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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

    Bracing Oneself

    Both GTA IV and what the common people call an ‘electronic gamer console’ are now waiting patiently with me in the office. I discuss with PC Zone’s Log about how to prepare for this revolution.

    Pentadact: Do you have it yet?
    Log: Picking it up after work
    Log: I want to see to what extent, precisely, it redefines gaming
    Log: I’ve pulled up the tent pegs from my existing definitions
    Pentadact: Now you’re hovering anxiously over the terrain of possible human experience, looking for some soft ground to plunge them into.
    Log: And my tent flaps are moisturised for a thorough stretching <- too far Pentadact: We’re going to need new dictionaries.
    Log: I’m going to buy a rule book just so I can watch as the pages shrivel with obsolescence.
    Pentadact: I’ve removed the rubber grommets from my paradigm, just in case it needs shifting.
    Log: Idiot, you’ll scratch the floor of your preconceptions
    Pentadact: Oh, those are due for demolition tonight.
    Log: I forgot. You’re absolutely right
    Pentadact: I just hope it doesn’t raise the bar. Mine’s already flush against the beading on my kitchen ceiling.
    Log: I feel like I’m in the opening sequence to Torchwood


    Andrew: Hilarious, hahahahahaha :D

    I really, really dislike review scales and these reviews of the game since the 10's cannot be true from a critical perspective. GTA4 is polished not "definition redefining" or "innovative", hahaha :) what a load of buzzwords :)

    Grill: *SOB&. I've not finished GTA 1 yet so don't spoil the plot!

    Lukasa: Speaking of all of this GTA based craziness, Samus Young over at Twenty Sided has done a good blog regarding the Official XBox Magazine's coverage of the game. Well worth a read, especially as he talks about games reviewing, and I'd like to hear your thoughts Penta.

    URL: http://www.shamusyou... ...le/?p=1629

    (NB: I'm too lazy to do any HTML with it)

    Pentadact: Ah, another heroic whistle-blower has spotted the word 'Official' in a magazine title and blown the scandal wide open! And they thought we'd just go along with the story that the latest huge-budget installment by an incredibly talented developer in a series adored by millions would merit a very high score in the magazine those people read.

    Ten doesn't mean perfect on a ten-point scale. Jon played the same code as everyone else who reviewed it that early, loved it, and as far as I've read, was the only one of them with the decency to be upfront about the stage the code was at.

    But it's great that people who've never played the game have decided Jon couldn't possibly think it was worth 10/10 if there's a rare inconsistency with the cover system. And I really respect that they pick the novel, under-criticised target of an Official magazine, and ignore IGN giving it ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.

    Andrew: Hehe, I think they're all equally guilty, although they ususally say their scales are the games "at the time of publication it couldn't be improved and/or is the best there is", which is hackneyed, making the reviews historically pathetic, since you could award a game 100% every year, or whenever a new console comes out, heh.

    Shame, it'll take a while to get to a decent level of criticism where a perfect score (on whatever scale!) truly means a critically perfect game. I could be wrong, this could be it, but it surely doesn't push the boundaries of the genre or do much that hasn't been done before (nor provide a experience with much depth, rather then breadth, nor by defacto appeal to everyone), although a lot of polish is nice I guess, making it shiny and all :)

    Reminds me of the catchy tune for 7/10...hehe. Why isn't 8 considered a truly great game? "We must give 95%'s and 100%'s else we don't consider this game worthwhile since our scale is pretty crap!" Hehe :)

    Tentaculat: Ridiculous hype aside, GTA IV is by far the most entertaining... entertainment I've experienced in a very long time. And with that statement includes favourite movies, books, TV shows etc.

    I must lead a very sheltered life, but I don't care - I have a new one in Liberty City!

    Iain "DDude" Dawson: This is odd.. I appear to have got to this a day late, and as such Ross's appearance has been replaced by new news...
    Is there any other way to watch the clip?

    Iain "DDude" Dawson: How did I manage to post a comment in the wrong blog post...? Forgiveness please...