The News Grandmaster 4000


oh no! That was always a space I thought about dipping into mostly because of a halo effect of Derek Yu


This conversation has brought back so many bad memories.


you’re not alone, feel-good media in general makes me ill, but moreso with documentaries.

all nature documentaries are tragedies where the ending is 100 years away

…maybe i have problems too


One more galaxy brain take while I’m feelin spicy:
One of the biggest problems with the indie game development scene is that 99%* of indies believe that the entities permitted to have find success in videogames should be:

A. Nintendo
B. Sony
C. A bunch of other triple-A developers and massive corporations
D. Them and only them specifically as an indie

People demand support for their own success without concern or interest in what other people are doing in the space.

*Number exaggerated for dramatic, galaxy-brain effect.


Derek Yu is a pretty great dude, I think. The tutorials he posted on TIGsource for GameMaker were invaluable for me. He seems like a nice, generous guy. There is a curmudgeonly cult of personality around him and other oldbies that “made it” that makes me ill.

Yu has been a huge inspiration to me going back to Eternal Daughter and definitely with Spelunky. Love him.


Yeah, that makes sense (and obviously we had to work out our own issues like that).


I am also an absolute curmudgeon who’s grumpy about everything.


putting my two cents in: that whole era of bullshit that led to “indie game: the movie” being conceptualized, let alone made, completely turned me off of the concept of indie games for years. i was so tired of seeing ea programmers and guys who had the marketing muscle of fucking microsoft behind them insulting my intelligence with their manufactured underdog stories. and i completely ignored it until 2014, when i was asked to join a project, and then that other thing that happened in 2014 which really caused me to want to be more involved. i mean, if you’re making nazis mad, you must be doing something right, right?

and that bias definitely played a role in why i was so willing to be antagonistic towards the scene when the whole “punk games” debacle went down a few years ago. it’s very difficult to see the good in something when all that’s presented to you are well-off dickheads pretending to be anti-establishment when it’s plainly obvious how many of them simply want a seat at the table.


“Because for every Phil Fish or Team Meat who have clout in the community and the interest of the press, there are hundreds of unknowns who are trying much less successfully to get their games out there. It’s also important not to undervalue the amount of promotion that went into the games in the film prior to release. It would be nice to say the indie game world is a meritocracy and the most interesting ideas inevitably rise to the top, but what’s more true is that the people who are making higher-budgeted fifteen dollar games within traditional genres (all of these games are 2D platformers) rise to the top. And maybe it’s something those who’ve praised the film don’t want to think about, because it’s nice if you’re a game developer to live in the fantasy that you’ll one day make a surprise smash hit, but the likelihood of it happening is pretty slim. It’s no secret that the filmmakers chose big name indie titles that had a high probability of success. If they hadn’t, I bet they would’ve tried to jump on another bandwagon and find another high-profile project with a good chance of success. That’s the story they wanted to tell, not the one of the losers. It’s a sort of fetishization of success and ‘breaking into the mainstream’ that would seem antithetical to what being an indie is all about, but is actually very prominent in the indie community.”

it’s quite remarkable how similar this is to my feelings about asian american activism


I always think of it as a multiple audiences problem.

That movie has truths for certain audiences (as Liz notes, to the developers it largely plays to) but not the outside edge indie devs; just like these games, which are geared towards different audiences – the mini-mainstream of Super Meat Boy to the designer-catnip of increpare to the art student audience of babycastles.

So what responsibility does it having for being false in a different context, to certain audiences?


I mean it doesn’t have a responsibility to be true to different audiences just like any movie doesn’t have a responsibility to be “true” to anyone

that doesn’t mean that there’s a vast gap between who it thinks it’s speaking for and who it’s actually speaking for

when it makes claims about who it speaks for and then manages to get wide distribution and becomes one of the biggest works representing what “indie games” are to the general populace, that’s when there’s a problem

the movie doesn’t abdicate responsibility, it just thinks it’s telling the whole story when it’s very clearly not

it just happens to also be basically the only film that was made about “indie games” outside of that other one about the japanese indie scene


it sure would be nice if there were an indie game the movie focusing on more fringe game makers with small audiences who are doing interesting and cool things


Ok, I guess I didn’t take it as attempting representing the whole scene, but the people and games specifically conversing with publishers, out of the Xbox Indies basement and into the full store, going to GDC, etc. It represented the portion of it that covers 90% of the indie games people know about and buy, so that made sense as a strategy to be a movie people might want to watch (as we’ve seen with the Indie Game: The Movie follow-on projects focusing on the smaller scale, those tended to be forgotten quickly)


I’m not trying to be snide but it’s called Indie Game: The Movie


sure. It’s a name that has value and is claimed by different subgroups, of course – the commercial indies were the visible face of it, while the flash indies have equally valid claim but are cognitively separated for most, the student and secluded scenes also have valid claims while being fairly different.

I’m glad people are mostly past arguing about what defines ‘indie’ though and seem to have settled on inclusive definitions.


I don’t think it’s necessary helpful to assume that most people aren’t more credulous or more determined to find representation than you are though

like I have a voice in my head that constantly warbles “this can’t possibly be for me; move on” so I’m not exactly likely to take “indie game the movie” at face value but that a lot of people might and others might face collateral damage from that isn’t too hard to see


I guess I’m trying to sift out the areas where this cause problems because of the film, problems because of the stratifications within the game-making scenes, or problems because of how it is interpreted by audiences.


I think the usual hierarchy there would be 2 > 1 > 3 and I don’t think this case is any different


it’s a shame spinach wasn’t able to finish her movie


Today’s anthem