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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 Seven

A regular feature in which I attempt to share the mystifying, alarming process of digging through my unhelpfully named MP3s by uploading one of the files I found that way and not telling you what it is.

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.

In this case, while you can tell pretty quickly what it is, I still have no idea where I got it, who it’s by, or why I would have such a thing. I think I’ll try moving the logo to beneath the text to impair eye-drift to potential spoilers in the comments.


Half Loaf 2: I wouldn't have a clue even though it sounds reminiscent of Jethro Tull

Rafmunkur: I'm ashamed to admit that I recognise the tune as "fernando" by Abba. Gods damn you, 1970s!

Also, Cthulhu rules.

nine: I googled "fernando cover cthulu" and found the source: http://www.khaoswork... ...pipes.html

Nice find! I recognised the tune before the lyrics started, and it took a few lines before I realised something had REALLY changed with the song.

Quasar: Shamefully, it took me 'til the chorus to recognise the tune.

Even so, this is brilliant. I'll definitely be downloading the mp3.

Smurfy: I recognised it just as soon as my eyes drifted onto Rafmunkur's comment, ruining the whole point of it for me. Thanks.

Zig13: Well it is clearly to the tune of Abba - Fernando, but the vast majority of the words have been changed. I presume their referring to a sci-fi/fantasy TV programme, film or book but it is one I am not aware of...

EGTF: Trust me with your mouse -

Came up whilst searching for the source of this song before I looked at the comments and saw @Nine had tracked it down already. Just a shame that it's not Christmas.

Roadrunner: And here I was pronouncing it in my head "Choo-loo."

Bret: Ah, the tender melodies of the all consuming terror that is Cthulhu.

Not quite as good as the time he met Bertie Wooster, but still solid.

Ronin08: @Zig13, it's referring mainly to early 20th century horror writer H.P Lovecraft's most famous Eldritch horror, "Cthulhu," though I think I caught references to Dunwich Horror and other works of his in there.

Ludo: So THAT'S how you pronounce Cthulhu!

Discount Ninja: Fantastic! As an avid Lovecraftian and Mythos lover extrodinaire this was a delightful treat!

Oh yes, plenty of Mythos references - I think I caught some for Shadow Over Innsmouth and there were onew or two for Dagon as well =D

Ronin08: @Ludo and Roadrunner, I don't think there's any one way to pronounce "Cthulhu," and I seem to recall reading that the actual pronunciation isn't physically possible by humans. Or something. Eldritch Horrors, you know, always with the confusing names.

Jason L: Not to mention Tom Smith's O Yog-Sothoth.

Zeno Cosini: Good old Cthulu. I've been watching a lot of children's TV show In the Night Garden with our one-year old son recently, and I reckon that there's something slightly Lovecraftian about the Hahoos. Check it out. Are those really smiles, or just the rictus gurnings of mindless slaves of Shub-Niggurath? ...den460.jpg

Caleb: Eh, nothing beats Shoggoth on the Roof.
(A Cthulu-based parody of Fiddler on the Roof, of course).

Especially good is the song "Tentacles!"

Listen to it here: ...aJckcCZtBQ

Bret: It's also cursed. Cursedness is always a plus.

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