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Game development








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.


By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

Heat Signature’s Launch, And First Player Legend

A Leftfield Solution To An XCOM Disaster

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

Playing Assassin’s Creed 4: You Can’t Sword Fire, Man

I’m thinking about posting these Let’s Play style videos as shorter, individual highlights rather than recording every moment and putting it all up in long sequential chunks. Well, shorter than 50 minutes. That felt like overkill, and it also meant I felt weirdly guilty if I wanted to do something that’s boring to watch.

Assassin’s Creed 4 Parts 1-5: Boarding School

Part 1 is a bit quiet, but the rest should be fine – click the listy icon in the top left to see all episodes. Subscribe on YouTube or follow me on Twitter if you want to know when the next one goes up.

Exploring Eldritch, Parts 1 & 2

I’m playing Eldritch, a first-person horror/shooter/Roguelike with randomly generated levels and Lovecraft monsters.

The game completely changes after book 1 (above). I thought it was some kind of lite action game, then suddenly the enemies get so much harder that it’s more like a stealth horror game (below). Continued

Failing Fast In GTA V, Parts 1-10

About me: I am a bad driver, I don’t know any modern colloquialisms, and I just want everyone to be nice. In this video series, I attempt to play Grand Theft Auto V: Angry Jerks Steal Cars And Money And Yell At Each Other. It goes wrong in what might be record time.

We’re up to Part 10 now, click the listy button in the top left to skip to an episode.

Spelunky Strategy Guide: Finding And Defeating Anubis

Tom And Nika Vs The Necromancers Of Monaco, Parts 1-5

I’ve been playing Monaco co-op with Nika, and we’re YouTubing the whole fiasco. We’re up to Part 5 now, click the listy button in the top left to skip to an episode.

I struggled to get into Monaco when it first came out: I found it visually confusing, and most of the classes seemed bad. But over the course of these videos it starts to really click, and at its best it’s a hilarious, calamitous caper.

Games I Plan To Make #1: The Randomised Strategy Game

Hey Tom, why are you always cooking noisily when you make videos? Because I am finishing my videogame, so vidbloggiovlogging kinda has to cram into any downtime I get. Hope the noise isn’t too annoying.

Gunpoint Video Blog: Story Vs Games

I talk a bit about games vs stories: how they end up ruining each other, and how I’ve tried to avoid that in Gunpoint.

I mention the gender of the main villain in Gunpoint in this, but it won’t tell you much.

Gunpoint Dev Log: From A Broken Mess To A Working Game

A quick update on how Gunpoint’s going.

I AM SO SORRY I LEFT AUTOFOCUS ON! I will remember to disable it next time. My camera is great at everything except detecting how far away an almost stationary human in the center of the frame is.

Arguing On The Internet

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.

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

While poaching some eggs, I tried to explain what’s particularly cool about stealth games. Continued

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

While frying a piece of fish, I wondered why the violence shown at the main conferences at E3 got to me, despite the fact that I play violent games all the time. Continued

Listening To Your Sound Effects For Gunpoint

I asked if people wanted to make the sound effect for when you switch into Crosslink mode in Gunpoint, the view from which you can rewire how everything works. People did! Thanks, those people! I’ve made a video of me listening to some of your sounds, and reacting with a mixture of delight, horror and confusion. Continued