That Dragon, Cancer tells the real-life story of Joel, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at 12 months of age but fought the disease for four years before finally succumbing earlier this year. It was originally announced as an exclusive for the Android-based Ouya console, but developer Ryan Green, Joel's father, has decided to release it for PC and Mac as well, in order to bring it to the widest audience possible. A Kickstarter campaign to help make it happen is now underway.
The game is a 3D point-and-click adventure, but with no puzzles and a simplified control scheme that will ensure it's accessible to players of all stripes. The objective is "simply to be present in each moment," and it obviously won't be an easy game to play: The developers state flat-out that That Dragon, Cancer is an "emotionally trying experience." If you want to know how trying, read Jenn Frank's article about the game from 2013 and do your best to hold back the tears.
"We created That Dragon, Cancer to tell the story of our son Joel and his 4-year fight against cancer. Our desire is to craft an adventure game that is poetic, playful, full of imagination and of hope," Green and his wife Amy wrote. "This is how we choose to honor him and his memory."
Much of the game has already been completed, but another $145,000 is needed to finish the project, which is expected to take around eight months. The developers are seeking $85,000 through crowdfunding, while the balance of the budget, if the campaign is successful, will be covered by a private loan and the Indie Fund. The Kickstarter for That Dragon, Cancer is live now and runs until December 12.