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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 knew BeBot – a beatific tuxedo’d robot for the iPhone who sings at your touch – was awesome. I didn’t realise he was awesome.

Via, of course, Waxy.

Sanalisnail: I need to get me an iPhone

SnazzyNew: downloaded IMMEDIATELY after watching (only 1.99)
awesome indeed

Ludo: That is fantastic.

Mortal: That's cool, but isn't it basically the same thing he does with the Continuum board? It seems funny to me he wouldn't refer more to it, since that's clearly where he's been practising for this.

Andy Baio: Someone actually emailed me, begging me to stop linking to interesting games and iPhone apps because he couldn't afford to buy them all.

Jazmeister: This qualifies for my "instant boner" award even before the guy starts talking. Anything I can easily make beautiful sounds with is a winner.

skizelo: I don't know how I feel about that, probably, this generation's Messiaen will be composing for the Iphone. It somehow... makes me want to punch Steve Jobs?

Grill: I've had this app for so long and was aware of it being usable as a proper instrument, but never had the talent to demonstrate this to anyone. It's just soooo configurable!

DiscountNinja: Man, as much as I aprechiate his explaination, I really, really, really wish that he'd said less and played more :D that is an incredible sound :D

Jason L: In the same category, something I emailed to Tom some time back - the iPhone Ocarina. Recycled description: 'Yet another technology buffer overflow, one that allows one of modernity's greatest concentrations of engineering per square centimetre to do a pretty good emulation of two dollarpounds' worth of injection moulding or a lump of mud poked with bones by a bored Sumerian farmer. It's another thing that's really quite ridiculous, but nonetheless impressive to observe.'

Flowerpot Wang: I just picked this up after visiting your site (weeks of no updates and then we get three at once? You're like the bus service...) Anyway, Bebot surprisingly easy to play once you get the configuration right. I've fallen in love with the theramin mode with C at one end of the screen and C up an octave on the other end, and then changing octave with the helpful little buttons on the side.