In today’s world, with so many gigantic, million selling, big budget games, it’s easy to forget how difficult it can be for someone to actually sit down and make one of them. Every year, we get dozens and dozens of options to play and enjoy, which for most, is more than enough of a reason to claim they are fans of videogames in general. Heck, the financial investment and time commitment alone are reason enough for someone’s claim of being an enthusiast, right?
On the other hand, when you get down to it, being dismissive about what you like playing is incredibly easy as well. You pay the money or open up an executable, you start the game, you play it, and in 99% of cases, you are done with it. Stick it on a shelf, delete it off your Steam library or quite simply close your browser window.
Now, if you were to actually start looking into how games are developed, things would get a little more complicated. Like any medium, it takes a lot of work to make a game. That’s especially true for independent creators. A lot of that work can be considered “lazying about” by most folks, because at an outside glance, it does really look like developers aren’t doing anything. But they really are.
Indie Game: The Movie hit the internet a year ago and it made a splash. It featured a handful of developers that sat down and shared their daily routines, life stories and their creations’ thought process, while those games were still in development. We got to casually look into the minds of some of the most successful developers’ minds, at a point in their lives and careers when everything was hinging on whether or not their game would come out or not.
Those views, to me personally, were deeply inspiring. Any aspiring artist might see him/herself in these guys, struggling to put their work out to the public. Will it sell? Will people like it? Will I be able to pay my bills? To the spectator, coming in from the outside and looking into the slice of their lives showcased in the movie, some of the people featured in IGTM might seem quirky, downright pretentious and maybe a little arrogant. If that holds true or not, it’s not my intent to hold judgment. There’s more to the movie than just showing that developers are human beings with faults and errors, which is what makes it such an appealing watch.
My impressions about Indie Game: The Movie are very positive, but with mixed feelings. ‘Mixed’ not in the videogame reviewer sense of the word. I don’t feel any particular disdain towards the film, nor do I absolutely adore it, without reservations. And it might be just be my inherent naiveté talking here and it’ll probably just show how inexperienced I might be in actually developing an idea and showing it off to the world here – it didn’t matter it was my second viewing, it still made my both afraid of jumping out there and just trying, but… it also tickled my interest in giving it a shot someday.
It sure sounds confusing, doesn’t it?
Well, we all know what happened to the games shown in the movie, regardless of watching it. They became critical darlings and also garnered a lot of buzz around the web – both good and bad. Without jumping into the pool where much discussion has already been had, it’s refreshing to see some of the other side of these arguments in the newly released bonus content for IGTM.
The bonus content dives back into the lives of the developers featured in the original film, two or so years later, after their games made it out to the world, as well as in some cases, further developments and products. We also get to see how some of these guys dealt with the feedback from players around the world, through internet, both good and bad.
I couldn’t help but identify with some of these stories, even though, personally, I lived through some of those situations in a somewhat smaller professional scale. I found it very rewarding to see how some of the devs dealt with similar situations and how closely we resolved them, and how similarly we decided on focusing our lives and passions towards our work.
I could easily spend more time typing away about how Indie Game: The Movie might influence you. Who knows how that influence might hit you, or how it might not. It’s just worth watching, regardless if you are into videogames. Or even less if you know about the ones being showcased or even know the names of all people talking to the camera. It’s just folks commenting how it was to put their ideas out there and the repercussion of doing so. And that’s why it’s just so damn entertaining.
Indie Game: The Movie and its DLC are now available via Steam and through the filmmaker’s website at buy.indiegamethemovie.com.
It’s very weird to call this a review, thus my liberal use of the ‘impressions’ label, for the site’s organization’s sake.