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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.

Heat Signature’s Launch, And First Player Legend

A Leftfield Solution To An XCOM Disaster

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

I No Longer Feel I Have To Be James Dean

Since John Peel died, it’s gone back to being a weird exprience to hear something on the radio and like it. But Five Years’ Time has been forcefully cheering up this miserable British weekend. It’s by Noah And The Whale, who I am hesitant to look up. It works perfectly this once, but I’m pretty sure you can’t get more twee than this without a special permit.

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Punjab: Good stuff.

As it happens I just featured this on my podcast: http://www.stealthmu...

RandomCheese: That's strangely catchy.

Pod: It made me want to kill.

Newt Pulsifer: Strangely catchy, indeed!

Jazmeister: I've been hearing this on the radio at my night shift job for ages, and yeah, it is weird to like something that dribbles through that worn orifice, once loved so well. Isn't it creepy though, the whole bit about the romance falling apart? Or maybe just bad medicine to anyone in a long term relationship.

Lack_26: A nice remedy to having the 5 1/2 inches of rain we've had here over the past 24 hours.

Tom Francis: Yeah, it sounds so saccharine on first listen, then when you pay attention you realise none of this actually ever happens. It's not even clear if they're together in the present, all we know is that he knows her. And after imagining that nice little scenario, he admits that even that might not last. But whatever happens, she'll be fine because she's hot.

At least, that's my reading of the last stanza.

Punjab: By the way, the girl in question is Laura Marling, who I think is now part of the band. It's her singing anyway.

aberrate: This song has the amazing quality of only having to be heard once before you know all the words. It's great. Their album's nice to listen to as well.

Jazmeister: We're totally falling into their conceptual trap, aren't we? They're reading this right now, like directors sitting in the audience.

Kyle: I really like whistling in music... haha!

Iain “DDude” Dawson: Awesome.. thanks for the heads-up.

Inferno: Ah this is such a cheery song, it's great.