Return to mobile version

Mason debuts his video game, Lord of the Bats

“ Wishes are important because they give these kids something to look forward to and be happy about. ”

- Wish mom, Angie

Fans and supporters filled the packed auditorium, the anticipation buzzing in the air. Seated in the first row, a bespectacled teenager in a red shirt commanded the attention of the room. His hands gripped the game controller, his fingers tapped buttons and maneuvered the joystick.

Meet 16-year-old Mason, an aspiring video game designer and Make-A-Wish® recipient who, for the first time, was playing the game he had been dreaming of. Nearly six months before, Mason was in a classroom just steps away from this very auditorium. He carried stacks of drawings and concepts to show a group of 15 students who would be the driving force in bringing his game to life.

Mason was excited to see his dream game, Lord of the Bats, come to life.Mason has cystic fibrosis. Each day, he takes about 70 pills and a couple rounds of inhaled antibiotics, and uses a vest to help loosen mucus in his chest. He gets sick a lot, and can have trouble gaining weight. When Mason found out he would receive a wish, he instantly wanted to bring his video game idea to life.

Enter DigiPen Institute of Technology.

Just months before Mason found out he qualified for a wish, a team of DigiPen students reached out to Make-A-Wish. They wanted to use their skills to give back to the community.

For nearly six months, these students worked out every detail of Mason’s game to make sure it was exactly what he wanted.

From the first meeting, Mason knew the characters, the premise and most of the obstacles. He just needed the help of this skilled team to bring them all to life: developers, artists and sound designers, just to name a few.

All that work came together and Mason’s game, Lord of the Bats, officially launched.

In addition to treatment for cystic fibrosis, Mason has Asperger syndrome, a developmental disorder related to autism. His mom, Angie, explained that this has made it difficult for him to connect with other kids at school. But his wish experience has brought out a whole new side of him.

“Mason is extremely passionate about gaming, and it has been a real joy for us all to see him light up when he talks about the game he is creating,” said Angie. “He really found his niche when he stepped on the DigiPen campus.”

And the appreciation is mutual. The DigiPen students sing Mason’s praises as both a creative director and a gamer.

“You brought so much to the table that I hope we did it justice,” said art producer Joe Erskine to Mason, just before the reveal.

Senior lecturer Ellen Beeman agreed: “You are the most amazingly creative young man, and it’s been a pleasure,” she said to Mason.

Mason tests the finished game, and it's a win!Mason played the game in front of a packed room. He led main character Battede through the Cactussand Desert, climbed Mount Loopemus and made his way to the final level: Lord Zlo.

In the room, the students who brought his game to life watched with bated breath, as he put their hard work to the test.

Under Mason’s skilled hand, Battede jumped, dodged and flew past obstacles. His focus broke only by his own running commentary as he encountered various surprises. The team added a few improvements since he last tested it months before.

When technical director Devin Jensen suggested Mason pause for a moment, Mason waved him off and continued with the game: “As a game developer, that’s the ultimate compliment!” Jensen said.

Mason hopes to be a video game designer someday and his wish experience has reinforced his career aspiration. DigiPen students, faculty, staff and friends gave the game rave reviews so he's more confident than ever.

“Wishes are important because they give these kids, who are going through horrible things, something to look forward to and be happy about,” said Angie. “Just have some time where they don’t have to think about their illness.”

Mason took home a copy of his game that day, which is sure to keep him busy for days and weeks to come. If you’d like to take a spin behind the controller, you can download Lord of the Bats for free at

Thanks to the team of DigiPen students, Mason's wish became a reality!

Special thanks to DigiPen Institute of Technology, Wheels for Wishes and wish-granting volunteers Amanda Lui and Holly Gion.

This is the project I’ve worked on that I’m most proud of in my entire life. ”

— Pearce, team lead, DigiPen Institute of Technology

Join the conversation

This story makes me feel

Leave a Comment

Download Lord of the Bats.

Take a spin behind the controller and download Lord of the Bats for free.

Play Lord of the Bats!


Stay in the Know!

Receive the latest news and updates with our Wish of the Month eNews delivered right to your inbox.

Sign up for e-News

Search for Stories that Matter to you

Join the conversation

Leave a Comment

You might also be interested in ...

Erik , 13

Hodgkin's lymphoma

I wish to go to the Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron movie premiere

I wish to go to the Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron movie premiere


Alex , 11

Duchenne muscular dystrophy

I wish to help humanity... with robots

Science and Technology Inspire Alex's Wish to Help Humanity with Robots
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-5300
Toll Free (800) 304-9474
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Eastern Washington Office
104 S Freya St
Green Flag Bldg #210
Spokane, WA 99202
(509) 458-2618
Toll Free (888) 790-7005
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Alaska Office
430 W 7th Ave #110
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 258-9474
Toll Free (844) 510-9474