Indie Game: The Movie Filmposter

Film recommendation: Indie Game: The Movie

“Indie Game: The Movie” is a highly acclaimed, Kickstarter financed indie film, which despite its release in 2012, can still be seen as being representative of the emotional ups and downs of indie developers.

The film follows the team Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes during the development and subsequent release of Super Meat Boy, and lone wolf Phil Fish during the development and introduction at Pax of FEZ. Jonathan Blow also talks about his game Braid and what its following success brought about.

What makes the film special is its intimate relationship with the developers it accompanies. It documents not only the development process of the games presented, but also the emotional life of the people behind them. We often witness outbursts of emotion, which range from anger to joy.

Not only the film is highly recommended, but also the commentary track, in which the filmmakers tell many anecdotes from the production period. By the way, the film describes itself as “the first feature documentary film about making video games”. Is that true? Which films do you know, and which ones are older than Indie Game: The Movie?

Neo Cab, My Child Lebensborn, Edna bricht aus

My personal indie highlights: Patrick

I also had the opportunity to test out a few games on location in addition to our shooting for the Indie Arena Booth mini-documentary and the space.games.film promotion. Here are my personal favorites:

1. Neo Cab

A mix of Cyberpunkt / Film Noir, which at first caught my I with it looks, but when playing it, it blew me away narratively. As a taxi driver in a neon colored sci-fi world you meet different passengers und get lost more and more fascinating and sometimes bizarre conversations.

2. My Child Lebensborn

The subject matter of the Lebensborn children in Norway is being brought to you in this game in a very sensible and emotional way. You witness the tragic situation of a child, which is being exposed to the prejudice and hostility of its classmates and neighbours. The child, which was fatherd by a Nazi soldier, longs for the truth about its father. As the player you have to take care of this child and also speak out the painful truth. I never thought, that a tabletop/smartphone game could move me like that.

 

3. Edna & Harvey: The Breakout – 10th Anniversary Edition

What, that old piece? Yes, definitely! This indie game, which 10 years ago was the cornerstone for one of the biggest German developer and publisher. Beautifully remastered Daedalic gets this title out to PC and the current console generation. Besides, creator Jan “Poki” Müller-Michaelis remained faithful and visited the Indie Arena Booth a few times. For me as an old adventure-lover, this is one of the highlights of this years Gamescom.

Vectronom, Supermarket Shriek, Bad North

My personal indie highlights: Dominic

The Gamescom 2018 is over and with that also our principal photography work of the new Indie Arena Booth film, as well as our work as exhibitors to promote space.games.film. During that time we got to know a whole lot of very interesting people and projects. After some time has passed now to digest all the impressions, I’d like to present my personal indie game highlights. That list is far away from being complete since there were just too many cool games, but I had to make a choice, which looks like that:

 

1. Vectronom

Not only because they were our neighbours and were throwing beat after beat at us day after day, I will never forget this game. The principle to move a cube over an obstacle course with the rhythm of the music is as simple as it is addictive.

 

2. Supermarket Shriek

It gets even simpler with this game, which is best played with two players. A man and a goat sit in a trolley and have to drive through supermarkets with obstacles. One player steers left, the other one steers right, if both players press their button at the same time, the trolley drives forward. Fun is guaranteed!

 

3. Bad North

For minimalistic strategy players this title will be interesting for sure. Easy to learn, hard to master is Bad North, where you control a maximum of four little armies over a little island to defend it against oncoming enemies.

 

Also recommendable are the games Flotsam (strategy title with a touch of Waterworld), Everspace (roguelike-space-shooter) and My Child Lebensborn (serious game ensuring goosebumps). As said, there are just too many games to name them all, but this is just a little selection of my personal favorites. If you want to get an impression of all the games of this years Indie Arena Booth, go to this site.