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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.

  • 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...
  • Spaceman Moses: One-eyeing this on my phone from the depths of my covers I lazily ask: what do you mean XCOM2 clarity...
  • 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

    Lumber Yard Wallpapers

    Want to feel like you’re in Valve’s new alpine vistas without actually having to play Arena mode? Then sir, I can save you seconds of effort. Click for big.


    lumber yard 2



    Edit: That big blue space looked like it needed some banner text to me, so I knocked up an alternate version for those of us whose cup of tea the new mode is not:

    Arena Mode poster

    If Valve would like my permission to use this poster in their marketing materials or to otherwise promote the game, they are most welcome.

    Netram: No widescreen (1680x1050)? :(

    Seniath: Purdy, though I think I'll stick with the Pyro shot used in the publicity stuff, for obvious reasons ;).

    Tom Francis: Widescreen is for hammerhead sharks.

    Iain: Cheers, I'll be holding onto the last one for my wallpaper rotations, just started using the concept art from the games blog.

    your snaps really demonstrate just how good looking the new theme and map looks.

    Newt Pulsifer: "Widescreen is for hammerhead sharks."
    rofl!! :D
    I don't have a widescreen display... but I agree with you based on the few times I had to use one!!

    Punjab: Nice!

    They're all so good, it's hard to choose.

    J-man: Someone just needs to modify it for CP, CTF or PL, just like someone made a payload dustbowl map.

    Iain "DDude" Dawson: If you want widescreen, it is not too much trouble to crop.

    Thanks so much. Stuff like this is great.

    Punjab: For widescreeners, how about this bit of concept art?:

    http://www.teamfortr... ...cept_2.jpg

    Tom Francis: That's so wide, a hammerhead shark would be all, "Whoa, that's a bit wide. I mean I like wide, but man."

    I like how they drew a TF2 crosshair on there to make it look in-game. You're not foolin' no-one, Dhabih.

    J3553: Pentadact is jealous of widescreen. LOL.

    DoctorDisaster: You know, I'd wondered about that. Bits of the shots really do look like they were rendered in the game... then there are bits that are nothing but wide, impressionist brush strokes over blurred photo inserts. Compare the ground next to the railcar or the planks on the bridge with the roof of a building or the leaves on a tree. The level of detail in some areas is all out of proportion.

    I suspect they constructed and rendered a fragment of the environment using existing art assets, and then expanded upon it with concept art.

    Also, whoever drew that has a rotation-sensitive wacom stylus, and I am jealous.