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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.

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By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

  • 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...
  • Jack: Are you going to release Morphblade for iOS or the Nintendo Switch? I would really like to play this on my...
  • 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

    Dishonored

    I like Dishonored quite a lot. Here’s my review.

    After mentally rejecting three even crazier ideas, I hoist the Overseer’s body over my shoulder and jump out of the window.

    If you’re playing it now, you might want to know what counts as a kill, what the threshold for ‘low chaos’ is, and whether dogs seeing you mean you’re not a ghost. Here’s a guide.

    The game itself doesn’t fully explain how it works. I misunderstood it, and accidentally committed myself to a darker path than I wanted.

    If you’ve finished it, we did a special spoilercast where we discuss the merits and faults of the plot, amongst much else.

    You fascinate me, Corvo. You’ve eaten fifty cans of tuna today Corvo. Why did you do that? How did you do that? How do you eat all the tuna on a shelf almost instantly?

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    I also wrote an account of the first time I tackled the Lady Boyle mission.

    He’s wearing a whale the size of a dog on his head. Her mask is a fly, with plate-sized compound eyes. They both stare at me for a moment, then the fly woman says:
    ‘I don’t know how you can wear that mask.’

    More

    Chris: I should really pick up a copy of this!

    Tom, how much more of an appreciation do you have for games like this now that you are making one your self?

    Samorai: I've just finished playing this for a second time (second time was the psychotic stabby playthrough) and it's probably my game of the year - tied with Spec Ops: The Line.

    I really enjoyed the review and podcast, it's interesting to see how other people tackled the game (and a relief to find I wasn't the only one who often put sleeping people onto beds). Being the pedantic nerd that I am, I wanted to say you can non-lethally takedown Daud (the whole put him into his bed afterwards so he doesn't wake up aching is optional) by sneaking behind him. I don't think knock-out darts work on him - I tried doing the Bend Time thing to subdue him and his guard but he says something like "Nice try, Corvo" and then attacks you whilst the other dude is frozen.

    Did anyone spot that the more you quicksave/load that previously knocked out guards seemed to reset and start patrolling again? Or was that just my imagination or a glitch?

    Nonomu198: My experience was constantly fighting the cheating AI, e.g. waiting infinitely for a guard to move only for him to not move but not because he noticed me but rather because the game did, forgetting to crouch before teleporting behind guards triggering them to notice me, without me even moving, mind you, they just know I'm there because I'm not crouching, and hours upon hours of exploration and save/reload because I thought treasures and good endings are worth it. They aint.

    Maybe they should just start the game with a big warning, "DO NOT GIVE A FUCK!". Maybe that would have made it less of a horrible experience for me.

    Nonomu198: Oh, and Samorai, I don't know about that, but since I liked hoarding unconscious bodies in the same room (played the whole game without a single kill, other than one "kill" in which I threw a dead body I found into a wall of light hoping this would help fight the plague. The game thought otherwise.) I noticed that if I save/reload all but one body were gone.

    Samorai: I noticed a few odd AI glitches - mostly when an enemy would suddenly stare at you hiding in shadows above them, but completely un-alert. They'd do a few circles whilst eyeballing you before wandering off. Which was odd. Along with a audio glitch in the first level where all the guards were constantly saying "eh" or "hm" to indicate they'd spotted something, even when I wasn't anywhere close.