013 : Her Unexpected Gift! A Father’s Path To Gratitude – Happy Thanksgiving!

Game Design Zen : Episode 013

I’ve been struggling to tell a story. Weeks of nights staring at the ceiling with ideas swirling in my head. It demanded to be told. Until finally, today, I did the whole thing in one take. This special episode is the story of being a Make-A-Wish father. Happy Thanksgiving!

The sideways glance, with wave, is for the entire auditorium, who is on their feet.

The sideways glance, with wave, is for the entire auditorium, who is on their feet.

  • The Story Demanded To Be Told (00:35)
  • 19 Years Ago – Kayla is Born (03:38)
  • The Children’s Hospital of King’s Daughters (CHKD) (04:55)
  • The Most Important Night of my Life (11:00)
  • When I Was Wrong (17:50)
  • To Be A Nurse (24:25)
  • The Power of Will (33:45)
  • Kayla’s Voice (35:20)
  • Make-A-Wish – Kayla Bear (37:35)
  • A Thanksgiving Wish of Gratitude (40:25)
Kayla's ballerina wish was selected by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to become the Kayla Bear.

Kayla’s ballerina wish was selected by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to become the Kayla Bear.

The Game Design Zen Podcast is the intersection of games, life, and the pursuit of excellence. It is the #1 resource for Game developers, artists, and designers including the art, science, and business of developing better games. Level up to zen!

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Hello Curtis, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your daughter's story with us. I have three children, two boys and a girl who is the youngest. Each of their deliveries came with their own share of scares. During my daughters delivery we lost her for sometime I will leave the details as a violent delivery. It felt like an eternity before they resuscitated her, during which there was a point the doctor stopped trying and look at my wife and I. He then gave her another chance and she came around. If there are miracles in this world that was one of them. We then spent the next couple weeks in the Cleveland Clinic NICU as she had trouble breath and her pulse ox wouldn't stabilize. She is one and half now and has Erb's Palsy, she is doing great, although we are still counting milestones hoping she hits them all. It's wonderful to hear about all the lives your daughter touched in her years and as you share her story and others do I believe she will continue to touch peoples lives. So again thank you for sharing her amazing story.

I also wanted to mention on here that several weeks ago you "Threw down the gauntlet" for your audience as your wife did for you and I picked up that gauntlet. Currently I am attending Full Sail University online for a BA in Game Design. I know this is a career I want to pursue and I believe I will be good although I never created a game In any media before. So even though I plan to become a Video Game Designer. I realized game design crosses several platforms even analog games. When I first got the challenge I got to work brainstorming Ideas and mechanics I thought I would like a game to have and wrote everything I could think of down. Eventually a few ideas came together analog game and that's when it hit me that I wasn't just going to be a Video Game Design, rather I was going to be a Game Designer. Currently my game is in its playtesting phase as I haven't had the time to playtest and gather others to do the same. So there is a game there and I will complete it. After I test it a bunch I will still need to have the art created for the game. I want to thank you for offering up this challenge. My game in it's current state is called "War Favors None". I don't believe I will be changing the name, so once I get some more work put into it I will be putting it up on my portfolio.

Thank you for all your great work and advice. I hope to hear continued podcasts.

Robert Foster