Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to make video games? It’s not hard to imagine what life might be like at some huge corporate monolith, tucked away in an endless sea of cubicles as you toil away creating artwork or programming code. But what about indie developers? Those brave souls that find themselves driven by some incredible urge to bring their ideas to life, toiling away in their garage or basement, never sure whether that payday they’re hoping for will ever come. Indie Game: The Movie lays out the story of the developers of three different indie games, each of them unique and inspiring.
There’s a very serious, documentary style to the film work here. It oftens feels like society looks down on gamers as immature and idiotic, but there’s none of that here. The creators of these games are shown as the artists that they are, laboring to create games that have so much more depth and meaning than you’d ever even notice without the backstories given here.
**See the trailer HERE:
Jonathan Blow, creator of the popular Xbox Live Arcade title "Braid," talks about the discovery process he had to endure in creating his first game. He also talks about the many hopes and fears he has in his daily life, and how they inspired his work and are present within it. The creators of "Super Meat Boy" talk about crushing depression and the family issues they had growing up, and that influences their work. Fez creator Phil Fish shows how difficult it can be to live up to expectations after suddenly being thrust into the spotlight after word of his game hit the mainstream back in 2008.
Even to someone like myself who's familiar with the industry inside and out, these are touching stories. Seeing the creators of games I’ve played being portrayed in the same light that other documentaries would use for the likes of Beethoven or Van Gogh really hits home. You realize that this is a labor of love for many of these people. They’re driven by some insatiable and illogical desire to create, regardless of whether or not that fits in with the way one is “supposed” to live their life nowadays.
Even the movie itself could be considered indie. It took not one, but two separate and successful Kickstarter campaigns to get the movie’s production funded. The online gaming community rising up to support the project shows that level of love that indie devs are capable of generating, and that spirit dovetails nicely into the contents of the film.
Don’t expect to see this one in theatres anytime soon. It is, however, available online. It’s also on Netflix. I highly recommend checking out this interesting and unique look at the process of making games. You can find out more at http://www.indiegamethemovie.com/.