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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...
  • 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



    Fluxblog’s just totally saved my ass for slacking on Music Week by posting the exact same Alphabeat song I was going to write about tomorrow. His write-up is also better than I was planning to make mine. I was just going to phone it in.

    James commenter Dave McLeod – who’s probably done other stuff in his life, but that’s the highest possible accolade here – was sat next to me in the office the other week when Alphabeat came up on a Muxtape I was listening to.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever met another male Alphabeat fan.”
    “At least not a straight one, I guess?”

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    Since I realised they were saying “Weltpolizei” and not “The bullets fly” (the next line is “Twenty-four seven”), all I can picture when I listen to it is an episode of Thunderbirds where they all have moustaches and perpetuate German stereotypes.

    In other news, I’m bored of Music Week now and I’ve got lots of other stuff I want to talk about, so James will return to normal programming shortly.


    Graham: The entire time Dave was there, and the week after, and the three weeks before, I was rocking out to Alphabeat. So there's been at least three of us in the same room.

    I don't like Fantastic 6 as much as Fascination or What Is Happening?, though.

    Tom Francis: Yeah, but Fluxblog's already featured both. In fact, everything up to and including Go-Go is fantastic, then I skip the rest.

    Dave McLeod: I'm casting my vote for Boyfriend. Also, just realised Fantastic 6 is that-song-I-remembered-a-few-lyrics-from-the-gig. Mystery solved.

    Although this is one of their alpha-better covers, if you haven't heard it yet. ...088843d14/

    J-man: Anyway, I was going through some of my music files, cleaning my PC up, and I found some great songs by Boom Boom Satellites, mainly in soundtracks of these really cool anime films I've been into recently.

    Graham: Hey, I just had an idea.

    Fakey McFakeguy: If I write like this, does it look like a new person is commenting below me?

    Graham: It does. Just so you know, all my future comments here will be followed by a crowd of agreeable sycophants.

    Dr. McRealperson: Coincidentally, that Graham fellow sure is swell! I wish he would take me to a dance, and then dance with me.

    James T. McExistsreally: I too think Graham is great, and am a totally real person who isn't made up. You can tell because I have a middle initial.

    Graham: Banned?

    Tom Francis: Yeah, I noticed this pretty early on when I tried using the same formatting to reply to people. I thought about changing it, then remembered I didn't care.