As soon as the credits starting rolling I had only one thought in my mind, “Wow, this was meant to be a documentary.” And I sincerely mean that. The story was amazing, covering what seemed like every step and event along the way. The editing was beyond superb, which obviously helped visually, but was also convenient in leading us smoothly through the multiple viewpoints expressed throughout the film. Indie Game: The Movie seized every inch of my interest by keeping me both hopeful and impressed.
Canadian directors James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot teamed up to create a documentary about independent video games. Through their film the audience is able to understand the culture behind gaming and witness the passion of gaming. Indie Game: The Movie follows the lives of four men, before, during, and after the creation of their video games.
The main focus is put on the developers of Super Meat Boy. This portion of the documentary shows designer Edmund McMillen, who is from my hometown of Santa Cruz, and programmer Tommy Refenes developing the game up until its launch. The stress and pressure put on these guys to finish their game by its launch date is enormous. By the end, the only thing the viewer wants to see come to these guys is success.
The other two developers are Jonathan Blow of Braid and Phil Fish of Fez. By the point in time of this documentary, Braid had already been launched and seen as one of the most successful independent video games ever. Blow’s role in this film is to reflect on the success and struggle of the indie game world. Phil Fish is also a big part of this documentary, showing how long and how much work it takes to create these types of games. Fez was not launched by the end of this documentary, but just like the Super Meat Boy team, the viewer’s hope is only triumph for Mr. Phil Fish.
The inter-splicing of gameplay and flowing camerawork makes Indie Game: The Movie a visual spectacle. As said before, this topic was meant to be shown in this fashion. Many of you in and out of the gaming world probably know of the Call of Duty franchise. It is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time and definitely one of the most popular. It takes roughly a team of 500 developers to create the next Call of Duty game. That might not seem like a lot considering the success behind the franchise, but compare that to one or two people creating an entire game from start to finish on their own. You can imagine it or instead watch Indie Game: The Movie.
Indie Game: The Movie (2012) directed by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot