so here's why i think im in this movie, and other devs are not.
james and lisanne interviewed almost 30 developers for this film, but eventually settled on me, jon, ed and tommy for a variety of reasons.
one of them being focus. they wanted a solid narrative thread, not just 2 hours of talking expert heads.
in filming all those interviews, they stumbled on mine and team meat stories, and found them compelling and dramatic.
our stories are old as art itself, but are relatable.
(jon's part in the movie is pretty minimal)
the movie isnt about making games.
it's not about any technical aspects of game-making.
james and lisanne decided not to dwell on this.
it's called indie game the movie, but what it's about is the creative process, and creative struggle.
(pretty much every review so far agrees with this)
this is my favorite thing about this film.
you could take every instance of the word videogames and replace it with comic books, films or music and it would still apply.
it's nearly universal in that way. spending a lot of time on what software we use to make our games would have totally killed that.
staying away from technicalities makes the movie more approachable to a wider audience, and quite frankly, better.
(i was approached by a lot of people at sundance who came to me and said things like "i've never played a game in my life but i found your story to be super relatable." so i guess it worked)
the way the movie is structured, each game represents a different time in development.
everything that's happened to jon with braid happened years ago. jon has had a lot of time to reflect on his experience, and what it meant. jon's experience lies mostly in the past.
for team meat, everything is happening in the now. we see them wake up the morning of and look for their game on the dashboard. we them working on this game, finishing it, and reaping the rewards. team meat is in the present.
as for me, everything that's going to happen to me lies in the future. you see me (and renaud!) working on the game, but you never see us finish it. you dont see us reap the rewards. all you see is uncertainty. my story arc ends on a big fat MAYBE. fez is in the future.
my arc is about uncertainty, anxiety, fear and a very possible failure.
i think that's one reason im in there, and not somebody else. i fit nicely in this past/present/future structure.
i didnt ask to be in this movie.
i agreed to be interviewed once, and thought i'd figure in just a little bit, with lots of other people taking up the rest of the time.
but in filming with me, james and lisanne stumbled on all these dramatic hooks. there was a lot going on with fez and polytron when they started filming (losing our funding, divorcing my business partner, the ensuing legal battle that took place just as i was trying to show the game at pax, ETC ETC) and decided to spend more time focusing on my story.
it was a huge surprise when i got the email that said the movie was basically just me, team meat and jon blow.
i did think to myself: "why not a more experienced developer", but having seen the movie now, how many games i've shipped is irrelevant. that's not the story.
also i look good on camera.