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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.

Sectors Header

Teaching Heat Signature’s Ship Generator To Think In Sectors

DXHR Open area

What Works And Why: Multiple Routes In Deus Ex

Heat Signature Natural Numbers

Natural Numbers In Game Design

Pharma Header

Naming Drugs Honestly In Big Pharma

Writing vs Programming

Make A Game Tutorial Thumbnail Featured IMage

Let Me Show You How To Make A Game

New Heat Signature Video: Galaxies, Suction And Wrench-Throwing

Her Story banner

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

Invisible Header

What Works And Why: Invisible Inc

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


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


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


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 Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

Dark Messiah

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot


Arguing On The Internet

Stealth Games

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?


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

Suspicious Manifesto

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

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


I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

Machine of Death

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection


A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

Second Life

First Night, Second Life


SWAT 4: The Movie Script

Gone Point

Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

Gone Home writer/designer Steve Gaynor interviewed me for his podcast on the Idle Thumbs network, Tone Control. In it, I guess we vaguely cover tone at some point probably, but also:

  • How my dreams of a job in finance were dashed by the cruel machine of games journalism.
  • How I learned review scores are great and you can trust them.
  • Crusader: No Remorse was badass and we will both tell you why.
  • Why enemies in The Punisher aren’t allowed to dislike torture.
  • My thesis on the ethics of teleportation by replication.
  • FEAR’s slide-kick does like 10,000 damage for some reason.
  • I made a cave in Blood, Steve made a cave in Duke.
  • Blood had voxel graves, excellent weapons.
  • Why expressionless Half-Life 2 civilians jump for joy at the end of my mod BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA.
  • Human & Sons: Carbon-Based Detective Agency and the game it became (Gunpoint).
  • The emergent way to deal with the Intex agent in Gunpoint: embarass him.

What you won’t hear is anything about Heat Signature, because I hadn’t thought it up at the time.

You can subscribe to it there, or grab the MP3 directly, or click play below:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Random internet dude: I wondered why Heat signature didn't come up. Now I know.

Joannes: I can't listen to the podcast yet so I don't know whether that bit about the enemies in The Punisher stemmed from this article (http://post-hype.blo... ...cerns.html), but if it didn't, there, I just linked to it because it's interesting.

Ian: Tom, your writing is HILARIOUS! I love your work on PCgamer.

the silencer: Crusader was an awesome game series! I'm still playing it from time to time.

Too sad it had no comeback yet :(

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.


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


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