A small Melbourne studio is set to produce a new documentary about the meteoric rise of independent games development.
As mainstream gaming increasingly worries about the marketability of its titles, it retreads the same old, tired ground. For many developers around the world, these restrictions are too much — and, ever increasingly, indie is where you find the most innovative, beautiful and thought-provoking games.
In a bid to increase understanding of this phenomenon, a small — and independent! — film studio called StudioBento in Melbourne is creating a feature-length documentary examining why it is happening and the people behind it.
Called GameLoading: Rise of the Indies, the film will see interviews with prominent developers, both indie and mainstream, as well as prominent members of the gaming press, for an overview of the direction indie has taken in the last few years, where it is heading next and how it is changing the landscape of gaming.
Like DIY musicians and film-makers, indie game developers are working without the big budgets and huge teams of mainstream studios, giving life to their own visions on their own terms. In the process, they are pushing the limits, challenging the status quo of what games are and bringing a new language to the medium.
StudioBento's Lester Francois and Anna Brady are gamers themselves, and have already put a year's work into the documentary, interviewing such luminaries as Chris Avellone of Obsidian Entertainment, founder of Unity Technologies David Helgason and Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts. Also on the list to be interviewed are Jens Bergensten of Minecraft, Ian Dallas of The Unfinished Swan and more.
The project is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, where a minimum of US$15 will get you a digital HD download of the film. Other rewards include a curated bundle of five games, posters, ebooks, the film's soundtrack and — if you have US$10,000 to spare — you can become executive producer of the film.
The work they've done so far looks amazing. Check out the trailer in the video below, and head over to Kickstarter to pledge your support.