Whether you play video games or not, it's hard to deny that they have become an very important medium. Some people may see them as pure entertainment while others may consider them as a form of art, but in the end it's pretty clear that video games can be a fantastic way to tell stories and take you to new places, literally (if you ever played Pokemon GO, you'll probably agree) or figuratively.
Today, Microsoft published a lengthy profile of Kenny Roy, an indie developer who is currently developing I,Hope, a game designed to help children in their journey combating cancer. The [email protected] title was developed with the help of the European ANOMALIA community and the GameChanger charity, and 100% of the profits generated by I,Hope will go to supporting children with life threatening illnesses and their families.
From the beginning, Roy knew that he wanted to develop an adventure game that would deliver a very impactful experience. He explained:
As much as I love Shoot ‘Em Ups, big explosions and arcade experiences, I believe that games can be so much more. There are real positive experiences to gain from gaming, and I wanted the public to experience that. With I, Hope, I want to move minds.
In I, Hope, gamers will play as a young girl called Hope who is battling "Cancer," an evil creature which has destroyed her island home. Before being able to confront the monster, players will have to travel to different fantasy islands through a journey full of perils and rewarding moments. Roy added that he wanted to "create a great game that was fun for everyone, while still delivering a powerful, meaningful message to kids struggling in hospitals around the world."
Roy started developing games in 2014 using the Unity engine, and after coming around the idea for I, Hope he launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of the game. After getting the support from Unity and the GameChanger charity, he submitted the game to the [email protected] program and Microsoft was really supportive of his project. Katie Stone Perez, Senior Programme Manager at [email protected] shared:
I, Hope is an amazing example of a game that is expanding the content that we have on the platform while also providing such support for those who are dealing with such a difficult disease. We are truly honoured to have this amazing game coming to Xbox One and to support this amazing group of developers who are using their talents for such a noble cause.
While I, Hope is expected to be released on the Xbox One in 2017, Roy is already considering sequels which could have a bigger scope than his first essay at a game with a game with a “socially conscious angle.” As the game developer is well aware that cancer always affect the entire family, he is looking for a way to bring Hope’s family into the game and explore their perspective as members of a family where one member is battling cancer. You can get more information on Kenny Roy's project on the website of the Acornyx game studio, let us know what you think about I, Hope in the comments below.