Indie Documentary Series Tackles Hard Game Design Questions
Indie Van Game Jam is a unique type of a timed, concentrated effort to pump out a working video game. It’s on wheels, and the goal isn’t just to practice or show off a quick work. It’s a documentary series which showcases indie developers’ work, and simultaneously explores tough design questions and theories.
This is the flow of the first episode, for example: Three game developers – an artist, designer, and programmer – who call themselves Binary Solo venture from Austin, TX in their van. Before leaving, they examine one of Rob Lach’s games (POP: Methodology), who’s an indie game designer living in Chicago, IL. The trio ask themselves questions and look at how Lach’s work subverts genres, what ideas it presents. Setting out for the Windy City, the designers seek to emulate Lach’s ideas and works, making a game while on the road. Upon arriving and meeting with Lach, he critiques the game Binary Solo made, giving suggestions for improvement.
Along with the episode, the game they made is available as a free download. The group plans on seven episodes, each one containing a different game, different city, and a different developer, releasing them as paid content. The first one is promotional and available to view.
It’s definitely a novel idea, and it’s great that Binary Solo is creating a type of a webseries specifically for indie game makers. Check back on their website and IGM for updates on the adventures, as well as results of the Indie Van Game Jam.