Owain Weinert was diagnosed with pre-B Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia late in 2010, the 10-year getting a related call from the Make-A-Wish Foundation earlier this year. Owain didn’t have the usual desire to meet his favorite celebrity, get an honorary induction into a prestigious organization, or go a fancy trip. The kid wanted to make a game. PopCap got wind of this request around April, and with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, designed and released Owain’s game.
Basing their structure on a surprisingly design savvy presentation from Owain himself (including a storyline, unit design and respawn times), the result was Allied Star Police. Which, by Owain’s own words, plays out something like this:
“You are a military genius who has just been released from cryo-sleep. Your brilliance in the Lunar War convinced the A.S.P. (Allied Star Police) to put you in cryogenic slumber, just in case WWIII showed up. It’s not exactly WORLD war three, more Galactic War one….”
The game is now available for free on iTunes, Owain netting his family an iPad from PopCap as a reward for his work as the company’s “Junior Designer” on the project. The best news of all? According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the survival rate for pre-B Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia is 66.4% in Owain’s age range, a comparative high amongst similar diseases. Our best wishes for a return to health for Owain, and a bright future in video game design beyond that.