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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.

  • Ben: Great analysis. During the lab sequence in the Prey intro, you were looking around for tells that Morgan is in a...
  • 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...
  • 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

    The Martian (The Book)

    No spoilers

    The other day I really wanted something to do that would give my eyes a break from focusing on things right in front of them. So I looked for audiobooks, and remembered that I’d been planning to read The Martian – mostly because of this comic and its hover-text:

    Continued

    Podcast Tips: Nick Frost On WTF

    Sometimes I’ll recommend you a particularly great episode of a podcast I listen to. Feel free to recommend your own in the comments! I probably don’t have to tell you that Serial is great.

    Co-star of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead talks to Marc Maron about what he was doing before all of that, the nature of which you would probably never guess. On the party where he first met Simon Pegg:

    “I was nervous to meet him. He was this stand-up comedian, and I was the funniest waiter at Chiquitos. We circled each other all night, until finally we were outside on a roof together, and we just did impressions at each other, for hours. It was like the duelling banjos.”

    Edit: as with any interview podcast, skip the intro until you hear the guest. It’s like 14 fucking minutes here.

    The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

    My life has changed in many ways since working for my own company, but perhaps the biggest is that I can now watch Murder, She Wrote over breakfast and/or lunch. This is great, but it’s also ingrained the show’s weirdly specific formula in my brain, and now I feel I must write it down. The following is how about 70% of its episodes go – the exceptions are kind of nuts. Continued

    Clack: A Very Short Story Inspired By An Amazon Review

    I tried to join in with Mikey Neumann’s challenge to write a story in 100 words, but I rambled over into 255. This story is inspired by a customer review of a product on Amazon – you’ll know which one if you’ve read it. I don’t have the link anymore so if anyone does please comment. Continued

    My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection

    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.

    Suspicious Developments headquarters broken into

    BATH, UNITED KINGDOM – January 21, 2012 – The headquarters of UK game developer Suspicious Developments were broken into last night by the company’s own director, Tom Francis.

    Continued

    Seat Quest 2010: The Return: Origins

    This is the final part of my adventure in seats. Part one is here, part two is here, and part three is here.

    Two weeks before the return flight: four or five bad seats. I don’t book any of them. Continued

    Seat Quest 2010: The Flight

    This is part three of my adventure in seats. Part one is here and part two is here.

    My first thought on the plane was “Oh man, Club Class on this flight looks just like the lowly World Traveller Plus.” Then, “Oh, that was World Traveller Plus. This is Club Class.” Continued

    Seat Quest 2010: The Lounge

    This is part two of my adventure in seats. Part one is here. I reserve the right to use unrelated photos to break unsightly blocks of text.

    Club World isn’t first class, but it makes it hard to imagine what is. Do their seats go beyond horizontal, into back-breaking reflex angles? Do they face out into the open air, to guarantee three miles of leg room? After the champagne, three course meal and brandy you get in Club World, is there a heroin course? Continued

    A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

    I think stand up comics do a lot of plane food material because they travel a lot for their work, and travel is boring, and boredom gets you thinking. This is how I’ve come back from a trip with 3,000 words about my seat. I’ll put it up in parts, and since I don’t have any photos of most of it, I’m going to illustrate it with pictures from an unrelated adventure. Continued

    My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

    To commemorate my 100th hour playing as him, and since he’s clearly next in Valve’s update schedule, it seemed appropriate to take a swing at a Meet The Spy script. Continued

    EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

    “The simultaneous ambush and galaxy-wide hangar theft inflicted financial damage upwards of 30 billion ISK – $16,500 US dollars at IGE.com’s prices. The value of the stolen assets utterly dwarfed the original fee for the job. And yet the only item the Guiding Hand’s anonymous client requested for himself was the cold, dead body of the target. It’s safe to say this was personal.” Continued

    My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

    “Fuck!”
    It came from the den. Later I’d learn that it had followed a much quieter, “Oh fuck. Oh-“

    My first thought was that it had broken. I was going to spend a lot of time, over the next five years, wishing that I’d been right about that.

    He burst into the room, crunching the door hinges and smacking the handle deep into the plaster. He nearly fell over trying to stop. I didn’t say anything, just stared.
    391! He was on the train this morning! He was one of the victims!” He stared too. We just stared. “Look it up!”
    I didn’t have to. I didn’t have all our test cases memorised yet, but 391 I did know: EXPLODED. Continued

    A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

    Somewhere between the recording someone made of AOL refusing to let them cancel their service and the story about the woman whose father AOL insisted on billing for nine months after his death – once telling his daughter to “shut up” when she protested – I missed the part where AOL released all thirty-six million search queries that five hundred thousand of their users made over the course of three months. Continued

    Mockba

    Mark: Who wants to go to Moscow?
    Me: What’s the game?
    Mark: It’s not just about the game, it’s about getting to go to Moscow.
    Me: I just want to be sure that I would be the best person for the job.
    (All laugh) Continued