Fan-made Papers, Please film looks suitably oppressive

Papers Please film

Glory to Arstotzka! A fan-made Papers, Please short film is in the works and, judging by the early videos and stills, has nailed the oppressive atmosphere of the border sim game. The trailer doesn’t give much away but still has me hooked, and I love seeing the game’s pixel art objects come to life.

The folks behind it are Nikita and Liliya Ordynskiy, graduates of the Moscow Institute of Television and Radio Broadcasting.

Apparently the film was announced earlier this year (it passed me by), and the game’s creator Lucas Pope has been consulting a bit for the project. Here’s some stills he posted a few months ago:

There’s no word on a release date yet, but from Pope’s tweets it looks like we should expect it fairly soon.

I’ve never been one for fan-made films based on games but, I don’t know, there’s something about this one that captures the imagination. Just writing this post has made me put Papers, Please back on my hard drive as well. It’s one of my favourite games of the last decade, mainly because of how much it manages to say (part political commentary, part boring job sim) with such limited visual information. Here’s John’s review, if you’re interested.


  1. satan says:

    Looks promising, hopefully the film goes up on Steam.

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    In most countries, this would be a drama. In Russia, it’s a documentary.

  3. ShadowNate says:

    There’s plenty of fan made stuff for Papers Please, though this looks perhaps the most interesting to me so far.
    I do quite like the “PAPERS, PLEASE: GLORY TO ARSTOTZKA Theme (Orchestral v3)” version of the theme music.
    Oh, almost forgot. Glory! Glory to Arstotzka!

  4. Small Ivory Knight says:

    The most impressive fan film for Papers, Please will always be:

    • Nixitur says:

      Like 90% of that is completely irrelevant to the game. And inaccurate. And not even that funny. I prefer this one.

  5. golem09 says:

    Sorry to say, but this looks nothing like what I imaged when playing the game. This looks like hollywood sparkles, ie completely unrealistic to seem “cineastic”. What I imagined was a dirty small office, a long line of people and a tired guy with a bad fitting uniform.
    Time pressure was the core of the gameplay experience, and it seems to be completely absent here.

    • April March says:

      I kind of agree, but also think you’re being very harsh based on a 20-second trailer.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      The office is filthy bare concrete, with rusting file cabinets and not enough light. I’m not really seeing “sparkle” here.

  6. Bull0 says:

    Well, feels like that kind of misses the point. The game was all about the queue of characters coming through the checkpoint, not the personality of the guard himself.

    • April March says:

      I once thought of how to make a short movie based on Papers Please. It’d mimic the game’s view precisely: an outside shot of the queue outside on the top, and two first-person views on the bottom, one of the interviewees’, and one of the desk. You would only see the guard’s hands as he handles the documents. It’d end, naturally, with a suicide bomber.