I guess indie games are about to become glamorous. The long-awaited documentary Indie Game: The Movie, which is currently touring film festivals and getting a very positive buzz indeed, is apparently to become a telly series from HBO, home of the Sopranos, The Wire et al. As in, a dramatic TV series, with actors pretending to be indie developers, rather than actual indie developers mumbling to camera. Knowing HBO, it’ll be hyper-glossy and filled with arguably unnecessary sex scenes. Will we get to see the bum of a man pretending to be Edmund McMillen? Will we see a nervous Andy Schatz analogue being led to the IGF casting couch? Will we see the origin of Jonathan Blow’s name? Oh God, I’d really better stop now.
We don’t know much, as it’s really only at the ‘optioned’ stage right now, but HBO uber-producer Scott Rudin plans to remake Indie Game: The Movie as a half-hour comedy series. My blood chilled at that prospect – are they hoping to repeat the mugging horror of The Big Bang Theory but with slacker game devs? Or maybe it’ll be more of a lo-fi, Curb Your Enthusiasm kinda thing. Which would be more promising – my fear, though, is that the entire makin’ indie games thing is treated purely as a ‘oh, young people today’ joke rather than a noble, artistic endeavour. On the other hand, doing solely the latter would be a sad mistake too, given there is much to laugh about/with in the making-it-up-as-you-go-along nature of indie game dev.
Update: the makers of the movie claim the series will not be a comedy after all. Said they on Facebook:
“HBO has optioned IGTM for the basis of a (fictional) series. It is NOT a comedy. It is NOT a sitcom. The information came out and someone filled in a blank, and this is why: The (potential) show is being developed within the 1/2 hour department within HBO. We are told that 1/2 hr department is often shorthanded ‘comedy department’. Full hour dept = ‘drama department’. That is the basis of the ‘Comedy’ label. The show is being produced by Scott Rudin – the producer of ‘The Social Network’, ‘True Grit’, ‘Moneyball’, ‘Dragon Tattoo’ & nearly everything Wes Anderson… The people involved, the network involved – all are, BY FAR, the best people possible to make this show.”
Which puts an entirely different spin on things. Anyway: this may well never happen as it’s still only in the planning stages, but the mere concept of indie games being given a large dramatic budget and a DVD boxset is extraordinary, and says much about the games industry’s turnaround in recent years. As for the original film itself, here’s the most recent trailer:
Can’t wait to see it, but mostly that trailer just makes me so damned sad that Fez isn’t coming to PC.