Branching Paths is an upcoming documentary focusing on the Japanese Independent video game scene.
In response to the rising prominence of independent game developers in Japan, director Anne Ferrero delved deeply into the indie scene. She observed the developers as they worked and spoke to them about their concerns. This documentary is the result of her two year journey. The film was featured at this year’s Bitsummet, a Japanese trade show dedicated to indie games. The documentary won a Magical Presence Award at the same event.
Branching Paths will feature a host of indie developers. It will also feature game development luminaries who have gone independent, like Keiji Inafune and Koji Igarashi. The creator of Touhou Project and sole member of Shanghai Alice, ZUN, will also appear in the film. It seems like the film will cover a wide variety of different indie developers and also some of the publishers.
A main concern of the documentary, according to the press release, is the ability of these developers to pursue their craft while, at the same time, trying to eek out a living and survive. Many of these developers don’t desire to work for a big company, but would rather have full creative control of their projects. Foregoing traditional employment and it’s security, in favor of working on independent projects, is a huge risk for anyone.
More recently, in the last few years, the Western indie scene has been receiving a lot of attention and acclaim. This is a perfect time to take an in depth look at Japanese indie developers and their projects.
Branching Paths will be available July 29th on AGM Playism’s web site or on Steam. It will be $9.99. For more information, including a complete list of individuals featured in the documentary, check out AGM Playism’s press release as well as the website.