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12 April 2014 @ 10:32 am
I am going to write a post about the Broken Age documentary (about making a Kickstarted video game) because it is now available for purchase to be streamed or downloaded DRM free with new episodes coming as they release them. There are fourteen episodes released so far that range between 20-55 min. A fifteenth has already been posted for backers but hasn't been uploaded to the other site yet.

I really love this documentary. I've mentioned it multiple times already to many people I know, but I figure I'll just mention it again. New episodes are usually the highlights of my day/week/month when they get posted, and they've been coming out about once every 1-2 months since the Kickstarter first happened. I'll usually watch each episode multiple times like the weirdo I am.

I think I love this documentary because it's about work. It's about the work it takes to be creative. It's about the work it takes to coordinate people across multiple states and across multiple disciplines. It's about the work it takes to make business decisions. It's about the work it takes to deal with bad press.

So many behind-the-scenes documentaries are about the mechanics of making something, the fun of making tiny models or doing clever blue-screen tricks or like, how great it is to work with your costars, or even, a lot of the times, about looking back at things and talking about the moments that stick out, the bright flashes of inspiration. This isn't that documentary.

This is a documentary about the grind. It's about having trouble locking yourself in your office to get your writing done. It's about saying, holy shit, we are building a game bigger than we budgeted for, what do we do now. It's about a director saying to an animator, this is great work that you're doing, but I think it's all wrong for the character so I think you need to scrap it all and redo it. It's about why you shouldn't read internet comments. It's about dealing with a giant, almost-insurmountable list of bugs.

But it's also about the magic moments. Having a mini art jam between all the artists so that you can generate a whole bunch of concept art in a short amount of time. Debuting your teaser trailer in front of a large group of people. Having a real orchestra play the music that will go into the final game. Getting to watch someone play your game out in the wild for the first time.

I don't know how it feels to watch the whole series all in one go right now, but there was a certain magic to watching as the game slowly come together over the months, gaining sophistication and depth. And then, at the end, getting to play it (at least the first half that's been released).

If you want to watch the first ep, it's available for free on Youtube. It mostly just covers the time period of the Kickstarter, but it does give you a taste of what the rest of the series is like.

Also, I really love the soundtrack because of its soothing chiptunes vibes and it can be purchased separately. Bandcamp also lets you listen to the whole thing for free before buying.

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