Game Loading:
Rise of the Indies Review

A documentary that invites us to create with open arms

May 29, 2015
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Game Loading: Rise of the Indies cover art Game Loading: Rise of the Indies

Price: $9.99
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Copy provided by publisher

The indie game community is currently the wild west of gaming - despite being around for so long, it’s still fresh, new, undiscovered. There’s an endless sea of uncharted territory out there, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of it. Everything we’ve known about games until this point has just been a foundation - with limitless tools at our disposal, it’s now possible for anyone to tell their stories and ideas through a medium that was once limited to large teams of developers. Play is one of the most powerful ways we have to express ourselves, connect, and learn from each other, and now everyone has the opportunity to make a game of their own.

Game Loading: Rise of the Indies is the mission statement of a generation of creators unlike any we’ve seen before. It is through and through a crash-course on the state of indie game development today, jam-packed with plenty of faces you might recognize, and many you will know as “the creator of that game you really liked”. One could knock it for being too dense even, trying to cover too many topics in too little time. However, this is exactly why I think this movie is so important.Game Loading paints broad, broad strokes because what's more important than any single developer in this movie is the idea that you can become a part of their world, and there’s plenty of space for you to fit in.

If Indie Game: The Movie proved you could make a career out of making games, Game Loading proves that you don’t have to. You can just make games. Or market them for the people who make them. Or teach kids to program. If there’s a skill you have, this movie makes it clear that there’s going to be a place for you to use it. That being said, indie games aren’t the big cash cows people seem to think they are - for every success story we hear, there’s countless games that just don’t make enough money, or never come to life because life got in the way.

Game Loading doesn’t see this as damning though; it's stated many times that this is a thing you have to really love if you want to do it. Games are hard work, and often have little monetary return, yet they are immensely rewarding. These developers aren’t trying to make revenue-oriented games full of manipulative reward systems. They’re trying to tell convey ideas only possible through this medium. People do this because they want to, not because it's comfortable. In this field, complacency is death: those who make money doing what they love just want to make enough to pay the rent and move on to the next project.

These people are all driven by the need to work on something bigger than themselves. We see kids learning to program games at a young age, giving them the ability to innately use tools some people go to school for and still don’t grasp. We see all the participants in Train Jam 2014 use their individual talents to create something together that they probably couldn’t have done on their own. We see the developers of Tale of Tales talk about their games like their children, creating vast worlds for other people to create their own experiences in. Most importantly, we see some people admit that they have no idea what they’re doing. And that’s perfectly fine.

Game Loading may seem directionless, like it’s throwing all of what it’s got at the wall and seeing what messages stick. Still, no other movie has presented a community in such a welcoming way. It’s a sea of inspirational quotes to drown in. It’s an endless list of examples of people that are doing their own thing and finding happiness in it. It tells the viewer, “here’s this vast open world of possibilities, won’t you join in?”. If you have any inkling of a feeling making games is for you, or want to understand why games are so important, make watching Game Loading a priority this week. You won’t regret it. Matter of fact, it just might inspire you to get up and make something.

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Game Loading is available on Steam, Playstation Network, Xbox Live, iTunes, Playism, VHX, or directly through their website. There is still content on the way, so be on the lookout for smaller videos even after you’ve watched the movie! This even gets you a kids-friendly version without swearing, so you can watch it with your kids, your students, or any aspiring developers that need to hear “there’s a place for you out there.

Zoë Wolfe

Co-Founder, Webmaster