A blog for fans of Bananagrams, word games, puzzles, and amazing things

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Indie Game: The Movie - a documentary

Last year I wrote a post partially about how great indie video games are, citing as an example the creativity of Jonathan Blow's temporal anomaly of a game, Braid.

Now I've learned that a documentary about such games has been made, and one of the primary interview subjects is Jonathan Blow himself. The documentary is called Indie Game: The Movie, and it focusses on the challenges of independent video-game-making and the passion of the creators. (Fittingly, the documentary itself is also an independent production, made by two filmmakers and funded by Kickstarers and DVD pre-orders.) The film also includes 1) Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, the artist-programmer pair behind the action-based platform game Super Meat Boy 2) and Phil Fish, whose still-to-be-released game Fez involves exploring a 3-dimensional world with a 2-dimensional character. By rotating the perspective in 90 degree increments, new faces of the world become visible, and previously uncrossable gaps in the landscape disappear. You can see it briefly in the Indie Game trailer:

Here is a bonus video illustrating Fez gameplay:

Reviews from its Sundance debut were positive. The current IMDB rating is 9.4.

In March and April, the film will be have one-night screenings in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Asheville, Seattle, Portland, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Cambridge (Massachusetts), with another screening Toronto in May. All screenings will include appearances by the filmmakers who will answer questions. The film is also showing at the South By SouthWest Film Festival. See the full schedule for details. The film will later be purchasable from the documentary's official site.

UPDATE: This film is now available for streaming from Netflix in the U.S.