Saturday, March 2, 2013

Indie Game: The Movie

Indie Game: The Movie is a documentary about what it takes to make and release a game in the independent gaming industry. It focuses on Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes during the final months of development on Super Meat Boy, Phil Fish during the later development of Fez, and Jonathan Blow reflecting on the development and release of Braid.

For those who don't know, indie developers are game developers who create games on their own without the help of larger corporations. If you were to download some free programming software and create your own game, as even I have done myself, you would be considered an indie developer. It's not always so simple as that, however. This film focuses on those who have battled their way to the top of the industry and gotten recognition for it. In other words, those who have succeeded where so many others have failed.

With success comes great sacrifice. Similar to how it is with novels, you cannot just come up with an idea that will instantly sell millions (though there are exceptions). You have to fight. You have to give it your best and push through the hardest times, knowing full well that even in the end you could fail and everything will have been for naught. It takes an unbelievable amount of endurance and creativity to make something that will sell.

But in the end, the point isn't really to sell your game, is it? The point is to put yourself into something. Make something that everyone, even yourself, would want to play. It doesn't come down to money; it comes down to others enjoying what you have created. If there's no enjoyment—if there's no love—then everything will have been for naught.

Indie Game: The Movie tells a brilliant story of what it takes to get through the living hell of being a successful game developer without the support and funding of corporations. In a way, a lot of parallels can be drawn between game development and writing. Both paths are nearly impossible to travel, but if you can succeed, it's worth it. Anybody can make a game or write a book, but few can create something that will always be remembered.

This documentary is highly recommended, especially for those who are trying to make a name for themselves in any given industry.

Caution: Indie Game: The Movie contains frequent strong language, along with brief footage of a NSFW game.

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