Out Now: The Attendant

Recently we spoke with Andrew McKissock, writer, narrative designer and games journalist, about his upcoming project, The Attendant. Andrew’s previous work includes, The Glitching Graduation, A New World and The Matrix Online. This upcoming title proves to be less about leather trench coat wearing martial arts specialists and instead focuses on a regular person’s struggle to do their job in the most averse of situations. The game is now available on Andrew’s Itch.io page along with his previous titles, The Fear Liath, A New World and Saudade.

After a mechanical fault leaves their landing gear jammed, a routine flight becomes an anxious waiting game. Flight attendant Evy tries to comfort the passengers on board, while coping with her own existential dread, as the plane jettisons fuel ahead of an emergency landing.

Andrew McKissock

We’re Going Down!

You’ll take control of Evy, a flight attendant, as she tries to come to terms with the fact her airplane is running out of fuel, has a broken landing gear and will almost certainly have to make an emergency landing. While dealing with her own existential crisis Evy will have to appear strong and reassure her passengers. This is the worst day of Evy’s life and depending on the choices you make it could start to get even worse.

The main source of gameplay from McKissock’s upcoming interactive fiction in communication. How will you speak to the passengers and how will they react? Some people deal with overwhelming situations by turning to a dark sense of humour, others will express their fear as anger and others will close off entirely. As a flight attendant your job is to look after the passengers on the aircraft no matter the situation. Choosing your words carefully is the name of the game. When speaking to that person with the dark sense of humour, will joking with them calm them down? Or should you show that you are just as concerned and clueless as they are? It’s fair to say Evy will not be having a good day. However, you may just be able to make thing a little easier for her.

Inspiration

Andrew told us that his inspirations for this game were his fear of flying, his experiences in customer service roles and the purgatory-like feeling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first inspiration is easy to understand. A fear of anything will lead one’s mind to wander to the worst possible scenarios and outcomes. Aviophobia naturally prompts thoughts of tragedy, and not the catchy 70’s disco classic.

McKissock’s experience in customer service has influenced how passengers talk to Evy. For those who have worked in the service industry, being talked down to or shouted at by customers is an all too common occurrence. It will be interesting to see how Andrew’s previous employment has shaped the dialogue and social interaction between his characters.

Even if the previous inspirations for The Attendant didn’t resonate with you, we can all relate to the seemingly endless loop of life in lockdown. Ever since last March, all of us have had at least a week of feeling like you’re living in a Majora’s Mask-esque time loop. This is the feeling Andrew is aiming to capture as the aircraft circles, burning ever dwindling fuel supply, trying to stay in the air for as long as possible. With an almost treading water in a shark tank kind of feeling.

Flying Solo

The Attendant is being made in the Twine Engine and all of the game’s writing and development is being carried out by Andrew. However, this is not Andrew’s first experience with the Twine Engine. McKissock’s previous work with this tool includes 2019’s The Fear Liath and 2020’s Saudade.

That being said Andrew is not completely on his own with this project to bring the game to life he has commissioned 3amInJupiter to illustrate his story. Their work can be found on Instagram and Inprint.

For Updates on the Attendant’s progress you can find Andrew Mckissock on his Website, Twitter, Instagram and Itch.Io.

Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

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