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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.

Heat Signature’s Launch, And First Player Legend

A Leftfield Solution To An XCOM Disaster

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

Christmas Chocolate Workshop 2014

I made chocolates for my family again at Christmas. Here’s what I did!

2014-12-21 12.10.59

Melt some dark chocolate!

2014-12-20 20.47.49

Mix with almond milk to make ganache – my sister and her partner are vegan, so I make them all vegan for simplicity.

2014-12-20 21.12.41

Put nice stuff in the ganache. I did one with maple syrup and pecan chunks, one with cinnamon and orange cranberries, and one with vanilla and dried cherries.

2014-12-21 12.19.18

Freeze ganache! It’s too soft to chocolate-coat at room temp, so I chill it overnight and cut it up the next day.

2014-12-21 12.29.35

Coated in regular chocolate, so they won’t be sticky at room temp. Wouldn’t it have been great if I’d thought to put pecans on each one when they were molten?

2014-12-21 15.12.11

Fuck it, I’m gluing the pecans on.

2014-12-21 15.13.02

And cranberries for the cranberry ones.

2014-12-21 15.12.45

And… some fruit thingies for the cherry ones. Dried cherries look too similar to dried cranberries.

2014-12-21 15.43.18

Dusted with cinnamon.

2014-12-22 11.15.53

Need something to put them in. If only we’d taken the precaution of drinking a lot of whisky on the Crate and Crowbar this year. Oh wait!

2014-12-22 11.23.45

I can only make one pot out of each case because the lid part is kind of important.

2014-12-22 14.07.20

The different one is dried apricots stuffed with things like dried strawberries or blueberries or nuts – for my 2-year-old niece, they’re keeping her off chocolate at first.

2014-12-22 14.31.42

I did have one box that was basically perfect for this, so I put all the least misshapen ones in it and gave that one to my gran.

2014-12-22 17.20.24


2014-12-24 13.21.45


2014-12-25 10.57.00

Niece review: “Yummy!”

TooNu: Aw :) very nice. I also make something for everybody at Christmas. This year was jars of pickled lemons, they are so good and bring a bit of variety to many vegetarian dishes. Also my apartment smelled better for having 50 odd lemons sliced open :) a good day.

Mark: These look great. How do you coat the bottoms?

Karl Drinkwater: Now we're talking! I buy quite a few boxes of vegan truffly things at this time of year. I think it's time to step up and make more of my own. Plus I can be as exotic in the flavourings as I want, or add liqueur for bonus richness.