If you weren’t already familiar with Indie Game: The Movie, it is one of those documentaries you stumble across on Netflix and consider watching based on the “cover” alone. The blue is eye-catching and the solo controller down the middle will get any gamer’s (casual or professional) heart skipping a beat. That’s what happened to me last weekend. I was originally looking for a movie that did not require me to pay attention, I just wanted noise…instead I fell in love with a boy made of meat, I wanted to start sporting a red bowtie, and I considered downloading Minecraft on my iPad in order to get my pixel fix. So much for not needing to pay attention.
Indie Game: The Movie is a 96 minute Sundance award-winning documentary by Lisanne Pajot & James Swirsky and music by Jim Guthrie that hit theaters in May 2012. The documentary follows the development of three games: Braid, Super Meat Boy, and Fez, and the teams behind those games. You may recognize the premise of this documentary from Kickstarter, it was one of the earliest movies funded by the crowd sourcing site.
Like I said earlier, this movie had my full attention. What Gadchick wouldn’t melt a little at a game where a boy made of meat (aptly named Super Meat Boy) tries to save his girlfriend, who is made of bandages, from evil?? Or what about a preppy looking guy named Tim who just wants to save the princess and (unlike in Mario Bros.) you can rewind at any part in case Tim is about to die or get impossibly stuck? Too cool, even Soldja Boy thought Braid was neat. And lastly, be still, my pixel heart: Fez. Just a little dude (who wears a fez) who is living his little 2D life only to find out he’s living in a pretty big 3D world and he needs to go around collecting pieces to something called a Hexahedron.
The teams behind the games really make the movie. Instead of thousands of people working together to put together a game with seemingly endless funding and instant name recognition, these teams of maybe two people each are working for hours on end to create equally awesome indie games. You’ll follow the teams as they hit milestones, fall behind on deadlines, and face the impossible…it’s quite the ride.
Check out Indie Game: The Movie the next time you’re looking for something to watch while leveling up your mage or if you’re itching for an underdog story that will get you pumped up for your next project.