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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.

Hitman header tunnel

Rewarding Creative Play Styles In Hitman

Far Cry Primal Thumbnail

Postcards From Far Cry Primal

Snowball jack header

Solving XCOM’s Snowball Problem

Kill Zone and Bladestorm

Kill Zone And Bladestorm

BAFTA Featured

An Idea For More Flexible Indie Game Awards

Sectors Header

Teaching Heat Signature’s Ship Generator To Think In Sectors

DXHR Open area

What Works And Why: Multiple Routes In Deus Ex

Heat Signature Natural Numbers

Natural Numbers In Game Design

Pharma Header

Naming Drugs Honestly In Big Pharma

Writing vs Programming

Make A Game Tutorial Thumbnail Featured IMage

Let Me Show You How To Make A Game

New Heat Signature Video: Galaxies, Suction And Wrench-Throwing

Her Story banner

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

Invisible Header

What Works And Why: Invisible Inc

Super Game Jam Header

Our Super Game Jam Episode Is Out

Shadow of Mordor Header 2

What Works And Why: Sauron’s Army

Heat Signature Talk

Showing Heat Signature At Fantastic Arcade And EGX


What I’m Working On And What I’ve Done

Murder, She Wrote

The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

Heat Signature Wide 2

Heat Signature Needs An Artist And A Composer

Heat Signature Floorplans Header

Improving Heat Signature’s Randomly Generated Ships, Inside And Out

Gunpoint Steam Workshop

Gunpoint Patch: New Engine, Steam Workshop, And More

Distance Header

Distance: A Visual Short Story For The Space Cowboy Game Jam

The Magic Circle

Raising An Army Of Flying Dogs In The Magic Circle

Floating Point Blog Launch

Floating Point Is Out! And Free! On Steam! Watch A Trailer!

Floating Sine

Drawing With Gravity In Floating Point


What’s Your Fault?

Hoplite banner

The Randomised Tactical Elegance Of Hoplite

Gone Point

Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

Heat Signature Thumbnail

Heat Signature: A Game About Sneaking Aboard Randomly Generated Spaceships

GRappling Hook Thumbnail

The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

Alien Swarm Heroics

A Story Of Heroism In Alien Swarm

FTL Story

One Desperate Battle In FTL

Spelunky Banner

To Hell And Back In Spelunky

Game vs story graph

Games Vs Story 2

Gunpoint Breakdown

Gunpoint Development Breakdown

Max Payne 3

Five Things I Learned About Game Criticism In Nine Years At PC Gamer

This is how you die

My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection


Not Being An Asshole In An Argument

Skyrim Diary - Frostmere

Playing Skyrim With Nothing But Illusion

Mainstream Games

How Mainstream Games Butchered Themselves, And Why It’s My Fault


A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

Dark Messiah

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot


Arguing On The Internet


Shopstorm, A Spelunky Story

Stealth Games

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?


E3’s Violence Overload, Versus Gaming’s Usual Violence Overload

Suspicious Manifesto

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

What Makes Games Good

Seat Quest

A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

Deckard: Blade Runner, Moron

Beneath Suspicion

Avoiding Suspicion At The US Embassy

Open Worlds

An Idea For A Better Open World Game

Level Up

A Different Way To Level Up

BioShock Ending

How I Would Have Ended BioShock

Meet the Spy

My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 Unlockable Weapon Ideas

Football Manager

Don’t Make Me Play Football Manager

EVE Assassins

EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

GalCiv 2

My Galactic Civilizations 2 War Diary


I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

Machine of Death

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

Blood money and sex

Blood Money And Sex


A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

Second Life

First Night, Second Life


SWAT 4: The Movie Script

The King's Speech

Briefly: The King’s Speech

I liked it a lot. It’s pretty much a comedy, albeit a heavy-hearted one. As a drama, it’d be slightly too simple: we never truly understand the exact nature of Albert’s speech impediment or its causes, since both physical and psychological remedies both help somewhat, so there’s no real narrative to that element. The plot is simply that it becomes increasingly important he be ready to take the throne, and his speech continues to be a problem until it isn’t.

Which is fine, because it’s funny. Helena Bonham Carter is charming as the queen mum, Geoffrey Rush has some fun with the class difference, and Colin Firth shows an entertaining disdain for aristocracy and also swears and sings.

Chris Fox: Funny, I thought the problem behind Bertie's stammer was quite clear: his father always correcting him, so he became afraid of doing anything. The physical exercises only helped a little, it didn't solve his problems at the factory. It wasn't until he accepted that he didn't need to remain under his father and brother's shadows that he was capable of speaking clearly.

Tom Francis: That solution is posited some way through, but it doesn't seem to help any more than the mechanical exercises or other psychological tricks. If your take was that he only realises this properly in the walk from his practice to the broadcast booth, that's valid but I don't think it's specified.

Ed Fenning: I liked his speech when accepting the oscar for this role ...H7Yd7FCygw

Ryan: The physical remedies don't actually work, there really aren't any physical ways of treating stuttering apart from some breathing excercises and techniques, shaking your face and shouting out of windows aren't by the way. The Queen's Mother said that she wanted a physical problem treated in a physical way and no questions about his private life. The whole reason they do the physical "excercises" is to break the ice between them and help build up a relationship that otherwise he wouldn't have been able to after being strictly told not to ask. Just pointing out that there is no physical treatment for a stammer, I should know the only thing that seem to help me is a strong sotch and packet of fags ands there are social implications to those lifestyles

Ryan: don't want to double post but I have to agree with Chris Fox, being told "Spit it out!" is every stutterer's worst nightmare, especailly by someone as terrifying as Michael Gambon

Tyshalle: Way off topic, so I apologize, but is there anything you can do about the images on your posts from having links that stretch out on both sides through half the page? It makes it awkward when I try to scroll or try to click back on the window and instead wind up navigating away from the page.

Zacmanman: Pretty brief, especially for a film that's so heavily decorated. I haven't seen this film, but to beat out Black Swan for best picture at virtually every turn is outstandingly impressive.

Tom Francis: Tyshalle: it's bothered me before, too. I've looked into it now, and the answer is basically no. CSS is useless. The only methods that might work require every image to be in its own container, which'd mean not only doing that manually each time but also going back and editing 500 posts.

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