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TOM FRANCIS
REGRETS THIS ALREADY

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.

Theme

By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

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

Naming Drugs Honestly In Big Pharma

I’ve been playing Big Pharma, a game where you design production lines to manufacture cures to sell for maximum profit, or to genuinely help people, as your fancy may dictate. It’s excellent and I have become hopelessly addicted to it, but my favourite part is having to come up with names for the often double-edged drugs your imperfect process has produced:

Less Angina

It turns out this one doesn’t even treat angina – darkened effects are deactivated ones.

no pain no gain

Honestly A Cock Up

Fallen Over

Soon a company name presented itself:

Distressingly Honest

Take A Nap

Angina Naps

Stroke Naps

Eventually we fixed the sleepiness side effect:

No Knockout

Is Infection

Sickeningly Good

Slightly miscalculated this one:

Depressingly

Worry Constip

And lastly, what turned out to be the most profitable drug of the decade:

Bronchitis

My lab was a mess.

Complicated Layout

But I was super proud of myself for figuring out a neat way to fit two Cryogenic Condensers in parallel in this small space – they take twice as long to process things, but they’re big and awkward to run dual conveyor belts around:

Parallel Cryogenic Condensers

This was the final layout of my factory. Blue is anxiety meds, brown is bronchitis, red is bipolar, green is strokes. Some of the same coloured lines are different methods of making the same drug, faster or to a better standard depending on how much floor space I had to work with.

Final Layout

The goal was to make $1,000,000, which I did pretty quick, but the ‘Master’ level goal is to make $10,000,000 before the deadline. After the ten years were up, the pink bar here shows how close I was to that:

How Close I Was To Master

God damn it.

Anonymous: That genuinely made me laugh until my cheeks hurt. It reminds me of when I used to play an enchanter on a NWN persistent world. Players would always come to me to craft their magical items and I'd make a point of always giving the items silly but appropriate descriptions.

Anonymous: At Least You're Not Coughing is horrible. Delightfully so.

Sup: I laughed so hard at "induces nightmares". Just.. my god.

Jabberwok: Your antidepressant doesn't sound any worse than a lot of the real ones.

Developer lessons from big Steam seller Big Pharma - GeekTechTalk: […] See “Naming drugs honestly in Big Pharma” for more… […]

Gunpoint problem?

Don't post them here, I'm a useless idiot! E-mail tech support with as much detail about your system and the problem as possible, and they can actually do something.

Question?

There's a page about the games I've worked on, what I use to make them, and what platforms they're coming to.

Formatting

URLs get turned into links automatically. You can use <i>HTML</i> but not [b]forum[/b] code.

Comment