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TOM FRANCIS
REGRETS THIS ALREADY

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.

Theme

By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

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

Projects

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

Fault

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

Clouds

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-Rock-and-a-Hard-Place-Trio-Jan

A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

Dark Messiah

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot

Arguing

Arguing On The Internet

Stealth Games

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

Violence

E3’s Violence Overload, Versus Gaming’s Usual Violence Overload

Suspicious Manifesto

The Suspicious Developments manifesto

GDC

GDC Talk: How To Explain Your Game To An Asshole

Crosslink

Listening To Your Sound Effects For Gunpoint

Happiness

Understanding Your Brain

What Makes Games Good

What Makes Games Good

Seat Quest

A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

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

Gnome

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

Machine of Death

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

AOL

A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

Second Life

First Night, Second Life

SWAT 4

SWAT 4: The Movie Script

Résumé

2000-2003: University of Southampton

Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, First Class

Doing maths and philosophy at the same time made sense to me, but then in a Relativity module I found out that simultaneity depends on your inertial frame, so now I’m not even sure I did.

My dissertation was on the ethics of teleportation by replication: scan, clone, destroy the original. Like in that movie I can’t mention, because it’s a spoiler for that movie.

2004-present: writer and editor at PC Gamer

Games Media Award for Best Specialist Games Writer in Print

I was assembling skateboards in a warehouse when a staff writer job opened up at PC Gamer. I didn’t get it. But later I got a job doing their coverdiscs, and successfully got myself demoted to writer a year or two in.

2012-present: director, Suspicious Developments

Finalist, Independent Games Festival Award for Excellence in Design

I entered Gunpoint into the IGF mainly to get feedback from the judges. Becoming a finalist was an extremely expensive accident: I tragically had to fly to San Francisco to attend the swanky awards ceremony and related parties.

The winner of the Excellence in Design category was Spelunky, the game that spurred me to make games in the first place. Even I would have voted for it.

TychoCelchuuu: So, is teleportation ethical? Does the answer just come down to whatever theory of personal identity we accept?

MrAndyDufresne: Is there anyway you could publish this dissertation? I think your readership would eat it right up.

Shaun: Chelchuuu, it's got to be unethical because of the "destroy the original" part of the process. There's only wiggle room for ethicality if the originals are just stored in stasis until the heat death of the universe or the "teleported" clone happens to die. That's for one-way trips, though.

With two-way trips there's a much simpler solution: Put the original in stasis, create a clone where it needs to be, have the clone do whatever it needed to do there, then upload its new memories into the brain of the original and destroy the clone. Actually wait no I just saw the flaw in that.

So yeah guess I'll agree with Andy about publishing the dissertation because I need to read it now.

TychoCelchuuu: Some people don't agree that destroying the original is unethical (the writers of Star Trek, for instance). And if it were obviously unethical it wouldn't have made much of a dissertation topic, right?

Sly: I know this is fairly redundant, but here goes anyway:
Yey Southampton!
I'm in my final year of engineering here and frankly this is the first time I've been excited about an alum from here (Aside from possibly Adrian Newey).
We really need to have you come down for a talk - after Gunpoint that is!

Gassalasca: This may sound weird, but to which primary and secondary school did you go to?

Jason L: A bit of previous discussion here: http://www.pentadact... ...-of-death/

TheDancingWalrus: I have thought about teleportation being essentially someone dying and another person being created, but -trying not to sound too philosophical- death is essentially just the severing of conciousness, isn't it? Every time you fall asleep or "lose conciousness" you die? No? You probably had considered that but I'm just wondering what your thought on it are?

Zekiel: Bloody hell Tom. Just came across this post while trawling through the archives of your excellent site. I did Maths & Philosophy at Southampton in the year above you. However I haven't yet made a wildly successful indie computer game sadly.

You didn't have Giampaolo as your tutor did you?

Your dissertation sounds fun. (Though I'm not sure any dissertations are fun while you're actually writing them)

Gunpoint problem?

Don't post them here, I'm a useless idiot! E-mail tech support with as much detail about your system and the problem as possible, and they can actually do something.

Question?

There's a page about the games I've worked on, what I use to make them, and what platforms they're coming to.

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URLs get turned into links automatically. You can use <i>HTML</i> but not [b]forum[/b] code.