Indie Game: The Movie

A short review • June 5 2012

Indie Game: The Movie is a movie that I think all creative people should see – not just those interested in gaming, but those interested in the creative process itself. The movie is largely about the developer(s) of Fez and the developers of Super Meat Boy, with vignettes from the successful developer of Braid who provided a kind of balance and framework for the narrative of the film.

The movie was much, much more about the action than the end result. The ‘payoff’ was relegated to the last few minutes of the movie, and instead we were treated to the ups and downs, triumphs and defeats. What really spoke to me was how much these people poured themselves into their work and became defined by its success or failure. As a creative worker, I think about how the work that I do and the results I achieve shape my own perception of ‘personal worth’ – this movie was that theme writ large.

Going in, I expected to see a neat flick about how indie games are created – instead, I got a story of people on the verge of financial and psychological bankruptcy, and how those issues shaped their valuation of their work and themselves. Indie Game eschewed focusing on the product, and instead showed the personal, powerful, human-scale journey of production.