Nothing like being late to the party, eh?
Here I am, talking about Indie Game: The Movie.
What did I reckon? Well…
Indie Game: The Movie (IG:TM) is, primarily, a look at the motivation behind, production and release of 3 games. You’ve got Team Meat, the two guys (Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillan) behind Super Meat Boy. Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid and Phil Fish of Fez fame round it off.
Whilst it can be said that some of the film seems a bit too ‘staged’ considering it’s trying to be a documentary. Moody shots of depressed developers litter the film, though in the film’s defence, these aren’t used to deceive, more to provoke a reaction of sympathy.
The ‘stars’ of the film do a pretty good job of being wildly different from each other and grabbing our attention with their heartfelt commentary of their lives and the life of the game. Jonathan is mild-mannered and softly spoken. You’ve got Edmund McMillan who comes across as the more optimistic and easy-going of the Team Meat duo. Phil Fish is a man on a ledge, with his legal troubles bringing his blood to the boil in what is a genuine show of hatred and rage which is actually a little off-putting.
The film will be difficult for people coming into this cold. If you’ve got no knowledge of the subject matter, the film may assume a little too much of you. In fact, the subject of indie games isn’t really approached much at all. The film’s greatest strength, the 4 developers, is also its greatest weakness. Focusing so much time on the human drama of creating games doesn’t give the film any time to focus on the games themselves. Why are indie games so popular now? Why are mainstream games being turned against?
All being said, this is worth watching if you’ve ever heard of Braid, Meat Boy or Fez. For those of you wanting to create your own games, this is both a reality check on the work you’ve got ahead of you and an inspirational piece on what can be achieved after said hard work.