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Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  15 September 2012 (Taiwan)
7.8
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Reviews: 21 user | 49 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jonathan Blow ...
Himself
Phil Fish ...
Himself
Edmund McMillen ...
Himself
Tommy Refenes ...
Himself
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Storyline

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

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Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

15 September 2012 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Независимая игра: Кино  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 100,000 (estimated)
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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film notes that Super Meat Boy went on to sell a million copies of the game. The developers, however, note in the audio commentary that only about 25% of these sales occurred on the Xbox Live Arcade; the remaining sales came from the PC version. See more »

Goofs

When Tommy is mailing Microsoft, he's using a PC, but the full-screen pictures of the email client are of Apple Mail. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan Blow: If you don't see a vulnerability in somebody, you're probably not relating with them on a very personal level.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Various game play video from other independent games not covered in the main movie are shown during the credits. See more »

Connections

Features Fez (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Captures the passion and effort of the individual examples even if it doesn't totally get to the level above that
1 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The first thing to say on this film is that you really will enjoy it more if you play indie games or know the couple of games that are mentioned here. This is not to suggest that the film will exclude you if you don't, but it is about these games and this culture but it will not hold your interest if you already have no involvement or interest in them. The film looks at the makers of indie games – ie not the 2000 people working on the next Grand Theft Auto, but the 2 or 3 people working on the game you'll pick up on Xbox Arcade or your phone for a few dollars and play to death over the following week or so. Early on it quotes many examples but mainly it focuses on Braid, Fez and Super Meat Boy in terms of experience development challenges, the feeling of success and the challenges of success.

In this way the film does it pretty well because we do get all these things. I'm not sure if the makers followed many people and then edited down to be these specific guys, but their choices are good either way because the film gets a lot from these guys throughout. It wisely doesn't go into the real detail of writing games but keeps it accessible to those of us who just play them and have no understanding beyond that, but it does enough to help the viewer understand the effort and obsessive nature of the work, even if it could have done with an example of a total failure (the closest the film has is Fez, which doesn't succeed when the film closes but we know does in the end). The people are mostly engaging despite some of them (unsurprisingly) not being the most socially confident people you'll ever meet, the regular clips of games and the gentle soundtrack does add to the feel of a quirkumentary – which I guess it sort of is, but it felt like less of one to me since I'm sort of part of that quirk I suppose.

It would have been good to have explored some bigger picture stuff above the characters here as well as following them, but the film still works well for what it does. It is limited a bit in its audience because the tight focus does need you to at least like gaming and to play indie games – but saying it like this makes me think it is not doing itself too much harm by "limiting" its audience to gamers, since there is a few of them around. So, if the film sounds interesting then it probably will be, as it captures the passion, frustration and success of the people making indie games in their bedrooms for years – and it mostly has engaging and likable characters to focus on while doing it.


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