Suspicious Developments

Heat Signature gains music and art direction, draws closer to becoming a game

Shaun Prescott at

Heat Signature looked promising, albeit barebones, when this lengthy gameplay demonstration released last month, but now Tom Francis (Gunpoint, former PC Gamer scholar) has recruited two composers and an artist to flesh out the space stealth game. Compare the image above with the video here and you'll basically see magic happening.


Heat Signature trailer shows more sneaky spaceship hijacking; Suspicious Developments looking for partners in crime

Tom Sykes at

Tom Francis—maker of Gunpoint and former wordsman for PC Gamer—is currently working on a game of galactic spacedickery entitled Heat Signature. We've already seen a bit of it here, but that was months ago—I want to see 11 minutes and 21 seconds of how the game is looking now. In a remarkable twist of fate, Francis has uploaded a video of equivalent length here, together with the news that he's looking for an artist and composer to work on the game. Even if you can't draw good or make music good you should probably stick around, as Heat Signature is shaping up to be quite the thing.


Tom "Gunpoint" Francis leaves PC Gamer to become full-time indie developer

PC Gamer at

As you may have heard, veteran PC Gamer writer Tom Francis has made a game, called Gunpoint. In fact, you can see Chris and Tom playing through a few levels in the Gunpoint commentary video we put up earlier. The game launched less than ten days ago, and has done really rather well, so Tom has decided to leave PC Gamer and pursue a career as an indie developer full-time!

We wish him all the best, and it's not the end. Tom will still be writing for us occasionally on a freelance basis. In the meantime we thought you might enjoy a few fine examples of the pieces Tom has penned in the last nine years at Gamer. We will still love him, of course, as long as he lets us come to Miami to have a go on his titanium jet ski.


Gunpoint release date, demo and pre-orders pounce into view

Phil Savage at

Gunpoint developer, PC Gamer section editor and PR mastermind Tom Francis filled the long weekend with the most professionally executed marketing campaign ever seen. On Saturday we got the 2D stealth/hacking puzzler's release date’s release date’s release date, pointing to the next day's release date’s release date, which in turn led to yesterday's announcement of the release date. It was like the world's simplest ARG, in which the primary means of progression was calling Tom Francis a bad man.

But now we finally have an actual, proper release date of June 3rd, along with a generous demo to give you a chance to leap, pounce and rewire your way through some of the game's levels.

Gunpoint trailer inspects gadgets, announces Steam release

Phil Savage at

At this very moment, I'm sat at the temporarily abandoned desk of Gunpoint creator/on-sabbatical PC Gamer section editor Tom Francis. Let's root around through his no-doubt highly encrypted folders to see if we can find any new info about his game. Hmm, here's one called "TOP SECRET GUNPOINT SECRETS - DO NOT OPEN". I wonder what happens if we open it? Ooh, two files: one a video marked "New Gadgets", the other a text file titled, "Gunpoint is coming to Steam". Inside it's just pages of exclamation marks.


Watch the Minecon 2012 indie lectures: Introversion, C418, Mode 7 and more

Marsh Davies at

Minecon wasn’t only about Minecraft. Mojang were good enough to invite along the bright lights of the indie dev scene to give a series of inspiring, funny lectures, describing how they got into the business and what they’ve learnt along the way.

Taking to the stage in chronological order: Hello Games, purveyors of deceptively chirpy stunt-biking game Joe Danger; C418, Minecraft’s maestro of electronica; Introversion, creators of Uplink, Darwinia and the tremendously tempting crowdfunded clink-sim, Prison Architect; Suspicious Developments, aka Tom Francis, aka maker of Gunpoint, aka PC Gamer writer, aka man sitting two metres two my right as I type this and looking rather dashing too, I might add; Mike Bithell, the dev behind clever platformer Thomas Was Alone; and Mode 7, creators of simultaneous turnbased-tactics masterpiece Frozen Synapse.

Hit the jump for the videos of each talk, and watch out for our PCG-helmed indie dev round-table which we'll publish in the next few days.


Gunpoint level editor revealed, trailer within

Marsh Davies at

Gunpoint, the indie stealth-puzzler from Suspicious Developments, is to launch with a level editor it was announced yesterday. The game sees you infiltrate secure office complexes to steal data, using snazzy gizmos to rewire the building's electrics and using your less snazzy - but no less effective - fists to punch guards repeatedly in the head. It's made by Tom Francis who usually sits about three metres away from me in the PC Gamer office, looking contemplative and intellectual even when he's secretly browsing amusing dog gifs.