Retrospective: “The Game That Time Forgot” Takes Backward Look at Indie Game Development

If you’re reading this, you clearly fall into one (or both) of two categories: You either love to play indie games, and/or you love to develop indie games. We here at IGM understand this, because we do too. We know how hard many of you work to bring joy to the lives of fellow gaming enthusiasts, and we know that the industry has come a long way.


Adam Butcher understands this too. An award-winning British filmmaker, Butcher has literally spent the free time of half of his life designing an indie game, having gotten started around the turn of the century when he was but a teenager who loved The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Naturally, during the last thirteen years of game design, he has learned a lot about the industry, the planning, the details, and all the ins and outs of making a game from scratch.


To celebrate his progress, to take a look back at the way the indie game industry has evolved, and to try to explain why in the world his project is taking so long, Butcher has released a mini-documentary called The Game That Time Forgot. He recounts his early adventures using the program Klik & Play, the self-described first instant video game creator, and the ‘click community’ which grew around this. He talks about how the first installment of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings saga inspired him to make the game of his dreams – and, in his own words, “How hard could it be?”

Well, those of you who fall into the developer category already know the answer.


The Game That Time Forgot is an affectionate, slightly self-deprecating look at Butcher’s experiences in the world of game development. With clips from his game Tobias and the Dark Sceptres running alongside his explanations, he good-naturedly describes the six major reasons why he has sunk so much time and energy into producing the game.

No spoilers – just take a look at one game lover’s tribute to thirteen years of indie gaming. You can give the game a try when the short film is done; after all, if Butcher loves it so much, maybe you will too.

Laura, to borrow a phrase from Metal Gear Solid 3, has one good eye and can still fire a gun. She refers to herself as a "video dame," and has been an avid gamer on various platforms since she first picked up a Pong controller over 30 years ago. She takes great delight in explaining different games to her husband.