Indie Game: The Movie Review
Indie Game: The Movie is an excellent documentary that captures the struggles, the emotion and life an indie games developer as they show four developers each at different points of development and success which may just open your eyes to the work behind the teams developing all of these games.
As a gamer I have passionately loved playing a variety of games from triple ‘A’ blockbuster titles like Gears of War to small independent titles like Q.U.B.E (Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion). After two successful Kickstarter campaigns, Canadian filmmakers James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot have made a documentary surrounding the development woes and triumphs of four indie developers as they reflect at success and the woes of failure as they develop their upcoming indie game releases. And to me it is simply one of the best documentary’s that I have seen in recent times.
The documentary looks at four individuals, first up we had, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes from Team Meat the developers of the highly successful indie game Super Meat Boy. The documentary looks at the Edmund and Tommy in 2010 and how they coped with the development and the release of Super Meat Boy, 7 months before its release. We look deep into their lives during the development of Super Meat Boy and their own personal lives and how they came to be who they are and how they wanted to work in video games and highs and lows of developing an indie title to be released reaching deadlines and fixing issues in the game
Then we have Phil Fish, the developer behind this years indie hit, Fez, a 2D/3D pixel art game. Filmed back in 2010 as well, we see Phil Fish talking about his time working on an indie game that has been in development at the point that the movie was film, for the last three-years. What we see, and what we learn is that Phil has worked tirelessly to design and finish a game that has been redesigned three times and is nowhere near completion. As well as looking at his woes of funding, and ruptures in the team that had been working on the game for so long.
And then we get to Jon Blow, who has this point is released and become a huge indie success story when he released the critically acclaimed indie game, Braid, a game that went on to sell millions upon millions of copies and has racked up an enormous amount of praise and critique from fans and critics a like. The film reflects upon the success of how Jon Blow has coped working on indie games, releasing them and the aftermath, such as how did he cope from the reports and comments by people who played the game and did that reflect on what he was trying to say overall in the game.
What Indie Game: The Movie does so brilliantly is show us, the outsider, how the development process of a video game, granted that it is not on the scale of a triple “A” title, but the personal struggles of indie developers. Every day men and women who work hard to develop a video game, the have spent most of their time for months or even years to get the game finished, spending virtually all of their money so that they could work on the development all the time, as well as show the human struggles behind their experiences during the development and their family lives.
The film captures the moments of stress from a developer whose game is imminently about to release globally, a developer who is trying to deal with a game still in development years after it should have supposedly been finished who has dealt with the loss of a team member and a developer who struggled with the success. The emotion that comes across is powerful and hard-hitting for anyone who as an interest in video games, or any one interested in the development process behind it, as well as those who enjoy a good human piece of documentary work.
Indie Game: The Movie, is truly a film that I love, I have watched it several times already because the subject is intriguing and the depth that the directors have gone into showing us how the development process behind indie games is so engrossing that I couldn’t help but admire the work these developers, having worked on games that could have actually ruined their lives if it wasn’t successful. I could go on and on about the film and tell you every detail that I loved throughout, but by doing so would answer the questions you have about the documentary and the development behind an Indie Game, I for one loved this film and highly recommend this movie to everyone as well as praising James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot for their excellent direction capturing and choosing their moments perfectly.