To become successful, a lot of work is needed. For the makers of three independent video games, that’s a giant understatement. With many sleepless nights, constricting deadlines, and vicious legal battles, following their dreams has never been more difficult, driving a few of these creators into depression and clouded states of sanity. Indie Game: The Movie follows Phil Fish and his development of Fez, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes during their development of Super Meat Boy, and Jonathan Blow who looks back during his work on Braid.
The documentary does a successful job of showing the risk, both financially and emotionally, that these creators take on when deciding to not work with a large studio. They put their futures on the line and work non-stop to ensure their game is as close to perfect that it can be. Their common enemy is time. For Phil Fish, time has allowed many ‘fans’ to voice their displeasure and the strain it puts on Phil is enormous.
Indie Game also addresses why these creators chose to do their own thing. In fact, Tommy Refenes makes it quite clear that he thinks big Tripple A games like Call of Duty are basically s***. Most of these men were into video games and art when they were young, so it was a natural fit that they find a unique way to express their creativity.
The best part of Indie Game: The Movie is that the interview and responses to the questions feel natural and sincere. To me, the creators held nothing back and always said what was on their minds. For example, a legal battle with Phil Fish escalates to the point of an emotion breakdown in the lobby of a hotel and Fish threatens if a contract is not signed by his ex-partner, he will kill him; and I believe him in that moment.
Indie Game: The Movie is great documentary of a modern and upcoming business. After watching, I looked for other video game documentaries and can’t seem to find any as compelling or interesting as this one. I only wish that it was a little longer and showed a game that had failed. But overall, the footage is gold and a provides viewers with a deep insight into the minds of these creative geniuses.
out of 10
“The things I’ve sacrificed are social. You kind of have to give up something to have something great.”