Since the website launch it has been, to all outward appearances, all quiet on the Western Front. Well I for one can assure you, that this is not the case. We have all been beavering away behind the scenes, working towards the next stage in Decoherence's, as yet, fledgling future. But in the little down time we do have we decided recently to watch a film. So, with this in mind, a few members of our team sat down one evening and put on something which seemed very fitting at the moment; Indie Game the Movie.
For the uninitiated I'll just quickly outline the idea. IGTM follows three indie developments; that of Braid (post massive success), Super Meat Boy and Fez. All of these projects are very different, with Braid being one man sacrificing several years of his life to finally finish a project, Super Meat Boy being the loving expansion of a popular flash game and Fez being almost five years of blood, sweat of tears from Phil Fish. The separate stories are played out, with Jonathan Blow of Braid telling the audience the dangers of extreme success, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes taking you through the nail biting ride of pre-launch with SMB and Phil Fish proving than instant infamy does not necessarily mean an easy ride with Fez.We sat and watched, of course, with especial interest. On my part I spent a lot of time thinking about our own little bird and how easily its wings could be clipped, perhaps in many of the ways that Meat Boy, Braid or Fez were being held back. All games featured, spoiler alert, went on to be massively successful and all the creators have done wonderful things post movie (Google Phil Fish for more on why Fez II is now, unfortunately, not making it out of the gate).
To see the very human struggle behind these game's creations was, to me, both heartening and terrifying. I think it's incredibly difficult to know what to expect when creating anything. Even writing your name on a piece of paper can have complications; the pen might run out of ink, the paper might tear, you might smudge the ink and leave letter unintelligible...if something so simple can be so fraught with problems then why should creating a game be easy? And of course, I admitted to myself, it's not. It's hard; and even Decoherence has suffered minor stumbles at this early stage. All projects do. But the reason we do not stop is for the same reason that McMillen and Refenes, on no hours sleep and living of Red Bull, didn't. It's the same reason Fez was released after so many years of hellish struggle from it's creator. Because it's worth doing. I have lived my life under the pretense that nothing, absolutely nothing, is simple if it's worth doing. And this movie in part reminded me that, no matter what, Decoherence is worth doing. And that mean's it's not going to be easy.
It also struck me that all the games featured were entirely 3D - the resurfacing of the cute, fun, almost arcade like game is emerging, and now in full swing. I own McMillen's follow up to Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac, and find it wonderfully strange, brilliant and engrossing. It highlighted to me the differences within our own game; a point and click adventure, using analogue photography, using 16mm film...the differences stood out. What also stood out, to me, was the same passion, the same small teams, the same determination to make a game which would be enjoyed and remembered. For my part that is my aim. If one person thinks Decoherence was worth my time then it was, and is. The film made such an impact my first thought was to tell you all about it - perhaps some of you have seen it?