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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.

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: The Movie Script

Trust Me With Your Ears: Volume Two

A regular feature in which I ask you to listen to a sound file with absolutely no idea what it’s going to be. Sometimes, after listening, you still won’t have any idea. Other times it’ll be obvious.

This was inspired partly by trying to clear out my downloads folder – I shoved all the unknown MP3s onto my player and listened to them on my way into work, never having any idea what kind of thing was coming next, only that I had for some reason deemed it download-worthy. It took me a long time to remember what the hell this was, and I still have no idea where I got it.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Fish #641: It sounds like a failed idea for a Disney movie. Which is actually kind of hilarious if you just think about it.

Fish #641: Sorry for the double post, but I just figured out what the song's based on. Hahahaha I used to love that movie. Aren't they supposed to be making a remake of it?

SenatorPalpatine: I got it a minute in, and got bored of it a minute later.

Still, a good idea, even if I don't like the music.

Mr. Brit: that media player is not iPod friendly. I'll reserve judgement for now.

FraktuRe: Sounds ridiculously familiar, yet I can't place it.

ZomBuster: Ah that's great. Murphy it's youuuuuuu

not saying where it's from.

ZomBuster: oh it's from

The Rev. Name Withheld: After figuring out exactly what this is, it's the most hilarious thing I've experienced all day.

Vitalis: So glad that I'm not just going crazy 'cause I recognise it for some bizarre reason.

Velvet Fist, Iron Glove: I love spoof musicals.

Also, I think this is the first time Google has failed me when searching for song lyrics to find the source.

Wolf The Widowmaker: After googling around for some of the quotes, I decided that I should see the movie. Thanks, Tom!

Simon: I won't spoilerz it on people who are still guessing, but that's got to be the best premise for a musical EVER.

Hermes: It kind of sounds like Final Fantasy. And I mean the band, not the silly japanese rpg tomfoolery. ...38;sr=1-10

Hermes: Also where is the bit in the song describing a henchman splattering across a windshield?

Tom Camfield: That was: Cool.

Rosti: Absolutely beautiful pacing. You have kept my aural trust this time, Francis...

(Also, is anyone else getting a Dr Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog vibe from this?)

Pod: Cool.

Mr Brit: If you get this via RSS then there's just a normal mp3 download link instead of a media player thingy.

Pod: ahahahah second time through I finally figure out which movie it is from!

Tom Francis: There's a download link in the normal post, too, so I assumed he just meant he was downloading it for later.

Niko Kruzel: What's the embedded player used?

Nathangrubb: Who designed this website? This is way too huge to even be usable, it took me a damned while to even find the play button

Jason L: Yeah? It's 2cm by 7mm here, and the play button is a triangle just like Mum used to cook. Perhaps you could include some details - they'd fit nicely into the space where insults currently reside.