Gunpoint creator discusses leap from game journalist to developer

By Dave Cook
8 July 2013 10:03 GMT

Gunpoint creator and former PC Gamer journalist Tom Francis has shed light on his jump from game critic to developer in a new interview, and what it’s like to see both sides of the industry from each side of the fence.

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Speaking with, Francis explained how his career in reviewing games led to a better understanding of what makes a release good or not.

“What I’ve basically been doing for nine years as a journalist was, the thing I was trying to get better at all the time, was figuring out what’s important to why a game is good,” he said. “When you do that for nine years and then you start making a game it makes it really easy to decide which things to spend your time on.

“In particular lots of little details that some people treat as being way more important than they are you can skip them if you realise they’re going to be difficult. Like menus, is the main example.”

He conceded that it’s still a tricky thing to work out, “There’s a really unproductive aphorism going around that it’s the little things that make a big difference. It isn’t, it’s the big things that make a big difference. And then if you get the big things right and you do the little things right, lots of people notice the little things. But if you get the big things wrong, it doesn’t matter if you got the little things right.”

Gunpoint is one of ten games competing for a trio of Indie Showcase awards at this week’s Develop conference in Brighton. I interviewed all ten developers – including Francis – to learn more about their games. Check out each of the projects here.

Have you bought Gunpoint? If so, let us know what you thought below.

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