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.
We finally got around to turning one of our many SupCom matches into a video you can watch. It’s the one written up in the latest mag, six of us versus two cheating AIs.
More Supreme Commander
conVOX: Watched it, enjoyed it, is it the sort of thing we can expect more of in the future?
Diffractionman: Great battle, but your commentary and enthusiasm for every unit makes that video awesome. I want to jump back into SupCom 1's sheer brutality again. Even though it will mean learning how the economy works, there are so many fun units I haven't even built that just sound fantastic. Thanks a lot.
Thanqol: It seemed a bit of a curbstomping, all told.
westyfield: Please do more of these - as someone who is pretty terrible at SupCom, I found it very enjoyable to watch.
1stGear: Interesting, and SupCom's scale is quite impressive, but the AIs really weren't as good as you were selling them to be, or were just completely overwhelmed. The only person who really got hit was Graham, the Soul Ripper was a total bust, and when the end came, both bases were just immediately rolled over.
I'd love to see more SupCom commentaries but perhaps a bit more balanced, or with the AIs tweaked a bit.
Tom Francis: We got crushed by the single AI in the previous game, which is why its difficulty and aggressiveness were dialled down in this one. We're gonna ramp it up again and let it expand in our next one.
Jason L: Another in the 'thanks for trying but blah' column here, I'm afraid. I don't disbelieve that you were under threat, but the settings basically meant either you would crush them or they would crush you in a few minutes of activity at the end. No real targeted raids, no counter-vs-numbers clashes. That's more of a race than a game. And yeah, it doesn't help that an amazing mod to amazing AI for a game largely about resource allocation apparently can't run an economy. Positional problems are easy to forgive; resource planning and optimization are major roles for computers IRL, so it jars to see them bouncing off the bottom of their economies. The patrol routes were funny though.
Chris: I thought those routes were scary, it's like skynet or something.
Jason L: It doesn't have the advantage of you guys just playing it all the time anyway, but AI Wars is designed sspecifically around compstomp, specialised coordination and interesting decisions in all game phases.
Joe R: I wish my computer could run a really massive game of Supcom - it just crumbles when I try and do a 4 Vs 4 with AIs - not necessarily low framerate, but the game speed drops to the point where one second of in game time is like 30 seconds of real life - not fun.
Still an astonishing game though. Sup Com 2 may have had cool improvements and run better, but I simply loved the sheer diversity of units available in Sup Com 1 - especially Forged alliance. I loved how I could scramble torpedo bombers to take down an enemy fleet, but I could also use subs, surface ships, gunships, regular bombers or any combination of those.
Starcraft 2 may be well balanced for competitive play, but its obsessive focus on balance and counters has, for me, totally diminished the fun of it - Sup com is just pure joy incarnate, the ultimate "comp stomp" rts. More videos please!
Amazing SupCom game tonight – 7 of us vs a single AI. This is the base it built:, by Tom Francis: [...] you saw our final assault on the red base in the last big PCG game, imagine that being crushed. It didn’t even take them long to rebuild. Hopefully we’ll [...]