be thrown around violently when I was in the vacinity as a child.

Maybe that's what happened to Anne here with her children playing Dead Rising and getting killed right before a save point...

Iain "DDude" Dawson: The thing that I hate so much about all this, (apart from all the obvious ones that have already been said,) is that there is no emphasis put anywhere on the reasons for the violence, apart from the obvious "people who like games liek blood". I do not like blood, but in Resi 4 (best.. game.. ever), it is necessary because it is a survival-horror game. I need to fear that I will be "stabbed to death with pitchforks", because if I dont I will have no fear of said pitchforks. I would become dramatically disengaged from the experience.

I know this is not strictly relevant as just because there is a good meaning for blood, it still leaves the game unsitable for young children. Nonetheless, that is my thought.

Seniath: The Daily Mail aren't they only ones who can do awesome photoshops (Courtesy of dartt):
http://www.darttweb.... ...iamond.png