In previous posts, I have discussed how independent games like Minecraft, Bastion, Journey and Botanicula succeed in providing amazing gaming experiences without a huge budget. Unlike large video studios, independent game developers have more freedom to express themselves using video games as a communication medium and as an artistic expression. Even though being an independent video game developer is the dream profession of many, not everything is as easy as it may seem.
- Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes as they complete and launch Super Meat Boy
- Jonathan Blow after launching big success Braid
- Phil Fish as he prepared for the first public presentation of Fez during PAX east, one of the most important gaming show in North America.
For those who are unfamiliar with these games, Super Meat Boy is a very challenging platformer in which players control a red, cube-shaped character named Meat Boy who must save his girlfriend from an evil scientist. Braid is a puzzle-platformer in which the player controls Tim, a ‘yuppie’ who has to run and rewind time in order to fix his errors. In Fez, you control ‘Gomez’, an 8-bit character who has to explore different worlds and collect all of the pieces of a cube in order to change back Gomez’s world from 3-D to 2-D.
This documentary, succeeds in capturing a snapshot of the game designers’ every day life, which is enough to understand designers’ struggles and emotions. Through interviews, game designers show their personalities, their connection with their creations, their ways to cope with the most challenging situations, and most importantly, their emotions when facing moments of success and frustration.
This movie is not just for fellow game enthusiasts or developers; it is a window into what goes on in the world of indie video games. You will be amazed by the hard work that game developers have to put into making their creations and all the emotions that surround them; you might also find a new appreciation for every game that you have played or that you will try in the future.