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.
Super Game Jam is a documentary series on Steam that films two developers per episode, working together to make a game in 48 hours. It’s discounted to $15 for the whole series right now, which is 5 half-hour episodes, the 5 games that were made in them, and a bunch of extra scenes and music from Kozilek and Doseone.
Episode 5 just came out tonight, and it’s me and artist/designer Liselore Goedhart making SimAntics: Realistic Anteater Simulator. We were given the theme of ‘Simulation’ by previous jammers Cactus and Grapefrukt, and told not to make SimAnt. So we simulated an anteater instead.
You can grab it from Steam here, where there’s also a trailer. Stills below, and thoughts on the episode at the end!
My first stab at generating ant tunnels, and letting the mouse steer a tongue down them.
Lizzy draws on paper and then traces over photos of her sketches in Illustrator with a mouse.
Late night coding, beer and a carrot.
Recording sound-effects: my anteater’s munching noise is me eating an apple, Lizzy’s is her eating a cracker.
First multiplayer test. Game is suddenly fun!
And has Lizzy’s art, so 100x cuter.
I was super nervous to watch this back, because I didn’t see it at all until it was publicly released on Steam. And watching yourself on video is always hard. But it wasn’t as painful as I thought! Mostly I just laugh a lot, which gives the accurate impression that the whole thing was just a lot of fun.
In some of the earlier episodes of the series, I sometimes struggled to get an idea of what the game was from the episode itself. Blossom, for example, turned out to have way more elements and ideas than I’d guessed from what Dominik and Christoffer were talking about as they made it.
Watching ours back, I feel like it gives a fairly good idea of what we’re making? But then I know everything about what we were making, so I can’t really judge. If you get it, I’d be interested to hear if it was followable.
Update: we don’t have a trailer for the game, but here’s a short clip of me playing in single-player just to give you an idea of what it looks like moving.
fizmat: Will this be Steam exclusive forever, or is it a timed exclusive? Because I'd rather support GOG's drm-free video initiative if it ever comes there. I can see the benefits of Steam for games, but there's no updates and no multiplayer service for video.
I never bought DRM'd video in my life (being in Russia helped with that) and I really don't want to start. On the other hand, I really want to see this.
Tom Francis: Dunno, that'd be up to the publisher Devolver Digital. For what it's worth, the episodes are just video files on your hard drive once it's downloaded. If you run it through Steam it has its own launcher and stuff, but you can also just play the video files or run the game installers directly from the folders without needing Steam.
What I’m Working On And What I’ve Done – a post on Tom Francis’ blog: […] Our Super Game Jam Episode Is Out […]
Jordan: I really enjoyed it! It's so cool how collaboration can lead people to create something truly unique! Well done!
locknic: Hey Tom. What sold this for me was that you're in it, and I love your youtube videos! :D
Jack: You should marry her.
Super Game Jam. | Lizzywanders.: […] on Steam together with the first four episodes and games. You can watch the trailer here! And here you can read Tom’s […]
Carrot enthusiast.: Nice carrot.
Jaiden: Very very very short. beat it in like 50 minutes. If there were like some randomly generated missions that would be very fun. Also if the battery thing was gone it would add a lot to the game. finally if there was more "powerups" that would also add a lot