Skip to main content

Indie Game: The Movie



I first heard of Indie Game: The Movie while I was watching CBC News at work.  I was gobsmacked.  A documentary about video games, made by Canadians that was critically acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival.  What!?

Indie Game follows four different independent game developers: Jonathan Blow (developer of Braid), Ed McMillen and Tommy Refenes (developers of Super Meat Boy) and Phil Fish (developer of Fez).  With Ed, Tommy and Phil, we follow their lives as they attempt to get their games developed and launched.  We see their struggles with the industry, and their David and Goliath attitudes as they try to get their games out.  They each provide their reasons for why they’ve given up everything they have to develop games.  With Jonathan Blow, since his game was already released, we get a more reflective perspective. 

Overall, Indie Game: The Movie was enjoyable.  Technically, it was a very sharp, clean looking documentary.  I’m quite sure much of my enjoyment comes from being a gamer and having that respect for the industry.  I just wonder how a non-gamer would view it and what they would take away from it.  Regardless, the way that the documentary was shot and cut broadens the audience appeal.  What makes it relatable is the emotional hook.  Be it video games or not, everyone has something that they feel passionate and deeply about.  In Indie Game, you’re there with them through struggles, heartaches and triumphs and you want to see them succeed. 

I think the biggest problem I had with the movie was that the 3 perspectives that they followed were for the most part, success stories.  All 3 of the games from the different developers  were critically acclaimed games that sold well (in the case of Fez, critically acclaimed at the time – sold well post-movie when the game was finally released).  I’d love to have seen an indie developer who’s game wasn’t critically acclaimed, who’s game didn’t sell well, where they drew inspiration, what they had hoped to achieve and how life continued on for him or her afterwards.  That sort of thing.  For every success story, there’s probably a hundred or maybe thousands of un-successes.  It would have been nice (although, I bet heartbreaking) to see the flipside.  I think that would have been a more honest look at the indie game industry.  It’s not always sunshine and lollipops afterwards.

Whether you’re a gamer or not, I recommend Indie Game: The Movie for the human story that’s told underneath the surface.  Later geeks!
 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dreamers, Achievers, Believers

It was quite a week last week. It started off on a more heavy note last Sunday, but as the week wore on, things became better and more clear. So let's do a little recap. This is going to be kind of long, so if you find this kind of stuff boring I've inserted pictures of funny cats for your entertainment. So... 1.5 Weeks Ago About 1.5 weeks ago, my friend Jon from Living Room gave me the contact info for his uncle. His uncle is an engineer and apparently was looking for new grads and new hands to hire. That week, I gave him a few calls but he wasn't there when I called him and when he returned my calls, I wasn't here either. We were playing phone tag that week *insert schoolgirl giggle*. Sunday Morning So last Sunday morning, his uncle gave me a call at 9 am (The morning! My weakness! HISS!) and we talked about stuff. I was telling him a bit about school as well as elaborating my work/coop experience as he didn't have my resume yet. So he goes on to tell

The Science of God

Not too long ago, two of my friends had posted their thoughts on evolution and creationism. Both friends shared similar sentiments on the topic (you can view Skylar's here and Keith's here ). Coincidence or not, shortly before they made their postings, I purchased a book called The Science of God by Dr. Gerald Schroeder, which was based on the same topic. Unfortunately, at the time of my friend's postings, I had not finished the book, but now I have. In The Science of God , Schroeder attempts to debunk the dichotomy that exists between science/evolution and creationism. He tries to show that there can exist a duality between the two and that discoveries in science actually prove the story of creation in the bible. The book can be roughly divided into three categories that being the concepts of time, the second with the biology of evolution, and lastly the concept of free will. In describing time, he focuses on the 6 days that are explained in the beginning of Genes

MAX PAYNE was oh so PAYNEFUL!!!

What a failure this was. An EPIC FAILURE~! And I'll tell you why. This movie had everything going for it which was why it made the failure seem so huge. It had star power. It had a very competent director. The visual style was there. It had a simple storyline... a storyline that was basically fuck-proof because it's so basic. The effects (when there were any) were also pretty great. So where did they go wrong? Pacing. If the first two-thirds of the film was like the last third, I think it would have been a fine film. Not great by any means, but fine. I mean, there was hardly any action in the first hour. It was all talk and build up. Every 5 minutes I was saying to myself, "okay, something cool is gonna happen now". But it never came. I think had they added 2 or 3 big action sequences during that hour, that it would have helped the film breathe and flow better. I mean, didn't they realize that the source material was an action game? Max Payne is