A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Crashlands, a mash-up of Diablo, Pokemon, and Don’t Starve lobbed at Steam’s collective face with unfettered glee. It’s ambitious, funny, and fun. Turns out, it was conceived when its creator found out he had cancer.
“We love you too.”
The popularity of Let’s Play videos is undeniable, and they’ve quickly woven themselves into the fabric of of video games. That doesn’t mean everyone is comfortable with them, and that got the developers of That Dragon, Cancer into hot water with some players.
That Dragon, Cancer is a powerful story about a tragic moment in the lives of the Green family. Their son, Joel, was diagnosed with cancer at 12 months old. The conversation on the game’s Steam forums has focused on the morality of making a game about that. Interestingly, the developers are letting it happen.
I’ve been wondering when a game would make me cry, and that changed over the weekend. A few games have made me teary eyed, but that’s about it. That Dragon, Cancer not only made me weep, but I had to stop playing it a few times.
After a long and emotionally trying development process, That Dragon, Cancer comes out on January 12, delivering an interactive biographical portrait of a family’s fight against childhood cancer.
The heartfelt and deeply personal indie game That Dragon, Cancer is shifting gears. Ryan Green, who is making the game to tell the story of his son's death from terminal cancer, says that it will no longer be an Ouya exclusive. Green and his co-developers have launched a new Kickstarter to help finish it in 2015.
"Jesus, I can't even watch this," the man sitting next to me whispered, fidgeting in his seat. The screen in front of us played a home video of an infant child named Joel Green, gurgling happily as he played with a bunch of golden retriever puppies.
Thanks to an investment from the Ouya team, Ryan Green and Josh Larson's interactive exploration of a family coping with a young child's terminal cancer diagnosis comes to fruition in 2014. The game will be exclusive to the Android home console.
Before I sit, Josh Larson is careful to make one thing clear: “This is a game about Ryan and his wife’s four-year-old son, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer two and a half years ago,” he explains. And then this: “He’s still alive."