The Cancer Game was an idea originally conceived by Dave Kristula, now a graduate of Albright College, during his near month-long stay in 1998 at Hershey Medical Center for a stem cell rescue (bone marrow transplant), treating his recurrent Hodgkin’s Disease.
In the fall of 2002, Kristula took a class with a new professor, Yuko Oda, who was teaching advanced uses of Macromedia Director software. Kristula developed a small, silly game in under four weeks, all while completing three additional classes.
In the spring of 2003, Albright College began requesting proposals for ten-week summer grant projects. Kristula approached Oda, suggesting the possibility of the game, and Oda signed on as faculty collaborator. After some debate, the college approved the project, which commenced on June 2, 2003 — with a $500 budget.
Over the course of the next ten weeks, Kristula and Oda researched current essays and books on the healing through visualization therapies, focusing on stress relief and the power of the Shaman of old. After four weeks of research, programming and art development began. Public beta 1 is the product of this ten week project, and while it needs a little bit of work here and there, overall the designers are satisfied with the project.