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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.

Projects

What I’m Working On And What I’ve Done

Murder, She Wrote

The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

Heat Signature Wide 2

Heat Signature Needs An Artist And A Composer

Heat Signature Floorplans Header

Improving Heat Signature’s Randomly Generated Ships, Inside And Out

Gunpoint Steam Workshop

Gunpoint Patch: New Engine, Steam Workshop, And More

Distance Header

Distance: A Visual Short Story For The Space Cowboy Game Jam

The Magic Circle

Raising An Army Of Flying Dogs In The Magic Circle

Floating Point Blog Launch

Floating Point Is Out! And Free! On Steam! Watch A Trailer!

Floating Sine

Drawing With Gravity In Floating Point

Fault

What’s Your Fault?

Hoplite banner

The Randomised Tactical Elegance Of Hoplite

Gone Point

Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

Heat Signature Thumbnail

Heat Signature: A Game About Sneaking Aboard Randomly Generated Spaceships

GRappling Hook Thumbnail

The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

Alien Swarm Heroics

A Story Of Heroism In Alien Swarm

FTL Story

One Desperate Battle In FTL

Spelunky Banner

To Hell And Back In Spelunky

Game vs story graph

Games Vs Story 2

Gunpoint Breakdown

Gunpoint Development Breakdown

Max Payne 3

Five Things I Learned About Game Criticism In Nine Years At PC Gamer

This is how you die

My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection

Clouds

Not Being An Asshole In An Argument

Skyrim Diary - Frostmere

Playing Skyrim With Nothing But Illusion

Mainstream Games

How Mainstream Games Butchered Themselves, And Why It’s My Fault

A-Rock-and-a-Hard-Place-Trio-Jan

A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

Dark Messiah

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot

Arguing

Arguing On The Internet

Stealth Games

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

Violence

E3′s Violence Overload, Versus Gaming’s Usual Violence Overload

Suspicious Manifesto

The Suspicious Developments manifesto

GDC

GDC Talk: How To Explain Your Game To An Asshole

Crosslink

Listening To Your Sound Effects For Gunpoint

Happiness

Understanding Your Brain

What Makes Games Good

What Makes Games Good

Seat Quest

A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

Beneath Suspicion

Avoiding Suspicion At The US Embassy

Open Worlds

An Idea For A Better Open World Game

Level Up

A Different Way To Level Up

BioShock Ending

How I Would Have Ended BioShock

Meet the Spy

My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 Unlockable Weapon Ideas

Football Manager

Don’t Make Me Play Football Manager

EVE Assassins

EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

GalCiv 2

My Galactic Civilizations 2 War Diary

Gnome

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

Machine of Death

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

AOL

A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

Second Life

First Night, Second Life

SWAT 4

SWAT 4: The Movie Script

A-Rock-and-a-Hard-Place-Trio-Jan

A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

A Disney animator named James Lopez once posted some character concepts for a 60s heist movie he wanted to make, and I just found them the other day, via Charlie Czechowski.

When you look at them, you immediately want to see it. I wanted to see it so much I wrote it. Continued

the-cabin-in-the-woods2

Things I Can Safely Tell You About The Cabin In The Woods Before You See It

  • You should see it as soon as conveniently possible. It’s the best film I’ve seen in years.
  • Don’t read reviews. I’ve read a bunch that pointlessly pre-empt some fun stuff.
  • If you haven’t seen the trailer, don’t.
  • If you have seen the trailer, don’t worry. The apparent twist it shows is also made clear right from the start of the film, it’s not much of a spoiler.
  • Bradley Whitford (Josh from the West Wing) doing Whedonesque dialogue is something that should have happened sooner.
  • I still really like Fran Kranz (Toph from Dollhouse).
  • Seriously, it’s almost perfect.

