Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: IndieGame the Movie

Having missed a couple of opportunities to see it in theaters, it was with great anticipation that I waited for the final download of IndieGame the movie from its official site.  I had long enjoyed the small snippets they included in their buildup of the film and was curious as how the final film would come together. Essentially, its indie game development from the perspective of 3 different camps.  The first is Jonathan Blow, sitting comfortably past the success of Braid and contrasting the other developers with a sense of clarity and calm gained by having already released his first major game.  His thoughts on success and dealing with post release feedback is particularly revealing of a person that believes so strongly in his vision that he is willing to debate you in your review's comment section.

The second camp is Team Meat (Edmund McMillan & Tommy Refenes).  The documentary finds them with Super Meat Boy's deadline quickly approaching.  I personally found their section the most interesting because it dealt a lot with the sacrifices they both had to endure within their personal lives and gave a better glimpse into how Edmund grew up and his desire to make video games.  It was a touching story of a man that grew up unable to relate to people and found solitude in game development.

The third camp is Phil Fish as he is finally revealing Fez to the public.  His situation is different from Team Meat in that he seems to have the most pressure sitting on top of him with the fans having waited 3 years for its arrival and legal troubles with his previous partner.  There is a particularly painful scene that involves Phil trying to show a game at PAX-Boston while game-breaking bugs begin to appear soon after a player begins a new game.  Its pretty difficult to watch, but is extremely easy to relate to.

IndieGame: The Movie does a wonderful job of putting a spotlight on those developers that struggle and fight to do it on their own.  While most fans have probably seen one version of the process through developer diaries and extra features, this does a nice job of showing what these people are willing to give up to do what they love.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some motivation to complete their own personal project.

Below is an out take from the movie that I particularly enjoyed.  Its an interview with Adam Atomic about Canabalt and is a great example of the tone of the movie.

Adam Atomic Talks Canabalt - IndieGame: The Movie from IndieGame: The Movie on Vimeo.

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