I was moved when I first watched “Indie Game: The Movie”. Although this documentary only recorded the stories of several well-known indie game developers, like Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow, there are still many more successful or not developers who are not recorded. But the most important thing is that such a movie can let us know what an indie game is and what those developers’ life is like.
I never thought that China would have such an “Indie Game: The Movie”, but San Lang did it.
I forgot when I first saw San Lang, probably at a game show.
The first time we met with each other after web chat, we might also have taken a photo together.
San Lang is a very cheerful and humorous person and I heard that he used to be an actor.
San Lang has his own game review site called wanga.me. He is known to many gamers because of this site.
San Lang also made games. I played his “Blacksmith Story”, but didn’t pay in the app.
When I first saw San Lang, he is looking for funders.
Although we have only met several times in total, I like him very much.
In China, many people do not understand what an indie game is, and even people who are already in this circle do not necessarily understand it.
In the age of the internet we live in, there are too many stories about entrepreneurial success.
These stories make people fascinated.
At the schoolmate’s reunion, half of the old friends are working in investment companies.
I can meet someone who says he/she want to start a business at least every three days.
In my friends’ companies, even during the entrepreneurial process I experienced, I have seen too many people who said that they were passionate and wanted to join the start-up but actually they even refused to work overtime and what they did is no difference with wage earners. The only difference is that they are more expensive.
Therefore, in the indie game circle, there are also many people who yearn for the success of making a start-up.
In 2016, some investors and institutions extended their olive branches to some indie game studios.
Some people got money (not including me).
However, money does not solve the problem of lacking business model, let alone borrowed money.
And from then on, there are no second chances.
After all this, I saw it very clearly.
I understand that China’s demographic structure and economic foundation determine what Chinese so-called commercial games should look like.
I understand that in China, pay-to-play indie games are like highbrow arts, without too much commercial values.
But I like it so I will continue to make indie game.
Most people who have discovered this fact have left this circle.
Some of them went back to big companies to make commercial games.
Some of them started working in other industries.
Some of them are still looking for money-making opportunities that do not actually exist in this circle.
San Lang is one of the few people who found this fact but still insisted on being an indie game developer.
And he not only does it himself, but also supports other developers.
About a year ago, Sang Lang introduced Ting to me, saying that he was the director of the Chinese indie game that they wanted to shoot.
I thought that San Lang probably was kidding. However, he is my friend, so I should cooperate.
Therefore, I never even wore my makeup.
I regret it now.
Ting is a man of few words. I didn’t remember his full name until this year — Chen Heting.
Ting often appeared in various exhibitions. Suddenly holding a video camera and interview Microphone appeared behind me and dragged me to a dark corner to record.
Ting also came to the studio before we dissolved and also came to the place where I lived after dissolution.
Ting said that he regretted not record the time when our game came out.
But Ting has already recorded the truth of Chinese indie games, and the true life of Chinese indie game developers—
Working seven days a week, 10-14 hours a day.
Responding to every player’s questions, in time.
Preparing press materials, and exhibitions.
Producing related products, and transportation.
Tax bureau, bank, and brushing toilet.
Although I’m an indie game developer, my attitude to working and games is far more professional than most people in this industry.
This is me, a Chinese indie game developer.
Thank San Lang and Ting for making all these recorded.
At this year’s GDC, a sample of this documentary will be shown at the Film Festival.
After that, this movie will be on Steam.
I hope everyone can support it.
The GDC will play at 7:30pm on March 19th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Screening Room – directly adjacent to the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
If you are going to GDC and interested in this movie, please go there and watch it.