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Kalei is a very personal reflection of the stages of grief for Saltwater Assembly's Director, Niki Goodfellow, and was conceived after the passing of her father in 2016. Grief is a puzzle that, though challenging to navigate, is a beautiful journey of reflection, love, and hope.
The idea of creating Kalei came to Niki in a dream about her dad. In this dream he shouted out to her "Kaleidoscope!", and when she woke, she thought it was a little odd, but decided to explore the kaleidoscope theme in a game. This wasn't the first time her and her dad would "collaborate" as such on a project - they'd been doing so since she was a little girl, though the circumstances of this collaboration are certainly unique.
After a week of tossing around ideas of a kaleidoscope puzzle game, and coining its name at that stage - 'Kalei', taken from the first five letters of "kaleidoscope" - Niki wasn't feeling the inspiration and so decided to lay the idea to the back of her mind.
Then one week later, in another dream, her dad came to her again and said, "No, like this!" and held out a picture to her. This picture is exactly what you'll see in Kalei's first chapter - from the art direction to the depiction of Kalei herself and her father, Niki has recreated what her dad showed her in the dream.
As Niki created the art, she was inspired to write the poem that threads through the title. What's more, after creating the artwork for the blossoms in the game, Niki discovered that the word 'Kalei' is actually a Hawaiian girls name meaning "The flower wreath; the beloved". This connection confirmed to Niki that Kalei was meant to be.
Today, Kalei is now "in production" and is a title that will inspire hope and love at times of loss through Kalei's journey.