Monday, November 12, 2012

Indie Game: The Movie

I am very grateful that I will (hopefully) be lucky enough to see my vision for my Gram's House game developed professionally with research grants.  After watching Indie Game: The Movie, this sentiment has only increased.  Though the documentary only presents one experience of independent game production, it's not an experience I particularly want to have.

I thought that this documentary was really well done.  The filmmakers did a great job of finding a good story with tension and drama in the development process.  I felt such relief when good things finally happened to each of them.

The elation experienced particularly by the Super Meat Boy creators got me thinking: what happens to those who spend a few hellish years trying to finish their masterpiece, but end up with little to show for it? I wonder how often the risks pay off? I'm sure not everyone drops everything to work on their game, and even those that do probably don't always forego any sort of life balance to do it.  But I would not want to see anyone experience risking everything and losing.

Of course, great success doesn't always bring happiness.  Braid's creator was shown to be fairly (even deeply) disappointed even after his game broke indie records.  People loved his game, but they didn't get it.  The reviews focused on superficial mechanical elements, but not the deeper meaning.

Which brings me to the issue of games as art.  After listening to all the game creators talk about how much their games reflect themselves, how the games express what they think and feel, I don't know how how anyone could say that games can't be art.  If you aren't yet convinced yourself, watch the movie and listen for those moments.

Overall, I definitely recommend this movie, and hope more like it will be made to show a variety of indie game creation experiences.


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