Continued

The King's Speech

Briefly: The King’s Speech

I liked it a lot. It’s pretty much a comedy, albeit a heavy-hearted one. As a drama, it’d be slightly too simple: we never truly understand the exact nature of Albert’s speech impediment or its causes, since both physical and psychological remedies both help somewhat, so there’s no real narrative to that element. The plot is simply that it becomes increasingly important he be ready to take the throne, and his speech continues to be a problem until it isn’t. Continued

Easy A

Easy A

I remember hearing something vaguely positive about Easy A, but to be honest I watched it because I have a weak spot for trashy coming of age movies set in high schools. I wasn’t planning on ever telling anyone. I didn’t realise it was going to be excellent. Continued

Social Network

The Social Network

Written by the West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin, directed by Fight Club’s David Fincher, starring Zombieland’s Jesse Eisenberg, produced by Kevin Spacey for some reason, and perhaps the first and only film to co-star Justin Timberlake as the founder of Napster.

The fact that it’s about the founding of Facebook, which I’m aware is controversial but have no actual knowledge of, is ideal. “I will feel like I’m being informed about something I’m interested in,” I thought, “and be unable to refute any liberties the film takes with the truth, allowing me to enjoy it entirely.” Continued

Toy-Story-Chatter-Phone

A Bad Toy Story 3 Review

Toy Story 3 fares much better on Rotten Tomatoes, 99% positive. Still… can’t… resist… reading… negatives… Continued

Inception

Bad Inception Reviews

When I discovered Inception had a merely very good percentage of positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, I became fascinated by the bad ones. I expected a lot of writers who were simply confused, and largely that’s the case, but some of them seem to be trying for some kind of award for clumsy criticism. Continued

Deckard: Blade Runner, Moron

Update: found a new source for the stills that broke and added some clarification from the comments to the intro.

I rewatched Blade Runner recently, because it came up a lot when I asked for visual inspiration for my game. Almost everything about it is still brilliant, except the main character. I’m not sure how I’ve never noticed this before, but Deckard is an idiot.

He’s given all the information he needs on a plate, nothing bad happens unexpectedly, and every lead falls into his lap. He has photo ID of everyone he has to kill, he’s told about their physical strength, he has a gun, they’re all unarmed, and he’s legally allowed to shoot them dead in public. Yet in every case, he lets them get into a hand-to-hand fight with him that he can’t win, and the only way the film can even keep him alive is for his targets to suddenly stop fighting or get killed by someone else.

Here’s a summary of his encounters with all of the replicants he’s apparently the only one good enough to kill. Stills from FilmGrab. Continued

CA.0326.INCEPTION.

Inception

Jesus Christ. That was a bit exciting. Continued

The Cove

The Cove

Do you ever find yourself with a backlog of worthy, critically lauded films you’re almost certain you’d like but almost certain not to watch? Yes, I do, and I even worm my way out of the guilt for neglecting them. Because in my mental filing cabinet, they’re all under “Will watch”. It’s just that the films I’m actually going to watch aren’t in that file, they’re in the “Ooh, lasers!” one. Continued

Rapture

Month In Links: December

This is a thing I do now. Most of this stuff I mentioned on Twitter, but it’s not an ideal channel and I don’t like that I never link stuff here anymore. Continued

Duplicity

My Favourite Films Of 09

11. Duplicity
Intricate corporate espionage con romance.

This might not even be the eleventh best film of the year, but it’s fresh in my mind so it’s going here. It’s a denser, more convincing version of the Mr And Mrs Smith premise: spies in love, associated trust issues. The corporate espionage theme somehow makes it cooler than the usual CIA/NSA/MEH, and the intentionally confusing time structure is fun to unravel. It also marks itself out as a superior con flick with its ending, avoiding both the ‘smug’ and ‘makes no fucking sense’ traps most of the rest of the genre falls into. Continued

Section 8

Section 8, District 9, Station 10

Section 8

Is a sci-fi multiplayer shooter out this week, extremely like Battlefield 2142. Battlefield 2142 was awesome, and so is this. You literally dive into the battlefield from orbit, with no parachute, then pound each other with raucous guns and squabble over objectives. Continued

Moon

Moon

Best not to know much about this film going in, so I’ll be vague. Continued

In Bruges

Film Catch-Up

In Bruges

Despite being an English word in front of a Belgian placename, the title manages to make this sound like ponderous French arthouse cinema. Really, they should have called it: In Fockin Bruges? Wit You? Continued

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