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Why we're making "That Dragon, Cancer"

If you’ve arrived here from reading Jenn Frank’s piece on our game on Unwinnable or Kotaku, welcome! If you haven’t had a chance to read her incredibly personal and touching review of our game, you can find it here:

He’s Still Alive 

What was not entirely clear in the review was that we gave Jenn an early demo of the game.  The scene she played was  one of the hardest nights I personally experienced in this entire journey fighting the cancer in Joel.

My family has been in the palliative stages of treatment with Joel for over 2 years.  This means that our doctors do not believe they can cure him, but he does still receive treatment, intended to ease his landing when the time comes.  The thing is, the time hasn’t come yet.  And Joel is still alive, over 2 years past our reasoned expectations.

We’re still fighting with Joel, and even though we’re on our 8th tumor, we’ve had a beautiful 3 years in the midst of such trials. That Dragon, Cancer will have moments of despair, but I will never leave the player there. Our journey has been characterized by hope and many small miracles, a community of faith and a set of amazing physicians. And even in the event we lose him, our desire is that our hope remains.

Of course, we’re just in the middle of it. We don’t know the ending and so we don’t come claiming to have all the answers.  Just moments, that we hope to share with you of sadness, joy, hope and overcoming the fear of death in the shadow of that great dragon.

With Love,

-Ryan

 

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Joel and Daddy - April 2013

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    STRANGER Your sores look angry my friend, and your face is red with rage. Your ragged breath tells me you have been weeping…     LEPER Leave me.     STRANGER Your knuckles are cracked and white. You are in pain. Come, I have medicine.     LEPER (holds up bottle of strong drink) and so do I, my comforter and nurse maid.     STRANGER There is a city in the northern isles… You can be made clean. They will care for you and change these filthy dressings. Come, Let me gather your things. There is a ship at the harbor. It leaves tonight.

    STRANGER
Your sores look angry my friend, and your face is red with rage. Your ragged breath tells me you have been weeping…

    LEPER
Leave me.

    STRANGER
Your knuckles are cracked and white. You are in pain. Come, I have medicine.

    LEPER
(holds up bottle of strong drink) and so do I, my comforter and nurse maid.

    STRANGER
There is a city in the northern isles… You can be made clean. They will care for you and change these filthy dressings.

Come, Let me gather your things. There is a ship at the harbor. It leaves tonight.

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Arrhythmia thuh thump. thuh thump. thuh. thump. thuh thump. (style inspired by @geoaday)

Arrhythmia

thuh thump.
thuh thump.

thuh.

thump.

thuh thump.

(style inspired by @geoaday)

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Be my sanctuary. Even as my body falters. My flesh betrays me, It falls. It fails. You, My Hope, sustain me. Still.

Be my sanctuary.
Even as my body falters.
My flesh betrays me,
It falls.
It fails.
You, My Hope, sustain me.
Still.

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Concept image for an interactive poem (and tribute to Geo A Day)

Concept image for an interactive poem (and tribute to Geo A Day)

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see?  here. it runs the length of the ridge. from Ransom’s Point to there; just south of An Cuan i do not know how deep i heard the groaning too. what do we do?

see? 
here.
it runs the length of the ridge.
from Ransom’s Point
to there;
just south of An Cuan
i do not know how deep
i heard the groaning too.
what do we do?

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