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.
The stories from the Machine of Death collection are being gradually released as a free podcast, a sort of episodic audiobook. Mine just came out, read rather excellently by Christopher Joseph. Warning! Strong language from the first word.
Not totally sure why I don’t get a mention, I think that might be an oversight. The site makes it clear enough who wrote it so it’s no big deal.
One of many reasons I declined to read my own story was that my narrator is American and I am not, so it’s great to hear it in its pseudo-native tongue. The flipside, of course, is that I’m not perfect at expressing the exact tone of voice characters are using, so inevitably there are parts that aren’t as I’d imagined them. I don’t mind that at all – my narrator is intentionally not me in some important ways, so it’s kind of nice to hear him say things the way I wouldn’t.
It also makes me realise how much clearer I need to be about who’s speaking. Chris always gets it right, but without doing some kind of comedy accent for one of the characters, that’s not enough for the listener to always know. I think I’m meant to write scripts rather than prose, I don’t really care how non-dialogue information is communicated so long as it’s clear.
Lack26: I've only been listening to the podcasts so far and I have to say this is probably joint favourite with ALMOND, excellent listen, although one or two lines jarred a bit with been read out-loud, but it was literally one or two lines.
Tom Francis: Hurray! Thanks.
Tweets that mention The Podcast Of My Machine Of Death Story Is Out, by Tom Francis — Topsy.com: [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Francis and Tom Francis, Phil Savage. Phil Savage said: Oh, @Pentadact's Machine of Death story's been podcasted. It's totes good, with shades of Primer (sans the WTF headache) http://t.co/DFckwEg [...]
David Malki !: Hi Tom! I want to apologize about the omission of your name from the audio -- that was a mistake in the editing and has now been corrected with a mention at the very beginning.
To the note about being clear who's speaking -- it's been very interesting and educational for us, directing and editing these stories in audio, to see how a difference in medium can affect comprehension. For example, I've learned that sometimes things like "he said," "Bob said," etc. are often added to audio scripts for clarity, even though it might be perfectly clear in text form. We're learning as we go!
Glad to hear you like the reading!
p.s. "a job fucking lot of them" is not an Americanism, I'm sorry, Tom. :) Chris and I had to Google it.
Tom Francis: Sweet, thanks.
Yeah, I figured, but not during editing for some reason. I was going to mock myself in this post about that, but forgot. Let's just say Pete's British and he picked it up from him.
UberSprode: Thanks for reminding me about this. Totally forgot and ordered the book on the weekend, just arrived today.
Looks like a great read!
sQUEAKYfOAMpEANUT: Tom, I'd just like to reiterate that your story was my absolute favourite in the story.
sQUEAKYfOAMpEANUT: I meant to say "in the book".
Tom Francis: Cheers!
Interestingly SUICIDE almost works as a sequel to it - there's only one detail in there that clashes with the world of my story, and some of the rest is almost creepily consistent.
ihranator: Kinda offtopic here, but what the hell happened to Chris? First Person Shouter is no more, and First Person Observer's not been updated for months.
Jason L: He...starts a lot of projects. On balance, I think it beats overstaying your welcome.
Oak: He's also deleted his Twitter. What's going on?
Tom Francis: He's not dead, just not doing as much writing-about-games-on-the-internet. He is planning to get back into the habit soon. He writes US PCG's back page most months I think.
ihranator: Well any info is good info. Thanks.