An interesting and touching look at some ego-maniacal douchebaskets who somehow think that their faces might explode if someone talks shit about their rushed ‘independent’ games.
Let’s get this straight; Indie Game: The Movie is a great documentary, even in spite of its streak of pretension so wide you could comfortably slot in all of the horn-rimmed glasses in Soho into it without so much as cracking a lens. It’s tense, it offers exciting scenarios, it runs the gamut of emotions like a 2D man jump over a barrel.
My main problem, if you hadn’t guessed, is that I just cannot get behind a group of guys who think there is valor in ‘risking it all’ (read: not risking it all) in orders to be games developer millionaires. There is no risk here, just hard work. Making a so-called independent game for Microsoft is most certainly not the last bastion of hope for us all in the world of recession, and when one of your protagonists is crying because your game’s advert doesn’t appear on Xbox live until 8am, well forgive me for not welling up and giving you a ‘congratulations on your being upset for no fucking reason’ award.
I’m sure some of the problems are manufactured for the purposes of creating a better documentary, much like The King of Kong (which I revel in correcting every pleb who decides to rant on Billy Mitchell at me. It happens more than you’d think), but these contrivances only make it more difficult for me to feel sorry for these kids. If you rush your game into completion so the public can play it at a convention, you are bound by the law of the land to not get frustrated at people who think your buggy game is shit.
Someone needs to tell these programmers that once your art is in the world, it’s not yours anymore. People find their own art in what you make, whether that is arsing about reversing time or being upset because you released your game with a major saving malfunction.
Despite finding the characters somewhat objectionable, Indie Game is beautifully made. In a movie ostensibly about people who spend a lot of time in small rooms, there are a number of wonderfully well crafted shots and hieroglyphs as to the emotions of the subjects. Sure, it’s film student stuff but it’s made with heart, and is a better documentary than you would expect based on its protagonists.