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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

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.

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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.