How much do you know about Markus "Notch" Persson and the incredible indie success story of Minecraft?
It came out of nowhere: If you'd gone around taking polls a year ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who had even heard of Minecraft, a sandbox game created by a single person - a man who went by the handle "Notch." Fast-forward six months later, and the game was selling thousands upon thousands of copies every day, driven entirely by wildfire word-of-mouth advertising.
Minecraft is practically the very definition of an indie success story in the videogame industry - heck, we devoted an entire issue to the phenomenon - and one documentary team thinks it's worth covering in a feature-length film. When we first reported on the film being made by Portland, Oregon-based 2 Player Productions, they had only released a 6-minute proof-of-concept video as a sneak peek at the full thing. Now we have a longer, 20-minute version of the same proof-of-concept as the documentary makers raise money for the production of the feature-length film.
The little snippet we see here focuses on Minecraft creator Markus Persson and his Sweden-based development studio Mojang, but the creators want to look at Minecraft beyond the person who made it. "I really want to explore the impact Minecraft has had on its players," director Paul Owens told Wired. "It's really transcended just being a videogame at this point, especially to the people who really have a love for it."
"Now that the team has been introduced, we'll examine how they manage the weight of immense expectation (both the community's and their own) as they take their hit to completion and develop its follow up simultaneously," added cinematographer Asif Siddiky.
2 Player Productions has raised $131,000 of the estimated $150,000 that the team will need to shoot and edit the documentary, with 21 days still remaining in the pledge drive. At this point, it's looking likely that they'll get the go-ahead, so we can only hope.
"[Minecraft has] had this runaway success for a reason, and I think that is because people are getting a little tired of games offering the same experiences. They wanted something that let them decide what to do," said the film's producer Paul Levering. "It's also a story of a regular guy that became a millionaire just from supporting his passion project."
"Sometimes, someone will come along and incite a revolution without even knowing it."
As someone who thoroughly supports videogame documentaries (insert mandatory plug for Second Skin here), I can only hope that they, like Notch, succeed.