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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

    Replaying Oblivion, Kinda Glad They’re Redoing The Faces For Skyrim


    Jaz: I can't wait until 5 years after Skyrim, when the incredible new faces look this shit to future-us.

    GaGrin: Oblivion's people looked fugly on release. Not bad art, just... ugly.

    Rei Onryou: I was reading your original Oblivion review in an old PCG on Tues. Don't think face fugliness was mentioned. Although, most games at the time were relatively fugly anyway, so this was still better than all the rest. Hell, I remember having to run most of the graphics settings on medium at release!

    Those were the they weren't...

    Tom Francis: "Their facial animation ranges from basic to non-existent, and some of their faces are downright ugly (including that of Patrick Stewart's character, sadly)"

    Wasn't a huge deal to me then or now, though.

    Caleb: This is probably 50% of why I stopped playing Oblivion after one hour.

    The other half is that I didn't realize there was a fast travel system. D'oh.

    I need to go back to Oblivion at some point :/

    Jackrabbit: Yeah, the faces always worried me. No matter how young the character was supposed to be their faces looked crumpled.

    TooNu: They all have pudding faces. Big doughy faces where their complexions look see through and a bit like the senator in the first (terrible) X-Men movie when he comes out of the water onto the beach.

    I didn't like Oblivions faces nor their chatter.
    "Good to see you!"
    "I hear the king is dead, a sad day indeed"
    "They still have not caught the Grey Fox"
    "Well bye bye"

    GaGrin: It's a side effect of having randomised faces from a range, you end up with a "grey goo" effect, especially if the extremes of the features aren't really well defined. None of Oblivion's facial options allow pronounced, square, or sharp features - so everyone looks round, flat and as TooNu says, "pudding"-y.

    Which is sort of a big deal when you're dealing with characters you're supposed to remember, and hopefully recognise by sight when they're wondering about and you need to find them again.

    Rei Onryou: Someone remind me never to question Tom's omnipotence again.

    SnuffyTheEvil: Fortunately, you can make the rest of it look pretty nifty with OBGEv3, OBGE Liquid Water and a few dozen texture packs.