Although shown locally at the Brattle Theatre, I watched Indie Game: The Movie on Netflix. It really doesn’t feel like 6 months have gone by between each event. Wow. Anyway it is a great movie, and sums up a lot of the feel of the development environment of the Boston indie scene.
However, the movie paints an unrealistic portrait of indie game developers by focusing on just a handful. In a way this is a really bad guide for people on the periphery (like myself). It paints developers as Maniacs… In the truest sense of the word. High Highs and low lows. Almost the manic depressives of the design world. Stressing out about things which are super important, but ultimately out of their hands.
Also the movie focuses on a couple of producers that made it big. Which is a rare thing. There are plenty of ways to be happy in indie games without smashing success. Jonathan blows Braid best represents a guy in the industry that took a long time and did things a little more methodically. But his success is also an outlier.
What about those of us that are willing to slowly work our way into the industry, because we love it. Those of us who are ok taking it slow. I feel like a middle of the road kind of guy. And indie game the movie is telling me that I have to be on the extreme end of life. I have to be committed to one pursuit and one pursuit only. Can’t have a life, can’t be a well rounded person who enjoys more than just an indie game. That kind of slow burning passion, which supports the maniacs, is under represented.
The movie says only certain kinds of people make it in the industry and I think that’s a bad message to send to the vast majority of people looking to become game developers. Where is the rest of the story?