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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

    A Cheating Supreme Commander AI’s Base

    Supreme Commander AI 2.5 base

    If 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 have time to make a video of this one too.


    Tristan: Looks awesome Tom

    I hope you are able to make another video, and its great that you guys over at PCG are able to supplement the podcast with this kind of thing.

    Diffractionman: I've been playing Forged alliance again thanks to you. I realise how much I missed it and the thrill of planning out a base. You know how people say that food tastes better when you cooked it yourself? Well to me, base building is kind of like that, but you're building massive experimental artillery instead of a cake.

    Though what I love most about SupCom is how many ways there are to win. And how different types of gamers will often find something they like in it. So 7 of you vs 1 very tough AI is a video that I really want to see :)

    FraktuRe: Post the video and we shall be eternally grateful :P

    Kris: Now that's just plain teasing us.

    Chris: If you don't have time for a video atleast give us a run down of the game!

    GaGrin: If I didn't have a chronic problem with buying more games than I can actually find the time to play, I'd have picked this up on the strength of the previous vid alone.

    Looking forward to more on this, seeing these played by people who know what they're doing is more entertaining than me getting my arse handed to me anyway.

    Matthew: Replay file! Replay file!
    However a commentary video would be appreciated, either is good.

    TooNu: Off topic: Tom are you able to stab somebody in the face over at Eidos about this region lock thing? I've waited YEARS for this game and the week before release tehy do this region lock crap, so now my retail augmented edition from is looking to be a huge let down, and I only live in bloody Sweden!

    TooNu: of topic again: Good work Mr.Tom Francis, they changed their minds about the region locking.

    Tom Francis: Any time.

    Nonomu198: Tom, I'd be interested to see a match between you guys. No AI, just two teams of PC Gamer staff smashing each others' bases, then being angry at each other.

    Tom Francis: Yeah, the 'angry at each other' part is why we don't do that. Personally I don't think I've ever really enjoyed an RTS against a human. I feel bad if I win, annoyed if I lose.