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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

    Plan B Chapter One Is Complete

    LaZodiac asked if I’d update here when a new entry of my game diary for Galactic Civilizations 2 goes up. They’re going up every weekday these days, so that might flood James somewhat, but the Days do group loosely into chapters. I’ve just reached the end of the first of those, so now’s a good time to start if you haven’t already. If you’ve already read it all in the book, a) you are attractive, and b) it now has a Digg button, perhaps you’d care to swing by and click it?

    On a similarly autoprostitutional note, I have a reminder here for the four people who intended to vote for me in the Games Media Awards and forgot to actually do so. It just says, “Do it do it do it do it!” I think it’s written in blood. At this stage you should vote for me even if you actively dislike my writing, because all the other candidates were killed in a freak sporkstorm and the only other nominees are now Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot.

    The reason I bring this up now, apart from that surprisingly under-reported tragedy, is that I just realised today that I forgot to vote for myself.

    Chijts: Hi, I stopped being lazy and voted for you because of this line:

    "..And I could always take Solidarity back - it was deep in my territory, easy to culture-hug.

    On the other hand, fuck you in your stupid beardy face you crinkle-browed alien twat."

    Writing like this just has to be rewarded.

    J-Man: Goddammit! There's no new issue of PCG UK here in the US (I'm on vacation), only the crap US version.

    LaZodiac: Er...I favorited the PC Gamer page to check the update every day to avoid being lazy, but thanks anyway good sir. I've already voted, and defintly for you and not because I was forced into it by loving hugs of death.

    That reminds me. I showed both your war diaries to a friend. He said that they were teh single greatest things I've ever found for him, and I've found him alot of things he enjoys the hell out of.

    spuzman00: I want back and read the diary you made before the expansion.

    You now have my vote.

    Lack_26: I finally got around to voting to you, sorry, I forgot last time.

    Chris Evans: I forgot when you first mentioned the awards and read Plan B in the mag :D

    Chris Evans: I don't know what I was on about there! I voted for you when you first mentioned it and read Plan B in PC Gamer :D

    Cian: It is a source of great pain to me that this issue of PCG came out immediately after I moved to Stockholm. I even went to the trouble of bringing the Wolfenstein issue with me. This dripfeed of story is killing me.

    Alex Holland: I'm currently playing Star Control II again (or Ur-Quan Masters as it's called these days), and can't help but be struck the by similarity between the Drengin and the Korath in Gal Civ and the Ur-Quan and the, erm, Kor-Ah in Star Con II. In both cases the main civilisation went for enslavement of all other life forms, while the Kor-A(t)h part then split off because they wanted to destroy all other life forms instead. It must be a tribute.

    Anyway, I'm grealy enjoying seeing how the machinations of peace are, in a sense, more evil and less honest than war. I declare you honourarily Swiss.

    audiman: Would Mount&Blade make good diary material?

    Jason L: Already has - Violent Trevor

    audiman: Jason L: Already has - Violent Trevor

    That isn't what I mean, I meant a full blown campaign, allying witha faction, taking towns and then rebelling, claiming the land for yourself.