Video games are bigger than they’ve ever been before. Invading every corner of life, games are now more accessible and diverse, creating hardcore and casual gamers alike. Now that game culture is in the limelight and games criticism and history are being taken seriously (you’d be surprised by the multitude of academic courses being offered), it was only a matter of time before games made there way to the big screen.
Documentaries about games are nothing new. Films like The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and Indie Game: The Movie are now readily available on a variety of streaming services. But, if you’re like us, then you can’t get enough of these films.
Which is why StudioBento’s GameLoading: Rise of the Indies is such a fresh piece. The title may sound like it tells a straightforward history of indie games, but that’s not the focus here. Instead, it revolves around the zeitgeist, i.e. the past handful of years. The film focuses and follows more than handful of indie developers working on their latest projects. Games such as The Stanley Parable, Thomas Was Alone, That Dragon, Cancer, SoundSelf and many more are shown side by side with their developers during the many stages of production.
We see the highs and lows of game developing: initial planning stages, the years dedicated to programming, the launch of a game, the recognition it receives, the possibility that someone may make your game before you do. Some of these moments are more exhilarating than others (some are downright sad and terrifying) but they all instill a sense of awe. A sense of inspiration. A sense that anyone can do this.
It’s the last part that really hits home. As fun and interesting as all this is, the feeling of inspiration that slowly creeps into you throughout the duration of the film is what stands it apart from other documentaries exploring the same subject. You don’t need a legion of developers to make a great game. In many cases it only takes a handful of people, often times just two.
If I walked away with anything from this film its that the playing field is finally leveled. The tools to make games are now readily available, oftentimes for free. Local meet-ups are popping up all over the map and there is a plethora of online communities are dedicated to game developing. It even gave my friend and I an idea for a game that we’d like to make (mind you, we have zero experience at this and no, we won’t tell you what it is. Yet.). Overall, I can’t recommend GameLoading: Rise of the Indies enough. If you love games or are looking for something inspiring to watch then we highly suggest you check it out.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a game to go make.
Check out the website for GameLoading here and check out the trailer below: