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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.

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

Jerk, Jounce And Rates Of Change

Yesterday I tweeted from the Heat Signature account about avoiding a tricky problem with homing missiles by just increasing their acceleration over time – I called it AccelerationAcceleration. Today, Coriolinus replied to say that the scientific name for this is actually ‘jerk‘. This is amazing, and so is the Wikipedia page about it.

“A passenger in a vehicle with zero jerk will feel a constant force.”

“Excessive jerk may result in an uncomfortable ride on elevators, trams and the like.”

“A device that measures jerk is called a “jerkmeter”.”

“A jerk system is a system whose behavior is described by a jerk equation”

“How long the squooshing takes determines the jerk.”

Better still, the rate of change in jerk is called ‘jounce‘. After that, though, physicists seem to run out of juicy, evocative words:

“The fourth, fifth and sixth derivatives of position as a function of time are sometimes somewhat facetiously referred to as “Snap”, “Crackle”, and “Pop” respectively.”

I feel like we can do better than that. So here’s my proposal for the first thirteen derivatives of position over time:

Change in position: velocity
Change in velocity: acceleration
Change in acceleration: jerk
Change in jerk: jounce
Change in jounce: hyperjerk
Change in hyperjerk: meta-jounce
Change in meta-jounce: binge warp
Change in binge warp: migrational spank
Change in migrational spank: barflurch
Change in barflurch: dark jaunt
Change in dark jaunt: catastrophic snap
Change in catastrophic snap: whipfuck
Change in whipfuck: Newton’s torment

Anyone want to take it beyond thirteen?


Duncan Wintle: Change in Newton's torment: Newton's justice.

David: Leibniz's revenge?

Fin C: Change in Newton's justice: morbid ferocity

Anna Harren: I made a simulator for this: http://iirelu.github... ...ajerk.html

Kingluke2222: Change in Morbid Ferocity: Falcon Punch.

Diego: I swear I once flew in an airplane that whipfucked the whole travel from take off to landing.

noffle: Migrational spank or whipfuck may be my favourite. Anything that plays on 'whiplash' is good fun sport.

Ade: Less fun, but here's the (supposed) list of the first ten: ...rivatives/

Random internet dude: I'm a physics undergrad and didn't know anything about jerks until now!

So many derivatives...

BadBannana: Change in Falcon Punch: Kestral Hunt

Kingluke2222: Change in Kestral Hunt: Window Jump

entropy: Change in Window Jump: Help I'm Trapped In a Cosmological Constant Factory

Gunpoint problem? Check for a solution or tell us about it on the Windows, Mac or Linux forum as appropriate!

For questions about what tools I used and when things are out and what platforms they're coming to, see here.

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