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Heat Signature

Heat Signature review

Get ready for boarding

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4 months ago

We’re talking with the Gunpoint & Heat Sig dev at Rezzed

You might know Tom Francis as the designer of noir rewire-'em-up Gunpoint and the stealthy spaceship invasion of Heat Signature. You might know him as the writer of the What Works And Why column around these parts. At this year's EGX Rezzed you can know him by hearing him talk on stage with Adam about the challenges of building a procedural galaxy, his design philosophy,…

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7 months ago

Gunpoint dev’s latest pitch: Tactical Breach Wizards

Sometimes an in-joke is too good to not share. Tom Francis (of Gunpoint and Heat Signature fame) is playing around with some new concepts for his next game. One of them, Tactical Breach Wizards, is a running joke from his days as PC Gamer turned real. Four modern-day mages with kevlar-lined robes and scoped tactical wands, fighting urban crime one room at a time in XCOM inspired…

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Feature: Gunpoint's designer analyses games

What Works And Why: Emergence

What Works And Why is a new monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game and analyses what makes it good. I love Deus Ex, System Shock 2, and Dishonored 2, and the name for these games is dumb: they're 'immersive sims'. If you asked me what I liked about them, my answer would be a…

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8 months ago

Getting Over It, Night In The Woods, Baba Is You & Into The Breach lead IGF 2018 finalists

It's that time again already - 2018's Independent Games Festival hands out its best-in-indie gongs on March 21 (as part of the Game Developers Conference), and these are the games in line for a prize. And, more importantly, a big shot at success thanks to the profile, although it should be noted that a fair few of these have done rather well for themselves already.…

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9 months ago

Heat Signature update responds to our very fair points

Well, here's an excellent idea. Tom Francis, the fella behind Gunpoint and Heat Signature (and various journalistic endeavours back in the day) has released an update for Heat Signature that takes 'fair points' from reviews and adds a feature or an item to address each of them. They're all simple tweaks to the 'plans gone wrong space-heist 'em up', but the update lured me back…

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11 months ago

Feature: Listen now, please

Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talks Divinity: Original Sin 2, Heat Signature and things going wrong

Oh no, you've tripped the alarm. Now the terrifying RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, knows you're here. It's going to hunt you down and force you to listen to it. Quick! Think of a way out of this, before you hear all about Adam becoming an accidental mass murderer in Dishonored, or John obsessively re-loading his way out of a bad situation. If you…

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Feature: Get ready for boarding

Heat Signature review

The man who killed my mum is floating off into space. Should I feel glad? I was supposed to bring him in alive. I put a trap down in the corridor of his spaceship and the moment he stood on it, he was teleported into the void. That might not sound like the best way to bring somebody in alive, but it was part of…

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Frantic sci-fi caper Heat Signature is out now

The things-go-bad genre has received another bumbling anti-hero today with Heat Signature [official site]. It's the top-down, spaceship-hijacking, prisoner-capturing, soldier-assassinating, star system-liberating game from Gunpoint creators Suspicious Developments. I've only played a couple of hours but in that time I've come a cropper in some terrible ways. Yesterday, I threw a handgun at a man's head. It bounced right off, and only seemed to make…

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Heat Signature creator wants botched space burglary to be a ‘recoverable catastrophe’

Spaceship hijacking sim Heat Signature [official site] is coming out on Sept 21, says creator and Gunpointer Tom Francis. Like its spiritual predecessor, it involves infiltrating places you shouldn’t be, sneaking around like a cheeky space burglar, and completing missions for one of the galaxy’s factions. But ultimately it seems to be about panicking as all your plans and preparation go terribly awry. I asked…

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1 year ago

Feature: Procedural precision

Heat Signature is a comic cosmic playground

I'm not sure if Heat Signature [official site] will be labelled as a comedy game when it goes on sale, but I haven'y played a funnier game in recent years. Your role in each brief life that you lead is to earn money by completing missions that involve kidnapping, assassination and theft, so that you can use the money to buy information regarding an end-game…

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2 years ago

Heat Signature’s teleporters and a ridiculous escape

It has been many moons since we last looked at the sneaky, top-down spaceship invading of Heat Signature [official site] but work has not ceased. A new trailer shows some new looks for the different factions you’ll be encountering, as well as explaining how a few of your hero’s teleporter skills work. In the process, creator Tom Francis fails to sneak through a high-difficulty level,…

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3 years ago

Feature: Half-baked ideas.

How To Make A Great British Bake Off Game

The latest series of The Great British Bake Off has come to an end, causing those of us hooked by its cream-filled buns, end-of-the-pier puns, and oddly sincere celebration of the human spirit, to feel as empty inside as an incompletely prepared batch of jam donuts. After a few days spent facing a future free from sugar, gluten, and the strange tension between Paul Hollywood…

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Feature: "Quick, throw yourself out of the airlock!"

Galaxies, Wrenches And Disclosures: Gunpoint Creator Tom Francis’ Heat Signature

Heat Signature [official site] is an action/stealth game in which you can go inside the spaceships, from the team behind Gunpoint. I played a recent build last week and spoke to its lead designer Tom Francis about how how it's grown into a game of factional war, if it can ever be finished, comedy wrench KOs and the awkwardness of journalists covering ex-journalists' games. By…

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Galaxy Class: New Heat Signature Dev Walkthrough

This new Heat Signature [official site] video dev diary/walkthrough is giving me some serious "Hotline Miami in space" vibes, and I'm totally digging it. Developer Tom Francis has made some significant updates to the game since we last saw it 220 days ago. Watch as he talks us through a few missions, resets the universe a couple of times, and nails precision rebound wrench throws.

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4 years ago

Hijacking Hijinks: Heat Signature

Judging by the new trailer for Heat Signature, two things are essential in a Tom Francis game - manipulation of interconnected systems and comical physics. Gunpoint's infiltration often involved tapping into electrical systems and adopting a smart tactical overview, but usually ended with trouser-propulsion and instinctive defenestration. Heat Signature's procedural spaceships provide similarly fertile ground for both forward planning and farce. The video shows two…

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Feature: "Ghettoised Arbitrary-Land"

Heat Signature: Hands-On With The Gunpoint Follow-Up

Important proviso - all screens and video in this piece show placeholder art. The finished Heat Signature will apparently look very different - there are some hints to its possible final appearance here, however. "I think the subtitle of the game should be 'You Can Go Inside The Spaceships'," jokes Heat Signature dev Tom Francis as he shows me his follow-up to break-out hit Gunpoint…

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Procedural Plundering: Heat Signature Trailer

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…

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Feature: A Log Of Itself

DevLog Watch: Augen Der Welt, Heat Signature, Relativity

Last week's DevLog Watch was an hour-long GIF of me, sat on my couch, stuffing my face with a bank holiday-worth of olives and chocolate. Development stalled when I became too full to eat anymore, but the column is back this week with new games from old developers, new developers, old journalists, and, uh, new sources of old archives... Stealth Breakout! Stealth spaceships! Unconcealed Escher!

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5 years ago

Gunpoint Creator Making Procedural Space Stealth Game

Tom "Who Made Gunpoint" Francis is making a new game! In fact, Tom "who I worked with for eight years" Francis is making two new games simultaneously and making videos about both as development progresses. One of those games is about a grappling hook and that's all we know. The other, called Heat Signature, is a space game about sneaking up on spaceships and that's…

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