Tom Edwards

Programmer, game designer and technical writer.

Links

Code

Frontier Developments, 2016-Present

I am a tools engineer at Frontier where I work primarily on Elite: Dangerous.

Since joining Frontier I have reinvented the company's level design process with a new in-game editor (C++) which communicates with a GUI built into our existing tool suite (C#).

I have also created a resource database system to allow the tools to understand and preview much of the game's content, created a texture compositing tool, and helped to transfer both the game and the Cobra engine to MSBuild.

Modo, 2014-2016

I was a Modo C++ Engineer at The Foundry.

My work included network rendering, developer instrumentation/analytics, CMake, Qt, and Python integration. I also created rigs and tools for prominent design clients.

I created and maintained Modo Indie, a cut-down Steam release of the core product aimed at game developers.

Blender Source Tools, 2009-Present

I added Source Engine support to Blender, the free 3D modelling suite.

I wrote fast Python code that supports all Source features, including Valve’s proprietary DMX format. I paid close attention to the user interface, an area in which competing tools were lacking.

The user can execute the whole Source export and compile process with a single click from even the most complex scenes.

Team Info HUD

I extended the in-game interface of Natural Selection 2 with contextual team status information.

The Team Info HUD mod was written in Lua and hooks elegantly into the game's base systems, with only one compatibility fix needed in three years.

The mod handles network transmission of extra player information, predicts the status of the local player, and in commander mode processes user input.

It was routinely used in leagues and other competetive matches in Natural Selection 2's heyday.

Ego Localisation Tool, 2013

After finishing localisation on F1 Race Stars, I used my development experience to rewrite the Ego engine’s localisation tool from scratch.

New features included real-time error reporting, failsafe Perforce integration, language filtering and improved Excel import/export.

The tool is now used for production thanks to its excellent performance, smooth workflow and reliability. It was created with C# and WPF.

Other projects

Blender
I designed and implemented several Blender features in C, including Windows thumbnail support and object animation libraries.
GIMP VTF plug-in
I added Source engine import and export to GIMP, the premier open source image editor.

Design

Bulletin, 2013-Present

My spare-time project is a sim game exploring the inner workings of the news media.

As journalists, players will discover how newspaper stories are selected and distilled from the messy complexity of real life.

Bulletin has been programmed from scratch with C# and WPF.

F1 Race Stars, Codemasters, 2011-2013

I was a junior game designer on F1 Race Stars, the world’s first official Formula One karting game.

I worked on the X360, PS3, PC, and Wii U releases. My responsibilities included:

  • Ownership of design documentation wiki
  • Proposing and iterating on design ideas
  • Race mode prototyping (C++) and balancing
  • Writing and localisation
  • Wii U in-game manual

Tactical Insertion, 2010

Tactical Insertion is a mod for Dawn of War II that focuses on round-based tactical squad combat.

I created new maps, new Lua code and new UI, with a focus on clear and simple player feedback and a schedule of rapid iterative releases.

I made the mod single-handedly over the space of four months. It has been downloaded over 1,700 times since.

MINERVA: Metastasis, 2005-2011

I playtested, promoted and later patched the renowned Half-Life 2 mod MINERVA: Metastasis.

My in-depth knowledge of Source allowed me to remaster visual effects, improve HDR imaging and fix bugs, crashes and exploits for the “Source 2009” patch, all without the footprint of recompiled maps.

My patch shipped in Valve’s official Steam release of the mod.

Communication

Valve Developer Community, 2005-2011

I improved or created much of Valve Software’s official Source Engine documentation.

Articles written wholly or predominantly by myself have been viewed over 1,000,000 times and translated into several languages. I also designed core infrastructure such as the contents page and category indexes.

My work has given me in-depth knowledge of game development areas as diverse as animation, visibility control and networking.

BA Hons. Journalism, 2007-2010

I graduated in 2010 with a 2:1 degree from the University of Lancaster.

My undergraduate work includes video interviews, solo web design and print design leadership. I also sub-edited others’ work.

Editorially I focused on news features, covering several major stories including staff and student protests against planned campus closures.

I wrote my dissertation on the new opportunities presented to local journalism by emerging mobile web technologies.

The Steam Review, 2004-2008

The Steam Review fought back against consumer confusion over Steam, the online service that is now at the heart of PC gaming.

I secured exclusive news and interviews from many of the companies involved in the early days of Steam, and my work has been widely cited and commended across the web.