Film Review: Game Loading - Rise of the Indies (2015)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Thursday, June 4, 2015 0 comments

Game Loading: Rise of the Indies is a documentary film about a group of independent gaming developers talking about games.  In this film you will see people such as Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable (2013)), the Tail of Tales' crew (Luxuria Supurbia (2013)), Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone (2012)), and Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest (2014)), and even an appearance from game making legend John Romero (Doom (1993), Doom II (1994), Daikatana (2000), and that's just to name a few as this film has a whole bunch more video game developers being interviewed.  You will also see some developers giving their story and life journey behind developing an indie game from the start of the project all the way to the release of the project, the effect of the game on their lives, and the gaming scene as a whole.  This movie sure sounds very promising but how will the final product end up?  (click "Read More" to read the full review).

This documentary isn't mostly about what it takes to build a game but it's more about the lives of the developers and what they went though during development.  This concept of film is defiantly a more pretentious concept but don't let it turn you off as this documentary was anything but and was very gripping.  The stories behind the developers were very interesting as all of them were unique despite all being centered around people making video games.  Don't get this movie wrong as you do get some information on the making of the game but you get them in short segments and those short segments were pretty good and you do get some nice information despite getting so little.  I would've liked a bit more behind the scenes segments on what it was like making the games as this film still left some questions open.  I defiantly would've liked to know how frustrating it was making those games and  I'm asking purely because I'm a game developer myself (but that can be debatable) and would like to know if their experiences were anything like mine.

One thing I really love about this film was that it just didn't stop with the developers finishing the game as you will see them go through something even harder...  Promoting their games and dealing with reviewers.  These were very fun segments as you get to see them go to a few conventions where some will find it easier to promote their games than others will.  Speaking of conventions, this film also has documentary segments on certain conventions themselves just like the Game Jam and TrainJam events.  The Game Jam conventions have a whole bunch of game developers trying to come up with a game under a certain theme within a certain time.  It was very fun seeing all of the game developers coming up with creative ideas within a certain time, especially the TrainJam footage as that whole event takes place on a train ride and that sounds pretty bad ass to me.

Some of the moments and interview clips in this film did seem a bit forced, where that they were forcefully trying to make certain moments more meaningful than what they really were and those moments were corny and hard to watch with a straight face.  Don't expect to find many moments like those as most of this film is full of really gripping moments and interviews, where you'll be taking everybody in this film very seriously and that's including some of the controversial game devs that appear in this film.  I also wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people were turned off with who Studio Bento got for this film as there are a few guests that have left bad tastes in the mouths of gamers although if you can stomach seeing Phil Fish (Fez (2013)) in Indie Game: The Movie (2012), you can stomach the guests in this film. 

While this film does feature a lot of gaming developers, this film only gives full behind the scenes focus on only a hand full of them as there are a bunch of gaming developers that only get short interview segments, that's not necessarily a bad thing as the portioning of interviews were very satisfying.  All of the interviews were good as they were all full of interesting thoughts and comments about the independent video game scene.  The interviews are all also fairly harmless and are trying best to avoid controversy and that is considered both a good thing and a bad thing depending on if you are looking for hard questions answered or not.

The way this film was shot reminded me of old sports documentaries, It's All Good (1999) and Beyond the Mat (1999) as it had that dirty (in a good way) independent film style, where the atmosphere had a very down to Earth feeing.  While it did have that dirty independent feeling, this film has a very crisp and clean picture quality and it did go well with the independent vibe.  I know what I say might sound a bit odd but you'll understand what I mean when you have seen the film yourself...  Hopefully as I do have a crazy mind after-all (semi-joking). 

The editing of the film was pretty good as it portioned all of the segments well and also had a very nice amount of video game footage mixed in and it did help make everything that was said to be more interesting.  Seeing the video game footage in this film really does put you in a mood to play video games, especially the games that were mentioned in the film, so prepare to spend some extra cash on buying those games if you don't own any of them already (some of them are really worth checking out)*.  I even found the closing credits to be enjoyable as it has a segment within it that shows off indie games that were crowd funded.  I know it might seem novel to enjoy that segment as much as I did but I really did find it to be interesting as I'm not that big into following crowd funding websites, so some of the games I found out that were crowd funded did come off as a surprise to me.

There really isn't anything else I can say about this movie other than it was a pretty good film overall and was (dare I say that word again) very interesting (I dared to say that word again).  I defiantly recommend that you check out this film as it is a very good one to sit back by and relax to.  Really good independent film about independent gaming.

Title: Game Loading - Rise of the Indies
Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 93 minutes
Distributor: Studio Bento
Price: $9.99 (VHX)
Recommended: Yes

*Note: Games I personally recommend you check out that were mentioned in this movie:
- Thomas Was Alone (For fans of platformers)
- Hate Plus (For fans of visual novels)
- Woah Dave! (For fans of classic styled arcade games)


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