Written By Aaron Wright
“Part of it is about not trying to be professional”. These are the words of both Jonathan Blow, the creator of one of the world’s most highly acclaimed Indie Games, and myself when asked to give a summary of my life thus far.
These words are a great summary of what you are to expect if you ever find yourself stumbling across this hidden gem, an Indie Documentary about Indie Gaming. It follows the stories of three prominent names in the Indie Gaming world; Fez, Braid, and the ever loved OH MY GOD WHY IS THIS GAME SO HARD YET I CAN’T STOP PLAYING IT!? (Also known to many as Super Meat Boy). It shows you just how romantic and exciting and emotional the world of Indie Gaming can be. How Indie programmers love making games for their own needs, to express their own feelings and emotions through games, and generally get a buzz when people enjoy the things they’ve created, rather than trying to get a million 13 year olds crammed onto their multiplayer servers hurling abuse about each other’s female guardians.
Everything about this documentary is entertaining. Whether you are interested in Indie Games, or whether you ended up on this website, and read this far down this exact specific entry and still haven’t realised that it’s a gaming website yet, I would honestly recommend that you give this a watch.
From a gamers point of view, it’s incredibly interesting just to see what exactly the process of developing a game as an individual or part of a small team is like. In fact watching Jonathan Blow’s increasing levels of frustration during the development and release of Super Meat Boy almost made all of those hours of dying and screaming and crying and throwing controllers across rooms worth it. Revenge is a dish best served cold, unless you’re a meat boy, I guess you’d need to keep somewhat warm then or else you’d start to smell. I don’t know where this joke is going I’m just enjoying the ride.
From the point of view of someone who just wants to enjoy a good documentary however, Indie Game: The Movie stands out in the crowd. It’s one of those documentaries that sits under the tag line of “You just couldn’t make this stuff up”. There are ups and downs, there are tears and there is laughter. Most surprisingly of all, there are good guys that you want to root for and want to see do well, and then there are the bad guys that you want to see fail (or be forced to sit and play some of the lesser rated titles that call the Xbox marketplace their home for a couple hours straight).
I went into this title expecting something a little bit different. I expected it to be more of a serious gamer’s documentary, showing the tech side of things. Although I did programming at college and why I would ever want to re-live that nightmare is beyond me. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment? Instead what we get is a heartfelt, intimate journey into the lives of the people who bring us gamers the quirkier, more odd side of gaming and exactly why these games should mean so much to us.
I am wholly recommending that any person of any audience should watch this documentary as it is in fact the documentary that pushed me into buying Limbo, my first real Indie Game experience, and now here I am, writing about Indie Games on the internet when I could be doing something useful…..like firing up Goat Simulator for the first time…..