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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.

  • Grant: Thanks to the start of this video, I’ve just now noticed that during the static flickers while staring...
  • Ben: Great analysis. During the lab sequence in the Prey intro, you were looking around for tells that Morgan is in a...
  • 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...
  • 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

    Why Graham, Rich And Jaz Should Get Forged Alliance

    I was about to send an e-mail to Graham, Rich and Jaz explaining why they should get Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance and play against the AI with me sometime, then I started digging out screenshots for supporting evidence, then I realised I’d put way too much effort into this and that the shots were kinda cool.

    SupCom 2 is now truly brilliant, but it’s still a different game. Here’s what’s still cool about the last one.

    Forged Alliance - CarrierThis is what it looks like when you launch fighter/bombers from an aircraft carrier.

    Forged Alliance - SaucerThis is what it looks like when you launch torpedo bombers from an aircraft-carrying flying saucer.

    Forged Alliance - MonkeylordsThis is what a lot of Monkeylords look like.

    Forged Alliance - WaterlordsIn SupCom 1, heavy shit just walks on the sea bed.

    Forged Alliance - StormAnd Monkeylords don’t really care about transport fire.

    Forged Alliance - Laser FaceFace lasers were longer range.

    Forged Alliance - AssistYou sure could set a lot of shit to assist a thing.

    Forged Alliance - BomberThe fourth race has a bomber the size of a stadium. Those explosions? Those were battleships. That was one bomb.

    Forged Alliance - CitiesThe fourth race has kind of awesome cities.

    Forged Alliance - LoyalistsTech 3 units are utterly badass. Here’s me discovering that Tech 3 Cybran assault bots can turn tactical missiles around mid-air.

    Forged Alliance - MoonYou can play on custom maps, such as the fucking moon.

    Forged Alliance - Seton'sAnd Seton’s Clutch was actually big.

    It’s £10 on Impulse.


    Jaz: I actually had it at one point. I wonder if it's sitting in a packing crate somewhere. It may just be easier to do Impulse, though. HMMM.

    Davie: The first game never did much for me. I haven't played FA though, and I have to say, those screenshots are damn snazzy. I do miss not being able to play on a 1000-square-mile map.

    Octaeder: Well, I came close to buying this before remembering to check various download services to find that I already owned it. Hooray for drunken sale purchases!

    Steve: Is there any real reason why Sup Com 2 has smaller maps? Of all the criticisms that some people voiced about the design decisions of the original game, I didn't think that "The maps were too big" was one of them.

    Tom Francis: I hate to be this guy, but in this case it legitimately was The Consoles. You can do lots to make a game look nice on a 360, but memory is its hardest limit. The console version of SupCom 1 was dragged through the coals by most, including me, for chugging appallingly.

    Mickiscoole: Seton's Clutch was amazing. So very huge

    Skusey: I forget how much smaller SupCom2 is. Unless somebody reminds me of SupCom1, I always think that 2 is massive. Although the new Seton's Clutch is a bit shit.

    Joe: I have Forged Alliance! Was an amazing expansion, the incorporation of the Sorian AI made it hard as nails - I, like you, found the original Sup Com AI to be somewhat lacking, but Forged Alliance really taxed me.

    Also, echoing what others have said, Seton's Clutch is astonishing, probably one of my favourite RTS maps of all time actually.