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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


    “You let Messer get away?”
    “One of your boys let Messer get away, I got the driver. Besides, these boots aren’t made for running.”
    “And yet chasing fugitives is a marshall’s primary function.”
    “It’s ironic, isn’t it?”

    I really like Justified. Timothy Olyphant is a US marshall in backward Harlan County, Kentucky, but the show focuses at least as much on the local gang leaders. A white supremacist who finds god in prison, a plump store owner who acts as matriarch for a huge crime family, a sleazy security consultant who operates out of a caravan.

    It conjours its own vivid version of this sunny, rural, booze-soaked culture bristling with guns and grudges. It’s a place where even the criminals – even the idiot criminals – address everyone with a folksy politeness, and speak in colourful euphemisms. And watching it feels a little like going there, to a part of the present day that feels like an older, slower time.

    The store owner, Mags Bennett, was the main character of the excellent second season. The third’s just starting in the US now, and it’s already introduced some great new candidates for the role of lead antagonist.

    moni: I quite like that Raylan has ascended to almost super-hero status. He walks into a room with guns pointed at him, he says something awesome, shoots everyone, and walks away.

    I think the bad guys almost have super-powers too, like trick guns, and crazy buckets of lime.

    Actually, it's almost Batman without the costumes.

    Brian: Harlan is in Kentucky, brother!

    But, anyway, yes! Justified continues to bring it. The best show on TV right to watch character actors be awesome in every single way.

    Dan Thurot: I'm loving Justified. I was a bit worried that any new villains wouldn't be able to live up to Mags' constant aura of threat and control, but so far my fears have been allayed. Oh, and you're spot-on about the way everyone speaks: their drawling eloquence is sublime to listen to.

    ff: Harlan county, KY

    Tom Francis: Cheers, fixed.

    Chynes: I only just recently figured out that the creator, Graham Yost, was also responsible for the excellent but short-lived show Boomtown. If you haven't seen that I highly recommend it.

    Mikey Mike: It's a cool show but the problem with Justified, right, is that Timothy Olyphant is a badass and a smart guy who's rolling around town taking down total slack-jawed drooling angry-as-fuck-dumb-as-a-bag-of-shit morons.

    It's like Superman beating the shite out of muggers. It's real hard to say "Man, Superman's cool, the way he batters those guys who are a million times weaker and dumber than he is."

    I dunno. Feels like he needs an intellectual and physical equal to challenge him. I haven't seen it recently. Has that happened yet?

    Chris: Boyd Krauter was (is?) a great nemesis, as was Mags. I don't think you need to have an exact evil copy of the hero to make them a challenge. What Boyd lacked in sharp-shooting he more than made up for in his insanity. Mags had enough charisma and smarts to be able to lead a gang and to not get caught. The security firm guy was just super slimy. Yes Raylan could just shoot them all but he can't do that, as he is trying to be a lawman.

    sQUEAKYfOAMpEANUT: Hey Tom, I know this is entirely unrelated and you've been busy been a super-cool indie game developer, but have you had time to play the Mass Effect 3 demo? You're still one of my favorite gaming writers and I'd love to hear your opinions on it. I was a little disappointed, to be honest.