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.
My second piece of published fiction will be out in July this year, as part of This Is How You Die: the second collection of stories about a machine that can predict your death. (My first was a story in the original collection, and you can read it here).
But! Editor David Malki is also Kickstarting a card game based on the same concept, and since it’s blown its funding goal by over 1000%, they’re releasing a few stories from the anthology to say thanks.
One of them is mine! You can read it now! Here it is!
It’s about a supervillain’s henchman tasked with the job of having their enemies killed in a way that doesn’t contradict their predicted deaths. It is called: LAZARUS REACTOR FISSION SEQUENCE!
If you can’t read it, go here.
I don’t argue on the internet anymore. The short version is: it usually gets hostile, and that drives everyone further away from changing their minds.
But I spend a lot of time thinking about whether there’s a way to contribute to a discussion without derailing it. Whether there’s some way of knowing, in advance, that what you’re about to say will make you look like an asshole, start a fight, or be outright wrong.
I think there is. Continued
It hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet, but for some, if you go to Settings in Twitter, you’ll get the option to download an archive of all your tweets.
Anyway, I got mine, and I wondered if I could use it to make old stuff more accessible. Continued
I wrote a feature for PC Gamer in which I look at each of the easiest tools you can use to make a game, and interview indies who’ve made great things with them. It’s the Indies’ Guide To Game Making, and I’ve just updated it with some more detailed answers we didn’t have room for in the magazine.
I am, but I haven’t finished it yet. I’ve learnt a lot so far, though, and at Minecon in November, I gave a talk about what I’ve learned so far, and what I’d do differently if I was making my first game today. Here it is! Continued
I don’t argue on the internet anymore, but I have some ideas on how to do it without defeating yourself and also human decency.
Update: This post now has a sort of sequel, suggesting ways to contribute to an argument without being an asshole.
Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, First Class
Doing maths and philosophy at the same time made sense to me, but then in a Relativity module I found out that simultaneity depends on your inertial frame, so now I’m not even sure I did.
My dissertation was on the ethics of teleportation by replication: scan, clone, destroy the original. Like in that movie I can’t mention, because it’s a spoiler for that movie.
Games Media Award for Best Specialist Games Writer in Print
I was assembling skateboards in a warehouse when a staff writer job opened up at PC Gamer. I didn’t get it. But later I got a job doing their coverdiscs, and successfully got myself demoted to writer a year or two in.
Finalist, Independent Games Festival Award for Excellence in Design
I entered Gunpoint into the IGF mainly to get feedback from the judges. Becoming a finalist was an extremely expensive accident: I tragically had to fly to San Francisco to attend the swanky awards ceremony and related parties.
The winner of the Excellence in Design category was Spelunky, the game that spurred me to make games in the first place. Even I would have voted for it.
BATH, UNITED KINGDOM – January 24, 2012 – UK game developer Suspicious Developments today announced that it exists. The news marks a major upturn in the firm’s previously disappointing existence results, and a year-on-year existence increase of divide by zero error.
“No-one could have foreseen this,” said company director Tom Francis, shortly before the result. Francis controls 100% of the company’s shares, beating its second largest stakeholder Sylvester McCoy, who controls 0% and is not aware the company exists.
“I don’t know who you are,” McCoy said.
Gmail’s new look is optional – FOR NOW – in the same way that Twitter’s was – FOR A WHILE THERE. And like Twitter’s, it’s sort of vaguely pretty but twice as awkward to use for all of my most common tasks.
I just found a script that lops off most of the wasted headspace that scrunches all the e-mails down, even in Compact mode, and it’s made a huge difference for me.
Works natively in Chrome, needs Greasemonkey in Firefox.
It’s weird how all the extra spacing made the default view look claustrophobic. To a certain mindset, white space isn’t open air, it’s the walls closing in.
This tale of abruptly losing a Google account without explanation, via roBurky, made me realise I should be backing this stuff up. Not so much because “It happened to him, therefore it will happen to me!” Just because the story makes you realise how boned you’d be if Google did shut you out, and how absurd it is to have total faith they never could. In all probability someone hacked this guy’s account and did something bad without his knowledge, in which case it has nothing to do with anything he did. Continued
The main part of Google+ is a social updates feed like Facebook or Twitter. With Facebook, you have to confirm someone as your friend before they see your updates. With Twitter, anyone can see your updates without asking permission, unless you make a special ‘locked’ account. With Google+… Christ. Continued
My last post about happiness was about why success isn’t a good way to be happy, and three things that are.
In the comments, Johannes Spielmann said this:
Johannes: Great article!
For a more nuanced (and scientifically proven) view on the topic, have a look at this Google Tech Talk by David Rock.
The video he links, the one I’m about to embed, has changed the way I think. It’s like being given the owner’s manual to your brain after 29 years of muddling along with the default settings. It’s not only spectacularly improved my understanding of how people behave and why we feel what we feel, it’s actually made me more consistently happy. Continued
Quickly, drink this. I just found a retroactive excuse for tonight’s pina coladas: I’ve posted 500 things on this site?
This 500th post calls for MINIMUM CONTENT and MAXIMUM STATS. They start from when the site moved to Pentadact.com in February 2008, and the graph looks a bit like this (click for readable size): Continued