Indie games are often tucked away in the shadows behind their more popular triple-A counterparts, but they're rife with inventive stories and narratives that are often far more deserving of film adaptations. Most of the movies we get, however, are based on the biggest sellers out there.
But that’s absolutely unfair, because so many of the indies we’re playing at any given moment are so much more worthy of translation into gems of the silver screen. Their sales may not tell that sort of story, but we all know better.
Here are some excellent indie gaming picks that would make gorgeous leaps to the big screen, gorgeous aesthetic and insightful plot threads and all.
Camp Santo knew what it was doing when it put together the mysterious and engaging #Firewatch, following the story of Shoshone National Forest fire lookout named Henry in 1989. Not only a month after he takes the job, some peculiar happenings start going on in the park involving him and his supervisor Delilah.
Both Henry and Delilah communicate via walkie-talkie as they develop an important relationship and work to unravel the mystery that’s been built up between and around them, tied to an important incident that happened years ago.
Its gorgeous crimson hues, world building dialogue options with Delilah, and sometimes heartbreaking events make for a game that’s unlike any other.
The best part is there’s a film supposedly on the way from Campo Santo and Good Universe, so at least more than a few people thought making the jump from game to movie was a good idea here. Maybe it will actually come to fruition.
Jonathan Blow’s critically-acclaimed puzzler #TheWitness wasn’t entirely devoid of a storyline as many players might have surmised, with its own unique and mysterious structures, formations, and adventure elements that made it a heartfelt experience. It was rife with plenty of mindbending dilemmas to solve, complete with a trippy ending.
Shading in a little more narrative than what was already included as well as some sort of awesome, mindbending ending could make for one of the most mesmerizing movies this side of The Fountain or The Tree of Life, if done correctly. There’s a wealth of content here that could be used as guidelines. Someone just has to step up and put it all together.
Hello! I'd like to volunteer, please. I think the original ending needs a whole lot of work, and this would be a dream project.
This might seem like an odd choice, but just hear me out. #SUPERHOT is one of the most unique games out there, in terms of indie games or video games in general. Its “move-when-you-move” gameplay is inventive and addictive, and there’s a whole lot that could be done with this style in terms of creating a cinematic masterpiece.
Just like The Matrix, setpieces with bullet time and other clever edits could make for a raucous ride in the vein of Hardcore Henry or something familiar and frenetic just like it. I’d love to see a similar visual style, even, which is easily attainable with the kind of visual technology we have these days. It would certainly turn heads, if nothing else.
That Dragon, Cancer
Though this heart-wrenching game plays out similarly to a video game on its own and it has a complementary film about its creation called Thank You For Playing, it deserves a translation to the big screen all its own, if not to touch a wider audience than to share designer Ryan Green’s story about his family’s great loss. #ThatDragonCancer follows the sad reality where the Greens' son
Joel passed away due to complications from terminal cancer diagnosed at around twelve months old. While the Greens’ had four years with their child, the death was deeply impactful, as is the game itself. Giving the family a chance to share the story with the world beyond the confines of video games would not only be a great idea for a movie but a fitting tribute to a family that’s still grieving.
As much time as many of us have spent with #StardewValley, we all know there are several stories the farm simulator could easily weave in film form. The writers would have to take several liberties, but think about what kind of awesome easter eggs could be added in, or the kind of stories and relationships that could be forged with the NPCs.
As long as the general game "feeling" was properly conveyed with the movie adaptation, a Stardew Valley movie would make a lot of sense. I’d watch it. I’m pretty sure many of us would, if we could stop playing long enough to run out to the theater, anyway.
What indie games would you like to see recreated as movies? Let me know in the comments below!