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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.

  • 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...
  • Jack: Are you going to release Morphblade for iOS or the Nintendo Switch? I would really like to play this on my...
  • Spaceman Moses: One-eyeing this on my phone from the depths of my covers I lazily ask: what do you mean XCOM2 clarity...
  • kripto: For what it’s worth, I also like Morphblade more than Imbroglio. Although, to be fair, I’ve also...
  • 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

    SWAT 4: The Movie Script


    My Skyrim Review

    Skyrim is out, my review is up, and it’s spoiler free.

    Although I was hugely privileged to get to play this early, there is a special kind of agony to being this excited about a game and believing you’re just about to get hold of it, every day for nine days.

    I was out for my parents’ anniversary dinner the night the mail finally came in, and the code was waiting when I got home late. It was going to take seven hours to download, so I set my alarm for six and went to bed.

    I haven’t woken up early for Christmas since I was about 12, but for Skyrim I woke up at 4, then 4.30, then 5, then 6, then 6.30, then 7. Every time the download had about two hours to go, and it seemed to get slower as it went.

    I made breakfast, tidied my room, exercised, showered, brewed coffee, did laundry, cleaned my kitchen, fretted, and then finally saw it finish. It would definitely crash. It would be encrypted. It would work, then be removed from Steam the next day.

    But it worked, I had time to play it thoroughly enough to review before the embargo, and it was this good.

    “Hey Greg, why didn’t the skeleton go to the party?”
    “Because he’s a fucking skeleton, Jen, we’ve talked about this.”


    Eagle0600: Hnnng... I'm going to wait before buying this, as much as it pains me. I want a few bug-fix releases before I try it, and I might even wait for the price to go down (we'll just see how patient I am, I'll probably cave before then). Plus, there's mods to consider. I'll be playing through my first game 'clean', but there might be some interesting UI mods or something like that. Short of something catastrophic, however, I am definitely getting this game.

    Davie: I'm still having trouble believing I'm actually playing it. Ten months of anticipation and hype and then the box is suddenly in my hands. And it is a beautiful thing.

    Also the only bugs I've encountered are of the hilarious variety--a flying mammoth that suddenly forgot how to do so and crashed to the ground, providing me with a hell of a lot of free meat.

    1stGear: I hated Oblivion and never really got into Fallout 3. I only pre-ordered Skyrim because I am a giant sucker for rugged northern environments and I was fully expecting it to be the same disappointment as Bethesda's previous games.

    Instead, I got the first open-world RPG that has honestly sucked me and promptly vaulted up my list of top ten games.

    TooNu: Hey Tom great review and the Tourists Guide was also a good read, thanks for that :)
    I'm loving Skyrim, I've made a Destruction Mage who sneaks around firing arrows into things.

    The missus and I also suffered from the "it's Skyrim day!" much like a child on Christmas (and I still get excited for Christmas) but Skyrim day was something special indeed.
    I took a week off work for DXHR.
    I took a week off for Skyrim. That and my NY trip over my 30th back in March and I have no holiday time left until April. Time well used I'd say.

    If Gunpoint is out around Xmas, I have 4 days off where we are closed so I can concentrate on that too. 2011 the biggest year for games for YEARS.