Independent Gamers explain the trials and tribulations in making games on a shoestring budget in this fascinating documentary,
I had briefly heard about this movie before in the build up to Super Meat Boy’s release and heard whisperings of it throughout the internet. So initially I thought this would be interesting; the other half didn’t and was reluctant to watch it, preferring more depressing subject matter such as cults and drug documentaries. I mean how could a movie about a load of nerds sitting in there bedrooms coding a video game be any way interesting? Well let me tell you how!
The story focuses on 3 games being developed, Fez, Braid and Super Meat Boy. All of which are different in their style but each are handled by a team of 1-3 with the common denominator being they want to recreate games from their childhood that were fun, had lasting memories and were, to be blunt, tough as fuck. I really don’t know how to review a documentary i can’t say characters because they’re real people. So simply i’ll call them “The Guys” as a catch all term. The Guys creating Super Meat Boy are heading to a really tight deadline to get on the Xbox Live Service roughly a month to 6 weeks to get the game up to scratch both on the industry side of things and their own quality. The Guy from Braid is discussing how his game was a sleeper hit and from playing it myself it is an amazingly beautiful piece of art. Lastly, The Guy from Canada who has been making Fez, which has won awards back in 2006 but as of making this movie has not being released and his struggle with previous business partners, taking the game to PAX and trying not to come undone by what is an overly ambitious project on his behalf. The movie would be up there with my two other favorite documentaries, “Anvil” and “King of Kong”. If you like your docs or are intrigued by the gaming industry give this a whirl.
This was something we watched on a whim, to be fair. “Timecrimes” is slightly intimidating and this was something totally different.
It centers on the development of 3 different Indie games, “Super Meat Boy”, “Fez”, and “Braid”, and how they came into being. It also focuses on the trials and tribulations of the developers behind these titles.
The concept of an “indie game” is that its not made by one of the big gaming companies, that its just a couple of guys in their houses getting together to make something that they like to play. Nowadays, indie games are a dime a dozen, but back in 2006/2007, they were almost unheard of, at least in the format that they exist in today.
Each of the 3 games is very different, and the reasoning why and how they came into being are all different also. When “Super Meat Boy” is under the spotlight, it highlights the tension felt by developers in the lead up to release day, and the agony of waiting to see how the world will receive it.
This is a very interesting documentary, and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in gaming, and the process of developing a game on little to no money.
TL:DR First Half: Documentary follows game developers
TL: DR Second Half: Games made on no money become massive cult hits. Film charts this.
Next up: “These Amazing Shadows” (2011)