Kyle Ballentine


Kyle Ballentine-Kyle Ballentine is a behavioral therapist from California who’s just made a role-playing game for Windows and Mac called ‘To Ash.’

Traditionally, the protagonists in games gain strength and power as you progress. ‘To Ash’ is a little different though; the main character starts out strong and loses his power and agility as time passes. Speaking to Polygon, he said that his work with patients who are dealing with things like depression and anxiety is what inspired him. Ballentine added:

A lot of coping skills for anxiety and depression involve accepting what you can’t control… I think it’s important for everyone to think about those existential questions like purpose and the afterlife. There’s no right answer, but if you don’t live in great fear of death, you can stay more present.

The main character of the game is Demetri. He’s a warrior that loses power as the game progresses, thus making his battles more difficult and forcing the player to rethink how to fight. Ballentine says parts of the game are designed to reflect the stages of grief, like anger, detachment and denial.

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