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.
I got to go to the BAFTA Games Awards, whenever it was that that happened! Feels like six months ago, but I think it’s about three weeks. Gunpoint was up for Best British Game (against GTA V and Tearaway – lol good luck) and Best Debut Game (against Gone Home and Stanley Parable – lol good luck), and it was nuts to see our game up on the giant screen during a black tie awards event. But mainly, it was just nuts to be at a black tie awards event. Here are some things that happened:
It was near Tower Bridge so I stayed near Tower Bridge. This is Tower Bridge.
It was at Tobacco Dock, which I think was some kind of dock used for importing tobacco.
It was a black tie event so, with no small amount of fretting and difficulty and taking things back, I wore a black tie. And figured out how to make it work with a wing collar, which does not appear to be trivial.
Then there was this crazy red carpet shit! They actually had press lined up on one side of it, public on the other, a bunch of photographers at the end, and I had a lady leading me from interview to interview.
That clip is me being interviewed by Julia Hardy. Despite being asked legit questions, I managed to make the whole thing about clothes. From the looks of it, that clip must have been after this bit:
Julia: Are you nervous?
Me: Not about the awards, but I am about my clothes – I’ve never worn a tux before. I’m terrified something’s going to go wrong and I’m not going to see it.
Julia: Well, I like the handkerchief. Is it real or is it sewn in?
Me: It’s real! (I pull it out to demonstrate) Actually I don’t know how this goes back in. Argh, this is it, isn’t it? It’s already happened!
Champagne and shambling. We had to pick three people from our team to officially be nominated, so main artist John and main composer Ryan came, with their partners. The rest of the crowd was actually less familiar to me than most gaming events, possibly because it was more big-budget developers than indies. But I still got to chat to lots of journos, PRs and indies that I don’t get to see enough, and plenty of new ones.
Not surprisingly GTA V and Gone Home won the categories we were up for, swiftly turning my parents against these games. My dad thinks it’s grossly unfair that we were up against a game made by hundreds of people, whereas I think that’s the coolest part. My mum:
Mum: Gone Home looked like a bunch of empty buildings.
Me: No Mum, it’s not like that! It’s just one.
If you do want a bullshit decision, GTA V was nominated for the innovation category.
This is the dance floor where, historically, tobacco traders would dance the tobacco onto loading pallets.
This was amazing. Tucked away in a side room, there was a Wonka-esque parlour of insane desserts: cinnamon donut balls, salted caramel pecan brownies, mini raspberry meringue, many-flavoured macarons, and a popcorn sorbet that had melted into an even better popcorn milkshake by the time we discovered it. I deeply regret eating anything before I discovered this.
They had themed cocktails for each of the nominees for Best Game. I think I missed the Cliquer, that sounds great. The Arstotzkan Coffee (in a paper cup) was very good, the Assassin’s Mead had a better name but wasn’t as nice as it sounds on paper.
This is a statue commemorating how many children were mauled by tigers that had stowed away in tobacco crates and got loose on the tobacco dancefloor.
It didn’t matter at this point, but on the misty walk back to my hotel, I took a photo to see if anything actually had gone wrong with my tux. Seems OK! Phew.
So, that was another wonderfully surreal chapter in the ongoing aftermath of me releasing a game about wires I made in my bedroom. BAFTA are actually very cool about games – the people running this side of things really know their stuff, they take them seriously, they don’t ghetto-ise indies, and Dara O’Briain is about the perfect host: a good comedian who’s enough of a gamer to make relevant and sometimes insightful jokes specifically about them.
Dan: It's seem really weird there being an even like this for games. Are they actually be accepted into normal culture now?
Jason L: I see nothing about either Mountain Dew or Doritos. How did that happen!
(I decided to make that crack before realising that coincidentally Olly Moss' brilliant logo is finally in the wild. In a better world it would be a lame old meme fossilised over the epochs on its journey to shirt-dom; instead it's been dragged back to relevance.)
Drew: Congratulations on the nomination Tom! I look forward to hearing more when you finally return to the Crate and Crowbar.
Mark K: I like how somewhere between your first selfie and your last you apparently turned into a James Bond villain. Must have been the rum.
In all seriousness though it looks like a fantastic night out. Thanks for sharing =)
BadBannana: Hmm, Arstotzkan Coffee actually sounds really good right now.
An Idea For More Flexible Indie Game Awards – a post on Tom Francis’ blog: […] I’ve been thinking about a different kind of award ceremony I’d like to see ever since the BAFTAs in 2013, and I think it would address a lot of […]
An Idea For More Flexible Indie Game Awards — gaggregator.com/: […] happens I’ve been thinking about a different kind of award ceremony I’d like to see ever since the BAFTAs in 2013, and I think it would address a lot of […]
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