Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.
Two weeks before the return flight: four or five bad seats. I don’t book any of them.
One week before departure: three or four bad seats. Not booking.
Eighteen hours before departure: one bad seat. Oh come on! Fine, as an act of protest, I’m not even going to book the only seat available to me. I’m going to leave you guys in the dark as to which of these one seats I’m going to take.
Four hours before departure: one bad seat. The same bad seat. My system has failed. You know what, assholes? Fine. I’m…. I’m not even going to check in online. Deal with that.
Three hours before departure, check-in desk: “Hmm, let’s see if we can get you a better seat.”
“Oh, that’d be great.”
“Okay, you’re going from gate S10, everything’s running on time, here’s your boarding pass.”
I look at the boarding pass: it’s the same seat. It’s from that special stripe down the middle of the plane where seats just aren’t anything. They’re not aisle (easy to get up), they’re not window (no ass in face when other people get up), they’re not front of block (infinite leg room) and they’re not back of block (guilt-free reclining). They’re just seats, reasonably comfortable seats, on a plane, that is going to fly through the goddamn air until you’re in another country, serving you free drinks as it goes.
Waiting at the gate, the staff keep putting out announcements for British Airways passengers who’ve checked in online, and haven’t seen a BA rep at the airport yet. I sit back and smile at their misfortune. Wrong choice, suckers! You should have randomly not checked in online this time, like I randomly didn’t.
They form a queue, then everyone sees the queue and thinks we’re boarding, forming a bigger queue, which makes everyone sure we’re boarding, then they have to put out another announcement telling everyone to sit back down. The TV’s showing some weird sitcom where Wyclef Jean is trying to become the president of Haiti.
When we finally board, the lady in front of me gets an angry red beep when her boarding pass is scanned.
“Oh dear. You didn’t see a British Airways representative, did you?”
“Yes, I saw you, at this desk.”
We share a very British everyone-is-incompetent look while the rep goes off to check something. She comes back. It’s fine.
I have my passport open to the photo page with the boarding pass tucked inside – I have decided this will be one of my life skills. She scans it, it beeps red.
I’ll be damned if I’m going to be penalised for checking in online the one time I didn’t.
She goes off to check something, and comes back. I’m just about to explain – in what I plan to be a slightly snippy tone – exactly who I saw and where, when she leans forwards and whispers guiltily:
“You’ve been upgraded to Club.”
Jesus, now people are just going to hate me.
More Seat Quest 2010
Flowerpot Wang: Holy. Shit.
Tweets that mention Seat Quest 2010: The Return: Origins, by Tom Francis -- Topsy.com: [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Francis, Ben Borthwick and Ben Borthwick, Ben Borthwick. Ben Borthwick said: And so @Pentadact wins the Best Collection of Blog Posts about Air Travel Seats ever in the Games Joruno Blogolympics: http://bit.ly/byMybR [...]
Tom Francis: Directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
Joe!: For the love of God please make a bonus part 5. These are the funniest posts on James since that Far Cry one where the lead designer came on and there was A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FLAMING calm discussion.
CloakRaider: Heh, British Airways aren't as bad as everyone seems to believe. Better than some budget airlines such as WizzAir. While most airlines have the decency to tell you when your flight has been delayed, they didn't actually say anything. So the time of departure sort of came and went, and everyone was still there.
phuzz: So, does travel writing pay better than games journalism?
DoctorDisaster: @phuzz: I hear his earnings from the blog have gone up 11 percent since this series started.
Tom Francis: Yep, still zero. Actually traffic has steadily declined with each of these, so I guess non-games stuff is less linkable.
I've been wondering about splitting off a separate blog for non games stuff, one that could wallow in obscurity without pissing off people who come here for Team Fortress 2 patch analysis.
EGTF: Give it two to three years and these travel collections can appear in a book too! Or perhaps give them their own spin off blog NotMySeat.com.
Coded One: I actually really enjoyed this series! You have a writing style that works well when writing about any subject.
Laserhead: I can't stop laughing after reading that last line... Well played sir, well played!
Scott O: Maybe news got around that you ate that apple pie monstrosity. I've got a bad taste in my mouth from just looking at it.