30 Great Independent Developers in one month.

At a Glance: Tom Francis & Heat Signature

IndieMonth | 362d ago
User blog

Tom Francis designed Gunpoint, a game about reiring things and punching people, and another called Floating point about swinging around on a rope (it’s free!). He’s currently working on Heat Signature which is about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships.

Heat Signature is a space stealth game that has the player sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Within your control is a small, unarmed ship and you must keep the ship cool enough to avoid detection by the larger NPC ships’ heat sensors. Get near enough to a ship, latch onto the airlock, breach the vessel (while avoiding all the armed crew) and subdue the captain. With the plan to have randomly assigned professions and missions each time, every game of Heat Signature you play will be unique.


Play on: Currently planned for PC

Mini Q&A

Why do you make games?
I think as soon as you discover you can, it's impossible to resist. You get to create not just worlds, but universes: writing by hand the very laws of physics, the thought processes if every pseduo-living thing within them, equations that generate billions of possibilities, interactions that feel like nothing you can do on this planet. The time that each of these things takes means you have to be smart about how much you choose to simulate, but I love that challenge too. Given infinite possibilities, what are the three most exciting things you can write down as algorithms? That's an amazing question to be answering for your job.

Why should people play Heat Signature?
When it's ready, I hope it's going to let you live a variety of crazy, short lives in the dizzying vastness of space. I want it to be a huge galaxy full of random spacecraft, but one where each of those craft is also a place where people live, a fragile machine with working systems, and a hostile environment it's tough to infiltrate. And when you break one of those fragile machines, I want it to trigger a chain reaction of physics catastrophes that follow logical rules, but have entertainingly different results each time.

What element of game design do you hold above all others?
I think respecting the player's time. I love random generation and connected systems too, but I could be happy with a game that didn't have those things. I couldn't be happy with a game that took control from the player to make them sit through something, or forced them to repeat something they'd already done, or incentivised them to do something tedious. Everyone's time is precious, and I want games to give us more enjoyable ways to spend it. Any time they coax, bait or bribe us into wasting it, it's a crime.

Today’s Stories:
At a Glance: Tom Francis & Heat Signature (YOU ARE HERE): http://n4g.com/user/blogpos...
Interview with Tom Francis: http://n4g.com/user/blogpos...
Heat Signature: Sneaking in Space: http://n4g.com/user/blogpos...
Win an Amazon Gift Card - and Enter to Win a PS4!: http://n4g.com/user/blogpos...

Day 30 | Tom Francis

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GameDemonKing  +   362d ago
I like this interview as it was informative.
Sarobi  +   362d ago
Indie month has been a very great month for N4G. I love learning about the developers and checking out these really neat games.

Tom, along with all the other devs that were featured this month, are definitely really creative people. I was never one to say that I was interested in making my own video game, but after reading through some of these I do feel inspired to give a shot down the line.
MrxDeath  +   362d ago
the gameplay is awesome!
a stealth space game !
this is awesome
yoshiroaka  +   362d ago
I like the concept but i wish the graphics werent so basic tho. Needs a little more spice. Hopefully it improves for the final product.
oasdada  +   362d ago
Hmmm.. random generated stuff is going to be the new 'open world' soon
beepbopadoobop  +   362d ago
My kind of game. The graphics are a tad on the simple side even for me, but once I start playing it im sure I wont even notice!
Caffo01  +   362d ago
"With the plan to have randomly assigned professions and missions each time, every game of Heat Signature you play will be unique."

That intrigues me, with all this random stuff it should be always fun... i'll try it!
LukeFair  +   362d ago
I like the fact that there are infinite random generated spaceships. Seems cool
dictionary  +   362d ago
Stealth is my favourite genre!
LightDiego  +   362d ago
Success for you.
RexDD  +   362d ago
I love games that use randomly generated elements. It gives them more replay value.
FITgamer  +   362d ago
Stealth and Space = awesome.
MightyNoX  +   362d ago
Reading this, i cant help but think of the first Alien.
BiggCMan  +   362d ago
Interesting gameplay concept!
pyrocloud7  +   362d ago
So I get to be a space pirate? Count me in!
SpeedDemon  +   362d ago
Really liked Gunpoint, this game looks fun as well.
Derekvinyard13  +   362d ago
At least he's honest, a gamers time is very important lol
XtraTrstrL  +   362d ago
I like all the random generation to keep the replay value up.
Monster_Tard  +   362d ago
Game seems really original and looks very fun to play.
Disagree  +   362d ago
interested in seeing what the final product is. really like the concept of boarding other ships. then it sorta becomes a little game inside a game
shadowvisa  +   362d ago
looks fun
KellyRay  +   362d ago
Good luck to the developer. Sounds fun!
xHeavYx  +   362d ago
I hope this game comes out for the VITA
rambi80  +   362d ago
That video really sold it for me. I loved hearing a dev poke fun at his own game. Good Job. Looking forward to this.
MisterAV  +   362d ago
Now that I've seen the video I can say I really like the concept, even in these early stages
JoelandEllie  +   362d ago
That video really made the game look fun. It would be good if we could have reminders for when these games come out.
dota2champion  +   362d ago
just signup for the mailing list on the official website
ichizon  +   362d ago
Making games because he is able to truly shows that he enjoys doing this. I also like that Francis wants to respect the player's time.

I recently tried out a game that did not respect my time, despite my friend warning me about it. Burnout Paradise. I loved the previous installments, but in this one I had to sit through basically the same sequence every time I did anything at all, and the whole game is designed in a way that does not fit the franchise at all (free roaming with no fast travel). There are more bad, repetitive things in BP, but I'll just leave the rant at that. I have no idea how it scored such great reviews. You have no idea how well Francis' statement spoke to me right now.
#27 (Edited 362d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
herobyclicking  +   362d ago
Oh. The countless times I have tried to give Burnout Paradise a chance. I wanted it to be good. Sigh.
LedZeppelin  +   361d ago
burnout paradise is awesome
grashopper  +   362d ago
Didn't they patch in fast travel to get to events?
Haven't played it in a while so I could be wrong. I loved it though. I was looking for things to do on the way to the event like billboards and jumps so it didn't feel like wasted time to me.
ichizon  +   362d ago
It isn't my intention to make a BP topic out of this, but I'll reply shortly on this post since you asked. You can restart events now, but there's no fast travel. And yes, a lot of the billboards, jumps, etc. are found when playing normally, but they do feel like a "fetch quest" when there's only a few left.
HammadTheBeast  +   362d ago
Gonna have to look into this one, the ideas and thinking of the dev and his vision for games is refreshing. He actually cares unlike other big-name publishers.
Pele  +   362d ago
Well, looks pretty... unique, i guess :)
dota2champion  +   362d ago
very cool concept. the gameplay mechanic sounds similar to sid meier's pirates
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