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A developer's year: Tom Francis

The creator of Gunpoint shares his highs and lows of 2013

2013 felt like a big year to be a gamer, with new consoles, new business models settling in and old school studios getting lost along the way. But what was it like from the inside? We spoke to a few high profile developers to find out what the stand out moments were for them.

Tom Francis of Suspicious Developments and the man behind Gunpoint has had an even more significant year than most, swapping the life of a games journalist - reviewing games, conducting interviews and reporting on events - for that of a game developer, and experiencing all those things from the other side of the barricades.

"This was the year I released my first game, quit my day job and became a full time self employed indie developer, so that's overshadowed everything for me.

My low point was when, after working two jobs for more than two years,it looked like I had at least another year's worth of development left to do on Gunpoint.

In the end I cut features ruthlessly, took a sabbatical from my job,and burned through the remaining work in two months.

"I cut features ruthlessly, took a sabbatical from my job,and burned through the remaining work"

The high point would be part of the great response the game's had. I have a friend who's going through a traumatic time, and he e-mailed me out of the blue to say that the weekend he spent playing Gunpoint was a bright spot in a dark time. It made me realise that even though my game only ever aims to be fun, fun is a genuinely positive force in the world, and it's a thing worth creating."

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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