This might surprise you but I am not a gamer. I barely even know what game systems are called. When I attempt to talk to my younger brother, who is an avid gamer, about gaming, I sound like a grandma. “Why are there so many buttons on your controllers?” I would instantly receive poorly hidden eye rolls from him. I still remember the time when he tried to teach me how to play one of those modern shoot and kill games. He finally just killed me to get me away from the infinite circle I had myself going into. So when I stumbled across this film one lazy afternoon, I had no concept of what an indie game was. I had no idea about any of the work that went into generating a game or what toll it took on the inventors.
Indie Game follows two sets of game producers through the last stages of development of their electronic baby. One team, Edmund and Tommy, are rushing to make a deadline in order to be featured on Xbox’s digital gaming platform. They stay up all night, live off of very little and doubt themselves every step of the way. But what they are producing is art, what they believe in is beautiful and their outlook is naively optimistic. On the other hand is Phil Fish. Phil has been developing a game with a variety of different people for way longer than a normal game is produced, even an indie game. He was once a wunderkind and his game was touted as the next big thing. But through a series of complications, including a complete redesign of the game three times, Mr. Fish becomes a villain of the internet. He is a cock sure individual who has complete faith in his game and in his abilities as a programmer. But as he misses each deadline, the thought lingers as to whether he will ever be able to finish his magnum opus.
What makes the indie game process so interesting is the ethos of home made pride. The glimpses that I have of the games my brother plays are seem to look alike and feel alike. But these games look and feel different from not only the mainstream games, but also each other. Fez (the game being designed by Phil Fish) is a completely different concept from Super Meat Boy (designed by Edmund and Tommy). They take pride in this and they realize that there is a market out there full of people who want to enjoy something even a slightly differently from the mainstream. Just like there is a market for indie films, indie crafts, and indie music, there is a market for people that have complete control over their gaming concepts.