The Heat Signature FAQ

People often ask me: “Tom, frequentlyAskedQuestion[floor(random(frequentlyAskedQuestion.Count))].”

“Well,” I tell them…

When will…

I don’t know.

I didn’t finish my question!

If it starts with ‘When will’, my answer is always ‘I don’t know’ – I learned from Gunpoint that it’s pointless, impossible and even harmful for me to guess how long developing something will take me. Don’t worry about it dragging on forever, though, I’m incredibly impatient.

When- LET ME FINISH – when it is ready for testing, can I get in on that?

Quite possibly! When I do get to that stage, I’ll let the Suspicious Developments Mailing List know how to sign up, so join that.

What are you making it in, and will it come to Mac and Linux?

Game Maker Studio, a more modern version of the same tool I used for Gunpoint. I can’t be sure about non-Windows platforms because I’ve never tried those before in Game Maker (Gunpoint’s were handled externally). If I export it and it just works, great. If it’s riddled with platform-specific problems, then I’m not gonna promise I’ll have the time and talent to fix enough of those to make it good enough to sell.

Will you do a Kickstarter?

Nope, my share of Gunpoint’s earnings fund Heat Signature’s development.

Will you do Early Access?

I don’t plan to. I definitely wouldn’t put the game up in a rough state and start charging for it – I never want to sell a thing I don’t believe is worth the money in its current state. The other possibility is to get the game into a good state and then use Early Access like a final beta. I’m not against that in principle, but my current plan is just to keep doing closed alphas you can sign up to.

Weren’t you learning Unity? Why did you switch back?

I still am. I’m using Game Maker for Heat Signature because part of the appeal of the idea, to me, was that I already knew how to make it in the tools I’ve previously used. I’m very slow and very bad at Unity by comparison, so I want to keep learning it while still getting something done.

I want to make a game, should I use Unity or Game Maker?

If you’re a complete beginner and your idea would work in 2D, I suggest Game Maker because it’s so much quicker to learn.

If you have some programming knowledge, or your idea needs to be in 3D and you’re patient, I suggest Unity: it’s more flexible, it’ll probably be easier to work with other people, and the asset store is really cool. Unity can do 2D games, but I haven’t tried it for that.

What tutorials do you recommend for Game Maker or Unity?

For Game Maker, mine! I did a video series talking you through making a game with no coding experience, with the free version, in 16 hours. For Unity, I used and liked Alec Holowka’s, but they’re for JavaScript and you’re probably better off in C# in the long run. These days I’m mostly just using the stuff on their official site.

Can I suggest something?

Yes, but! Don’t make a suggestion if you would be upset to see that suggestion in the game without credit to you. It’s very common for people to suggest things I’m already planning, and luckily so far everyone seems lovely and just happy the game is going in the direction they’d hoped, but I’m aware of the potential for someone to get the wrong idea.