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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.

  • RoboLeg: this game would be PERFECT for mobile, and I’d happily pay 10 bucks or so for it.
  • Jepp: 1) Please keep critiquing games by building new ones :) 2) The non-hand holding, simple systems integrating...
  • Jack: Are you going to release Morphblade for iOS or the Nintendo Switch? I would really like to play this on my...
  • Spaceman Moses: One-eyeing this on my phone from the depths of my covers I lazily ask: what do you mean XCOM2 clarity...
  • kripto: For what it’s worth, I also like Morphblade more than Imbroglio. Although, to be fair, I’ve also...
  • 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

    Reasons To Look Forward To Just Cause 2, No. 13

    just cause 20


    Joey: Most Excellent!

    EGTF: *Looks at diary*
    *Writes out a week for infinite parachuting and jet jacking*
    *Sits back and feels happy*

    Davie: My goodness yes. That and tethering chasing jeeps to bridge pylons, then sticking C4 to them so they fly off the bridge and explode. This game shall be epic.

    Tom Francis: Reason number 12, in case anyone missed it: http://www.gametrail...

    Jazmeister: Imagine playing a multiplayer game where you control that plane, and then this guy is suddenly crawling around on there.

    skizelo: Jaz... That was Battlefield 1942 wasn't it?

    Aftershock: Planewalking in 1942 was hilarious. Got about 20 people on a fighter once.

    Also, cannot wait for this. Do we have a release date yet?

    Lack_26: What I'm planning on doing is attaching a vehicle to the plane, before getting in the vehicle.

    Jazmeister: Never played any of the battlefield games. Sounds fun! Anyway, I'm talking about dangerous tinymans, not silly tinymans.

    Tom Francis: Hah. I wanna know what happens if, just as that passenger jet is taking off, you rope its wing to the ground.

    You could stand on fighter jets in BF2, too, but it was a little touch or go. I once used my friend Steve as a mobile sniping platform:

    All they're saying about the release is 2010.

    Jason L: A second excuse in the last week to mention Rocket Jockey! Aside from being excellent fun, it's another of those happy few games about roping things together in 3D. Roping two opponents together counts as an instakill.

    Atlantic: This is the only game I have ever seen described as having "infinite parachute." I think that is wonderful in so many ways.

    Lack_26: Not enough games have 'infinite parachute', GTA IV would have been a much better game for it.

    Smurfy: bonner

    Ludo: I love that trailer. The bit where he tethers a dude to the jet as it takes of makes me burst out laughing every time.

    Rei Onryou: I'm glad that the devs have gone "What can we do to make this game as batshit crazy fun as possible?" and then gone further.

    EGTF: How long can the grappling stuff to other stuff go? Is it just one to one, or can you link several enemies together then attach the final one to a car which you drive off in?

    Tom Francis: Just one link active at a time.

    Ronnoc: Are you sure? I think I've seen a video of multiple guys dragging behind a car...

    Jossoy: There's a.. man out there

    Tom Francis: Yep, I've played it. If that video exists, it's changed since then.

    The Defenestrator: I think everyone pronounces the name of this game wrong. It's really a description of the game's style. Why did you tether that guy to a gas canister and then shoot it so it pulls him off a building? Just 'Cause.

    Tom Francis: Heh, made that joke at the time: http://www.pentadact... ...just-cause

    spuzman: You mean people don't pronounce it that way already? I certainly do.

    Haven't looked too much at the game myself, so I will ask-- can you also fly that plane if you so desire?

    Jackrabbit: You make a compelling argument sir.

    Roadrunner: It passes the main thing I care about, graphics.

    Slamhound: Oh my goodness, this is awesome.

    Pod: This image would be even better if the guy had whipped a rope under the "chin" of the plan and was using that to steer it, like some kind of massive fell beast.

    SAeN: Because of this picture and many of your grappling hook themed enthusiasm, I will definately be buying this game!!

    NotSoLegit: Magnificent