Procedural Plundering: Heat Signature Trailer

Zoom zoom.

You can learn a lot about someone from the games they make, I’m told. Tom Francis’s first game, Gunpoint, was about breaking into places, punching people out, bodging their wiring, stealing stuff, then leaving through a window. But look, his second game was a free game about gaily swinging on a grappling hook. That made the score 1-1 in Evil vs. Lovely. To settle the tie, today he released a new video showing a prototype for his third game, Heat Signature. It’s about, ah, sneaking up on spaceships, boarding them, sneaking around, punching men out, then stealing their stuff. Oh Tom.

It’s all very much an early prototype still, but the core ideas seem settled. You play a naughty person who roams around space boarding procedural ships to rob them or assassinate people. Stealth is key, as you’ll want to go slow with your little ship to stop its heat signature (aha!) getting it spotted, lest guns blow you to bits, and you’ll want to be sneaky aboard ships, in case they toss you out the airlock and you need to remote-pilot your ship to collect you before your eyes burst. You could also steal their ship. Or shoot them. Or hack them (electronics, not flesh). Options!

It’s hardly the prettiest of games, which is why he’s looking for for an artist and a composer to come in and help make things look and sound nicer. It’s a fair way out from release, obviously.


  1. Clavus says:

    Both when he retrieved his own body from space, and when he made ships fight each other, were great unexpected moments. Can’t wait to see the end product.

  2. Niko says:

    Stealth in space, eh?
    link to

    • Ross Angus says:

      Next you’ll be telling us hedgehogs don’t collect coins.

      • Niko says:

        But it’s a different thing, because the title implies some sci-fieness (ahem).
        P.S. I wouldn’t say such a ridiculous thing! I saw a very menacing heyghoge once, pretty sure he tried to attack me because he was protecting his coin stash.

      • pandiculator says:

        They don’t! But, I have seen them gravitating towards rings at great speed!

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Reply fail.

  3. Bull0 says:

    Looks really promising, and it’s nice hearing such enthusiasm in the narration.

    Oh and hey, this one justifies it’s choice of title right from the get-go! :P

  4. PopeRatzo says:

    I seem to recall August being a half-way decent month for new games, with even a few AAA titles in there. What happened?

  5. Synesthesia says:

    I’m definitely applying for that art position. The dude sounds like a pleasure to work for. Wish me luck, internet strangers!

    • ribby says:

      Good Luck Synesthesia!

    • Cloudiest Nights says:

      Good luck! I would’ve applied, but looking at all the animation needed I didn’t think I’d be suitable for the job. I did send him a good mock up he hopefully sees that shows him a way of doing different segmented sprites for the playable character so there can be more variety without remaking each sprite.

      EDIT: wrong reply, kinda

  6. LionsPhil says:

    Tom Francis has a potty mouth. For shame.

  7. moocow says:

    This article really needs a disclaimer about just how much alcohol each of the RPS staff has consumed with Tom Francis. A rough estimate of units per year (cheap Cava counts double).

    I’m looking at you, Graham.

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      Is the last bit of your post related to the first half, or did you just want to let Graham know how your stalking is going?

  8. doomlaser says:

    Reminds me a lot of Captain Forever. A very different spin on the concept of course.

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    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Gunpoint was a lot of fun so I am for sure looking forward to this.

  10. lordfrikk says:

    Glad to hear (and see) there’s already another game in the pipeline!