All posts


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

I Know The Commander Because He’s My Pal

Over at the PCG blog again, a Mr Half Loaf 2 sent this in, and I spent the remaining ten minutes of my lunch insensible with hysterics. And it’s four minutes long.

This whole clip just incapacitates me every time. The timing is perfect, Bob Page and Harley Filben both take on magnificently surreal new roles. Walton Simons is still kind of a dick. It even ends beautifully.

There’s a Malkavian mod for Deus Ex that messes with the dialogue similarly, but it errs on the side of purely surreal which makes it slightly less funny to me. Still, it looks like it turns Deus Ex into one of the most hilariously bizarre adventure games ever. Manderly is a pigeon, and the drinks machine is Agent Orange.

The ominous silence for a while here was because I’m tinkering with a dark, lengthy and ancient post from my drafts folder that I’ll hopefully put up this week.

Simon: funny stuff.
that's terror

Tom Camfield: that's terror

Tom Francis: *prods*

Freakinswiit: I laughed at that post. Don't believe me? It's all in the numbers.
Number one: That's funny.
Number two: That's funny.

Dave: Desperate.

Jay: Never played Deus Ex, so it's only amusing for 2 minutes

radomaj: As Jay, I've never played the game, but I think it's hilarious to the very end.

Bob Arctor: that's terror

Anonymous: "That's ter-" ZAP!

Calaros: "... it's on its way back to the people"



Tom Francis: U- UNATCO?

Tom Camfield: Stick with the prod. Prod with the prod.

J-man: My faves:
"I may as well start using coke."

"Oh yes! Oh yes!"
"I hope you're not-"
"Oh yes!"

"Within a week."
"No, within six months."

"Why contain it?..... It's cool."

"Desperate. You're turn."

"I hope you're not- Get the hell out of here Denton!

This has inspired me to replay it with Malkavian mod.

Slamhound: Man, I don't even like Deus Ex, but this has me reaching for my install disk.

Tom Francis: The long pause before "S'cool" is just unbearably funny. Bob Page for president.

J3553: Old Men ruling the world...

x25killa: "I like to pick my nose"
"About time you ****"
"Don't **** me"

Cmdt_Carpenter: Man, this makes me wish I had played Deus Ex.

I'm glad I can still enjoy it.

"Old men...Are the future."

"What are we waiting for? I got a pistol"

"In case there's trouble: We're the police!"

"I think I'll take your weapons."

I love the informant.

"Don't shoot. You're too late. I surrender. Don't believe? It's all in the numbers."

"Do you think you know better than FEMA what to do with the Ambrosia shipment?"
"It's already on its way to the people."

CloakRaider: Old men.

Yeti: Well this is just PAINFUL. "Video removed by user". I can't tell if this is some sort of meta-griefing, or just aweful coincidence, but I'm left reading comments on an apparently HILARIOUS video that I can't actually watch. Any, uh, mirrors or anything?

Anonamoushandle: ...xi7JRJrod4

Jim: I can no longer watch the opening cinematic of the game without wondering when Page will bring up the electronic old men.