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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.

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By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

  • RoboLeg: this game would be PERFECT for mobile, and I’d happily pay 10 bucks or so for it.
  • Jepp: 1) Please keep critiquing games by building new ones :) 2) The non-hand holding, simple systems integrating...
  • Jack: Are you going to release Morphblade for iOS or the Nintendo Switch? I would really like to play this on my...
  • Spaceman Moses: One-eyeing this on my phone from the depths of my covers I lazily ask: what do you mean XCOM2 clarity...
  • kripto: For what it’s worth, I also like Morphblade more than Imbroglio. Although, to be fair, I’ve also...
  • 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

    M83 – Midnight City

    I love this. It’s their usual shimmering synth with spacey squeaks, and then at some point it just seems unable to contain its excitement and goes all-out eighties sax. It’s one of the best things to go.

    The MP3 is free to download if you sign up for their newsletter or whatever.

    I Like That You Can Slow Down

    Great new music is being released rapidly and randomly. Let me review some of it and give you some tracks.

    Continued

    Our Limbs Have Been Asleep

    If you’ve been dissatisfied with any of the government whales you’ve been using lately, I can recommend the Freelance Whales. When an album starts with a song like this, you know you’re in for some pretty fucking gentle glockenspiel-banjo times.

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    The whole album is good, I got it from here.

    Mixtape: Ten Tracks Mostly From 2010

    About the only new music I got into in 2010 was Said the Gramaphone’s round-up of the best music of 2009. So a while back, I asked Twitter for help, scoured The Onion AV Club, sifted through Spotify lists, and then pretty much went with Said the Gramaphone’s round-up of the best music of 2010.

    Since I’m embedding a bunch of tracks from their site, I’ll also copy their referral codes for the buy links so any kickbacks go to them. Continued

    Advice

    This section of preaching is directed at me rather than you, but I want to write it publicly to force myself to make sense. I’ll probably include some irrelevant music or photos with each post to distract you in case you get bored – this one’s the first big win of 2011’s adventure into the music other people discovered in 2010. Continued

    2010: The Year In Forty Photos

    Photos of 2010 60

    You probably don’t want to hear about my year, particularly since it was good. So I’ll do what I did in 2009 and just pick some shots from it, and a track to listen to while you browse. Continued

    A Minecraft Diary And My Black Ops Review

    The first entry of a Minecraft diary I’m starting just went up on PC Gamer – it’s just a short one to start with, but this might turn into a long-running thing. It’s about playing with a sort of permanent death rule: if I die, I have to delete the whole world and everything in it, then start again from scratch in a new one. It’s also starting from when I first played the game, so I know virtually nothing about how it works. The next entry will go up first thing tomorrow, and it’ll probably be every other day from then on. Continued

    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

    The Year In Forty Photos

    I won’t bore you with any kind of account of my year, but here are some photos I took during it. I guess I didn’t take all of them since I’m in some of them, but I don’t remember so good about those ones.

    I’ve been working my way through Said the Gramophone’s 75 tracks of the year with an odd cocktail of revulsion and delight. Among the delight, this wonderful song by Vic Chesnutt. Often songs that aren’t about what they seem to be about never let you in on the twist – it was years before I realised Belle & Sebastian’s Century of Elvis was about a cat. Vic’s is from the school of “Two minutes in, just come out and say it.” Continued

    I’ve Got Confessions To Make

    The silence here lately has been down to a dangerous daily routine of falling asleep in front of Star Trek: The Next Generation, waking up at 5am and playing Prototype until work. Dangerous, but not unpleasant.

    Prototype has caused me to break a mouse, and Star Trek has my brain quietly working on a master formula to generate Star Trek plots for Star Trek Online quests, and ways they could interact with a player-chosen crew. Continued

    Woo-EEE-Ooh-AAA!

    I knew BeBot – a beatific tuxedo’d robot for the iPhone who sings at your touch – was awesome. I didn’t realise he was awesome.

    Via, of course, Waxy.

    Trust Me With Your Ears: Volume Six

    A regular feature in which I ask you to listen to a sound file with no idea what it’s going to be. Sometimes it’s voice, sometimes music, once it was just a noise. This one’s not super-obscure, but it’s ages since I actually listened to it, and to this day I find myself humming it when someone says the word ‘online’. It is dorky in the extreme.

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    Update! It’s not supposed to be all crackly and fucked up. But it’s sounding that way for some. See the comments for a link to the video.

    Lord I Just Don’t Care

    I’ve been wondering when and how best to post something of Florence and the Machine‘s for a while, pretty much since I first heard them on Adam & Joe. I didn’t doubt it would be Dog Days, the exhaustingly energetic rollercoaster of a song I heard first, I was just waiting till they had something out for it to promote. I forgot that what they released could theoretically be better. They still don’t have an album, but this is Dog’s B-side: You’ve Got The Love. Continued

    Trust Me With Your Ears: Volume Five

    A regular feature in which I ask you to listen to a sound file with no idea what it’s going to be. It’s an attempt to share the strange experience of rummaging through my old download folders, listening to forgotten MP3s with uninformative filenames. All I know about them is that I must have liked them at some point.

    Volume Four was the shortest I’ve ever posted, this one is the longest – don’t click play if you’re in a hurry.

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    Trust Me With Your Ears: Volume Four

    A regular feature in which I ask you to listen to a sound file with no idea what it’s going to be. A very, very short one this time, and hopefully mysterious. I’ll reveal its identity and why it’s interesting in the comments tomorrow, but beat me to it if you can.

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