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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.

  • 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...
  • Spaceman Moses: One-eyeing this on my phone from the depths of my covers I lazily ask: what do you mean XCOM2 clarity...
  • kripto: For what it’s worth, I also like Morphblade more than Imbroglio. Although, to be fair, I’ve also...
  • 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

    Designing Floating Point

    My game about swinging through randomly generated spaces has spilled out from a game jam entry, to a four-day game, to a week-long game. This is a series of three video blogs talking about interesting things that happened in its design.

    Here’s my previous video showing the game itself.

    Update: it actually took five weeks, but now it’s done and out and on Steam and free and half a million people played it! More info on the tag.

    More ,

    RetiredSphinx: Nice! I reckon I'm one of the testers, then, so here's my feedback:
    I do enjoy the grappling hook mechanic, but it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with it. I felt that the amount of momentum you could gain from pressing left or right wasn't enough to get the speed I wanted, because I was more fixated on having the grappling hook on one block, and trying to build my momentum to swing to the next block, rather than swinging to another block TO give myself more momentum. I was also kinda bummed that I couldn't tweak these parameters until they felt right.
    What I ended up doing instead was to increase my retract speed REALLY high. This allowed me to quickly and easily build up tons of vertical speed, which, if timed right, I could release and fling myself at utterly ludicrous speeds upwards and some other direction. To me this felt more inherently "fun". Then, of course, came the problem that the red bars you're supposed to get are far too small to hit at this speed, so I set some values negative so they grow every frame rather than shrinking. While this, of course, took out any form of difficulty from the game whatsoever, it made the extremely "difficult" levels incredibly fun to play. A single launch would propel you across the top of the entire level, and you'd quickly end up with negative points because of integer overflow.
    Interestingly enough, I never felt like hitting a block or wall was a "lose" condition; being stuck without speed for me was far more infuriating than hitting something. If you have enough speed, you're bouncing off walls like a rubber ball, and hitting things is part of the fun. This is probably also why I made hitting things increase the points bars more.
    Anyway, I could tell that I wasn't quite "getting" this game per se, but I thought it may be interesting to see my take on it. It definitely was a fun little physics toy that kept me entertained for a little while.

    Fortuitae: Hi Tom, this sounds really interesting. I would love to see a video of what the latest version looks like, with the music etc.

    Max: I regret this more

    Max: Apologies for that last one, thought it was an account registry. This looks fun, I remember fondly judging Worms players by the precision of their hook skills.

    The underwater hookery is a nice new angle too, it looks like it's more than the normal play field inverted though, do you move slower through the water? If so, maybe your multiplier builds higher down there but it's more crowded and difficult to maneuver. If there was a time limit to narrow the scoring window, that would be a nice risk reward choice if say you're coming up shy of a new high score

    DevLog Watch: Gastropoda, Gangster Tactics, M.I.N.T. | Rock, Paper, Shotgun: […] game Floating Point began as a Ludum Dare entry but has grown into something more. He’s made a three-part video series about the design decisions he made along the […]