Is “Indie Game: The Movie” A Dependable Depiction of the Life of Indie Game Designers?
Indie Game: The Movie
Indie Game: The Movie is a documentary movie that showcases the life of indie game designers. It is a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on into the making of a video game. The objective behind the making of this movie is to tell the world more about Indie game designers. It tells the life story of the game designers. The documentary film is narrated in the form of interviews with game designers who explain the struggles they face while developing the games.
James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot have directed this documentary film.
The film used more than 300 hours of video recording with the developers. The Indie game designers whose experiences are recorded are – Phil Fish, who developed the game Fez, Jonathan Blow, designer of Braid, and the designers of Super Meat Boy – Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes. The total movie duration is 103 minutes.
What does the movie show?
The movie showcases the lives of Indie game designers to explain what goes on in their minds and their joys and tribulation as they develop the game. Indie designers are those who work solo or in small companies. They face many challenges in developing a game and ensuring it clicks in the market. All these challenges are depicted through the stories of the four designers.
If you want to know more about the games, how they are developed, and the technical details, you may be disappointed. This movie is not about Indie games but about the designers who create the game. The life of Indie game designers is not like those who work in big gaming companies. They don’t have a 9 to 5 job. It is all about their passion to create a top game and make a name for themselves.
The designers share everything about their lives as they go through the process of game design and development. While they could use their creative abilities to the best without constraints, the entire process is full of struggles. The designers talk about the effect of their work on their personal life. One of the designers faced serious problems in his married life. Another had health issues due to work stress.
The movie highlights the fact that the life of a game designer is not all fun. The popular perception is that the game designers have fun putting their creative skills into practice. From the outside, it looks as though making a game is pure fun. The movie points out that this is not the case, and challenges and obstacles face the designers at all stages. The movie stresses the additional challenges Indie game designers face, as they need to not just make the game but sell their product as well.
Is the game an honest depiction of Indie game designers?
The movie explains how game designers work through the eyes of four talented designers working on three games. The stories of their success are an accurate depiction of all that happens in the work and personal life of Indie game designers. None of the designers achieved instant success; there was a lot of hard work involved. As a portal commented, the movie is about victories, defeats, smiles, and tears.
The movie even had a controversy when one of the developers spoke about his breakup with his original business partner. There was criticism that the movie projected a one-sided version of this story.
The movie won awards at the Sundance film festival and got the best documentary award from the Utah critics association.
The movie is definitely an honest depiction of the struggles and exultation that happens with an Indie game designer. It portrays how game development is not all fun but involves great difficulties. The prospects of making millions after all these struggles are brought out in the movie, which should be an inspiration for all budding Indie game designers. Those who are in this field will connect to the stories of the designers and understand what they are saying.
The movie ends with Jonathan Blow talking about Indie games. It ends on an apt note where he talks about how there is a personal touch to the game design. He talks about how Indie games are different. His point on the weaknesses in the game and how it helps to create a ‘personal connect’ will be appreciated by the viewers.