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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.

  • 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

    Clack: A Very Short Story Inspired By An Amazon Review

    I tried to join in with Mikey Neumann’s challenge to write a story in 100 words, but I rambled over into 255. This story is inspired by a customer review of a product on Amazon – you’ll know which one if you’ve read it. I don’t have the link anymore so if anyone does please comment.

    Clack. “I love you. Everything’s OK. I’m coming back.” Clack.

    I don’t know what this place is. Everyone here looks so lost. They just sit there, in wheelchairs, looking lost. No-one’s helping them, and it’s heartbreaking, but I don’t know what I can do.

    I wish I knew where Chris was. The bathroom? I want to ask him what we’re doing here, when we can leave.

    It smells of, I don’t know, ointment. I don’t know which ointment, but it feels like it would be an ointment. I feel like the people here need a lot of ointment.

    He’s taking a long time. I don’t know how long now. I have this after-image of him in that armchair, like he just got up for a second, but maybe he’s been gone a long time.

    I’m worried now. I’m worried about me. I feel like this isn’t normal, not to know these things. I feel like I’m in a dream. I feel lost.

    I suddenly realise there’s something in my hand. I don’t recognise it. It’s boxy and smooth and grey. My hands know it but I don’t know why and I’m scared and sick at how lost I am now.

    I think Chris has gone. I think he’s just gone, and I’ll never know why or what I did wrong or what this place is.

    My thumb is on a button and it wants to push it.

    Clack. “I love you. Everything’s OK. I’m coming back to pick you up at six, same as always.”

    chris: wat

    John: heartbreaking!

    Nick: What was the product that the review was for?

    Matthew: I vaguely remember some sort of microphone-recorder, marketed on an infomercial to the elderly, to help them remember things like where they parked their car/the time of appointments/etc. (IE, you press a button, record a message, and then when you press a different button the message play back). Might that have been what inspired this story? (Sorry, I too forgot its name)

    Madeline: I got what you plan, thanks for placing. Woh I am gladsome to endure this site finished search engines. Thanks Pertaining to Share Khmer Karaoke Megastars ? Somnangblogs.

    Tom Francis: Stripped the spam links but I kinda wanna keep the text of that comment in all its glory.