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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.

  • Grant: Thanks to the start of this video, I’ve just now noticed that during the static flickers while staring...
  • Ben: Great analysis. During the lab sequence in the Prey intro, you were looking around for tells that Morgan is in a...
  • 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...
  • 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

    Field Studies 4: Vu To A Thorough Game Demonstration

    has now passed the 2 million creatures mark – which must mean more than a million that aren’t snowmen, elephants, landsharks or lolwut pears – and E3 brought with it a torrent of new footage.

    They’ve finally put together a trailer that explains the game, lightly blows the mind and is friendly to people who don’t yet know why they should care.

    Will Wright also gave a typically smart, funny talk about what people have done with the Creature Creator so far, measuring their creativity in God Units with sacrilicious results.

    Then Gamasutra interviewed Civ IV designer Soren Johnson, on his role trying to ensure Spore will satisfy the hardcore gamers. At length. It’s like one of my interviews before I have to cut 90% of it.

    But most excitingly to those of us who already know everything it’s possible to know about the game, is a bunch of stuff we didn’t know about the game. Producer Thomas Vu falteringly reveals that Spore has eighteen different editors, including one for music.

    The game footage is fantastic too. On his way to befriend a village of dinosaurs, he passes a tribe of big ugly black critters being terrorised by a single enormous Cthulhu in the background. Then the dinosaurs give him a ten! When Spore’s art style took a turn for the cutesy (a shift which Soren talks about in the Gamasutra interview), I don’t think my fears took into account the possibility that I might actually find it cute.

    I’m now counting the days till I can play this properly, which happily, even the Grumblegut (above) could do on the fingers of one foot.


    Lack_26: Wow, thanks for the links. Also, it is interesting that since God built us in his image (well, the Bible says he did anyway) we have now managed to surpass him (but there are quite a few of us using the spore creator and 1 (or more) God(s).)

    Still, Mega-hyped for spore.

    Jason L: Heh, he was genuinely suprised during that presentation which I suppose speaks volumes. 'Oh it's a tribe of...uh...dinosaurs', 'and I'm socialising with, um, these dinosaur guys'... Don'tsayYoshidon'tsayYoshi, I'll get you for this Bob...

    sQUAKYfOAMpEANUT: I laughed when he referred to the chemistry sets being "nerfed".

    J-man: So... many... lol wuts....

    Crane: "Aha! Over in the background, we see a baby Elder God, terrorising the local fauna, and in this village here we have a tribe of... Uh... Non-copyright-infringing Miyamotosaurs...?"

    LaZodiac: And to be honest Crane, isn't that what Spore is all about? Robots conversing with walking lawsuits while spiked dinosaurs get destroyed be an Elder God. I assume that this will be so commenplace that no one will bat an eyelash when two Godzilla monsters start fighting.