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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

    Halloween 2010

    Heroes Assemble #1Roughly from left to right: Craig as Dexter Morgan, Kim as The Scout, me as The Spy as Graham Smith, Jim as a witch, Anna as a witch, Graham as Minecraft Guy, Lisa as a dinosaur, Tim as a Murloc, Laura as Red Riding Hood, and Amanda as Sully.

    World of Minecraft

    I’m actually grinning.

    "Blue Spy Stole The Pudding!"John made these amazing pumpkin desserts in little ramekin dishes, so he’s forgiven for coming as John Walker.

    IMG_4195The wrap-around made this even scarier than I’d intended.

    Grabby TomI eventually discovered for myself how disturbing it is to see someone else wearing your face.

    Kim’s custom-made dog tags – “BONK!” and “I broke your stupid crap moron!”

    Hide The KnivesI did not spend a lot of the evening with my mask correctly aligned.

    IMG_4184Graham forgot not to sit down.


    And making this video is why Rich Cobbett is forgiven for coming as Rich Cobbett.

    In reference to this.

    IMG_4176Pumpkin carving the previous night.

    IMG_4214This was mine, a dramatic departure from last year’s.


    Lack_26: I love the Minecraft costume, the Halloween party I went to ended with listening to The Who, talking about Pink Floyd and doing Krav maga (drunkenly).

    Tweets that mention Halloween 2010, by Tom Francis -- [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Francis and Lisa Evans, Lisa Evans. Lisa Evans said: RT @Pentadact: Me as Spy, Spy as Graham, Graham as Minecraft Guy, Kim as Scout, Craig as Dexter, Tim as Murloc: ... [...]

    Jaz: But I came as John Walker.

    Jonn: Is Jim British?

    Tom Francis: Yes.

    Dan: Is Winston Churchill British?

    Bret: 50%.

    Grill: Oh, I wish I'd come now. That's so awesome. Bath seemed so far away on Saturday...

    Azurist: That third photo down from the top- I can't shake the feeling that if the face was blurred out, it would make a perfect Slenderman costume, if you've run into the mythos before.
    The dogtags are a stroke of brilliance.

    Sasha: Hey, what camera were you using? Your photos always have such nice colour to them that I can never get :(

    Tom Francis: Me neither! These are my friend Richard Cobbett's. Looks like he uses a Nikon D90.

    Jackrabbit: Zeebedee, wizard of the block.

    Aeneas: No party is complete without Dexter the cat

    Grumpy: Remember when Halloween in Britain was hardly celebrated and those people that did dress up did so as scary things, such as ghost, witches and skellingtons?


    Greg Wild: Interesting. I went to my halloween party wearing a balaclava. You'd be surprised at how much attention coming as a semi-obscure Mexican revolutionary grabs you.

    But in a word: Itchy.

    Tom Francis: Well, we did have 3 murderers, 2 monsters, 2 witches and a dinosaur. And Minecraft guy is pretty creepy for his own reasons.

    Entropy: I wouldn't call John Walker a monster