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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

GRappling Hook Thumbnail

The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

I’ve decided to let people play this prototype of my Grappling Hook Game at IndieCade East in New York next month, partly to force me to focus on what it really needs to be a playable game. After a week and a bit, here’s what I’ve got.

There’s now a second character who can cut through glass, and the grappling hook character can pull them up and swing them around to get them where they need to be.

The test level now has three buildings and five stealable objectives, just to give a feel for some situations and spaces that might come up. Obviously these buildings would have armed guards and staircases rather than holes in the floor. These won’t be the only two characters, either, though you won’t have to take them all to every job.

I don’t know if the game will be multiplayer – obviously that would be cool, but it all depends how hard that is to do. It will definitely be designed for single player first.

It’s starting to feel cool, now. Dangling from a rope to break glass or snatch things feels very heisty, and that’s the main thing I want to achieve at this point. It’s going to be interesting to balance that with the silliness: the grappling hook is just sort of inherently nuts, and leads to wacky stunts that don’t look realistic but are sort of hilarious. I’m not gonna worry about that clash until it really feels like a problem – there will be fall damage, and that might make some of these hilarious deaths rather than repeatable madness.

I’m posting occasional shots from development on Twitter.

More

anothercommenter: I'm getting a kind of Gunpoint-y vibe from this, is this intended to be a sequel? Either way it looks great, I'm really looking forward to playing this.

commendablecommentator: Just please promise me that you have a safe cracker guy, who is depicted as fat, cigar smoking, and wearing a cap. Also, the fatness could be part of game mechanic. He is hard to haul upwards maybe or something.

Xavier: If you get any free time in between games, you should make one or two unity tutorials.

Mark: Looks very interesting.

Local coop would be pretty easy to do implement, but I'm not sure how good the grappling hook would work using a gamepad. But internet coop is still very doable. There's a multiplayer tutorial here. http://www.youtube.c... ...ture=watch
Or you can ask me, I'd be happy to share some knowledge.

One thing that sounds a bit troublesome, is that with coop, puzzle design is quite different. You probably don't want a player just hanging around waiting for others to do their thing untill it's finally their turn.

Looking forward to the next iteration

Dan: Looks good, reminds me of the commandos series and that is no bad thing!

Can already see potential for a variety of levels in this.. Jailbreaks, bank robbing, jewel thieving. Awesome

Vartul: Hello. Firstly, I loved all your articles on PCGamer(I fell down my chair laughing at the Hitman Absolution article), and will definitely play gunpoint some time. :) Also, I love grappling hooks. I was sadly disappointed by Bionic Commando Rearmed as there was no jump. You must have jump. That'll give the player mobility and momentum with the grappling hook. Also, I think that the second character could be doing much more. Her mobility should not be restricted by the other player. Perhaps you could do something like mutual dependence? Also, please do make this game! I love the physics of the grappling hook! You could make this a stealth game more focused on mobility with the player(s) being chased by guards(some of which could have their own grappling hooks) after a theft and what not. Oh, the possibilities. I would be really delighted if you even consider any of my requests.

Alex: I'm loving this !

Can't wait to see the finish product, There is really a lot of potential here :)

Mike Z: Tom, I have been wondering as I have been following this if you focused on learning C# to start or are you just picking up what you need as you go along?

Trevor: I'm sure you have more things planned for this game, but if you're making it as you described, a stealth game where trying to avoid guards and climb up buildings, it'll basically feel like Gunpoint with only one gadget.

Zaki: This game looks really awesome, but I do have to admit that I like Heat Signature a bit more.

gnounc: TomF, dividing up specialties for puzzle stealth and switching between characters sounds a lot like the lost vikings. You should play through at least a handful of lost vikings 2 (a childhood favorite of mine), I suspect that will help you a ton. Multispecialists hests also smacks of monaco, a game I'm sure you're already familiar with.

Zetsu: Hoe make that the rope has a collider / hitbox?
Is the rope a LineRenderer?

Geetings Zetsu

Jason L: Rope collision covered in http://www.pentadact... ...-slacking/

iestyn: What if the other player WAS the grappling hook?

So you alternate the two players, swinging end over end. The first player grabs the ceiling, the second player swings under them and grabs the ceiling further on, then the first player releases and swings below, etc - it would feel kinda like the two hands of a monkey swinging from branch to branch. Controls could be as simple as 'grab/release', and you could add 'extend/contract' to finesse momentum by adjusting rope length.

5crownik007: Blublejshfuwbbllubulu
I seriously can NOT wait for these games, I mean, Heat Signature, and This! and all the other stuff! You are a treasure trove of good ideas.

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.