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.
I don’t often write a whole post just to link a site – since Twitter, anyway – but Chris Livingston’s new venture deserves special treatment. The First-Person Observer is an online paper covering the issues that matter to today’s gruff, laconic videogame protagonists. It’s:
Hostages Rescued by Courageous Racist
And it’s some of the funniest games writing I’ve read all year. It’s pretty easy to come up with the idea of an Onion for gaming, but it’s harder than you’d think to flesh it out, keep it varied, and avoid driving the joke into the ground. Hardcasual exists, but it’s pretty hit-and-miss and focuses more on gaming news rather than news from within games.
The stories above are just my favourites: impressively there’s masses more to read already. I don’t know how regularly he plans on updating it, but I don’t think it needs to be frequent to work. It just needs to stay this good.
n00bie51: This is great!
I was hoping the Health Pack Reform would touch on the issue of regenerating health and how it's pervading everywhere, but I see what he did thar.
Tweets that mention The First-Person Observer, by Tom Francis -- Topsy.com: [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Francis. Tom Francis said: I wrote a bit more about - and this time actually read - The First-Person Observer: http://bit.ly/bw9Xyj [...]
Jaz: He's really got something there. I wonder if he takes submissions? It's the sort of site that fills your head with ideas for articles. You could do an interview with the Shinra officer guarding the train station at the start of FFVII. "He'd run at me, stab me with his sword, then run back to where he started. He did it over and over again. It was horrible. I shot him four times and it just made him angrier."
It was nice to see twitter explode when he announced it.
Lack_26: I'm loving it so far but, it'll be interesting to see if he can continue to update it, I reckon Chris should put in a 'letters' page or something, so people can write articles or letters and submit them to him. After all, it takes more than one person to write a paper.
Oh yeah, and remember to check out the comments under the articles, it's worth it.
Mr. Brit: As much as I like Chris Livingston's writing, I can't help but feel like this will only last a month or two at the most. What there is though, is as always, brilliant.
Bret: Wouldn't be surprised, but he does seem enthusiastic. So, I suppose we should enjoy it while it lasts, right.
Chris: Wow, thanks for the hot link, Tom!
I've been asked a number of times already about taking submissions, and am sort of mulling it over at the moment. Everyone seems to think it would save me a lot of time to have multiple contributors, but I can't imagine anything more time-consuming than reading, editing, and rewriting other people's stories. Judging from some of the great comments, though, it'd probably be in the site's best interest to have people contribute. People are being really creative and funny, and have a lot of great ideas. It's probably ultimately going to depend on how long I can come up with ideas on my own.
Tom Francis: I've always said editing doesn't take longer, it just seems longer. Also it takes longer. It'd be cool to have a 'Featured comments' bit, so that immediately beneath the article you can have all the cool in-character / in-world comments people write, then let normal discussion all go on below that. That way people could write related pieces in there, and they'd have good exposure and endorsement from you if you liked them. But if you got more than you could read, they'd still be up there, just less prominently.
DoctorDisaster: @Chris: having a short list of reliable writers might be better than open submissions. Also once you've got a few good writers you can delegate the submission-editing duties to one of them.