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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.

  • html color: This is the information I am looking for. This article is clear and easy to understand. I’m...
  • 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...
  • 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

    Christmas 2010

    Tree Shadow

    Some pictures from mine. It’s snowy here in England, and the Dorset hills are a nice place to stomp around in it.

    Me And Anna

    Snow Fields


    Snow Eat

    Sun Sparkle

    Dog Run


    Deer Clone

    Deer Pods

    Frost Fingers

    I got a Kindle! If you mail me stuffs – anything like a .txt .doc or .pdf – it’ll pop up on my cyberhyperbook! This is the address:

    The_B: First to send Tom ASCII Goatse earns a Christmas Miracle. And by that I probably mean blocked from Tom's friends list. But still!

    Nonomu198: The_B, you read my mind.

    Is that a picture of a deer and a corpse over there?

    Jason L: Those terrier deer look so very wrong to a person who's dealt with whitetails all their life, as I'm sure is true in reverse.

    dual_barrel: England feels like a fairy tale place to me, standard RPG world.

    Anyways, Merry Christmas.

    Lack_26: I had a rather nice walk in the snowy park, unfortunately the snow means I can't make it across to Carlisle tomorrow. I've made do with wine, quite a lot of wine.

    Merry Christmas.

    Tom Francis: That's probably just because a lot of standard RPGs were written here.

    Update on the randomly sending me stuff plan! Turns out it'll only get through if it's from an approved address. I've approved gmail, so any gmail account should get through.

    always_black: Heh, don't you mean the books that the standard RPGs were based on were written here? Gygax followed Tolkien, Tolkien walked the hills and imagined monsters.

    phuzz: hmm, braver man than me authorising randoms sending stuff to your kindle
    (pictures in .doc files are converted, so it doesn't even need to be ascii goatse).
    Ridiculous amounts of snow at my folks house here in the cotswolds, and meter long icicles hanging off the front of the house that started falling off yesterday...

    Pod: I see a dead body in the fourth picture down of the dog?

    Jason L: Not dead, only resting.

    Lack 26: Went out today, the Tyne has frozen over. You could walk from one side to the other, I didn't fancy risking it but there were some dogs running around on the river.

    Dan: Bloody hell. Where was the Tyne frozen over? Get upstream from Newcastle?

    Ronin08: Tom, what camera/lens were you shooting on? I'm officially a DSLR fanatic now, and I'm always curious to see what people use...

    Tom Francis: Flickr tells me it's a Panasonic DMC-FZ38. Built-in lens. It's my mum's, I use a little Ixus 65 compact but left it at home. Hers has a 10x optical zoom which was handy for the deer ones.

    Lack 26: @Dan,

    Yeah, it was up Corbridge way.

    http://img822.images... ...0047q.jpg/

    I've uploaded a few into an album so you can see. The smoke stack in the distance is the Hexham paper-plant.

    Ronin08: Wow, lot of power for a little point-and-shoot. The last photo's especially good, and that shot of the deer running is great. =D

    So were those photos you took of the hot-air balloon in an earlier post somewhere in the archives also on that Isux 65?