21 February 2019 | 18 Comments
When I started designing games in elementary school–and even when I started publishing games in 2012–I never imagined that strangers would use my games to propose to their future spouses.
But they have. Several of them. I love engagement stories, so even though I haven’t been engaged myself, I’ve been honored to play a small role in several proposals (and I’ve observed several others).
All of these stories have something in common: People have used cards from our games to surprise people they care about during pivotal moments of their lives. I think that is truly amazing. I’m sure many other game companies have stories like these, and it’s one of the reasons I love this industry.
The first that I’m aware of is one I learned about after it happened. The full story is here, and the Viticulture card Mark used to propose to his fiance is here:
I was so amazed that someone would do this that I later incorporated a Fiance card–with Mark’s permission–into the Moor Visitors expansion:
In 2017, I was contacted by a woman named Rebekah who was preparing to propose to her boyfriend using Scythe. I privately shared the encounter card frame with her, and she added her own art and text. I then connected her with Andrew at Print & Play Games to print the card.
Last year I also worked with someone in a similar capacity to help them propose, but they didn’t end up sharing the proposal publicly, so I won’t go into details here (I think it was successful, though).
The latest story was another first: Someone used their copy of Wingspan to announce that they’re having a baby. They shared this card (created on their own) in the Wingspan Facebook group:
These stories make me wonder a few things:
- Other than proposals and baby announcements, what are other announcements that people like to make a bit deal about?
- As a publisher, what can I do to better facilitate these special announcements? I looked into working with DriveThruCards, but they don’t offer several card sizes we commonly use, and the cardstock is rarely a perfect match. For now I think I’m going to ask one of our graphic designers to create user-friendly templates of a few different types of cards. People will need to print them at home and sleeve them next to a real card to hide a surprise, but that’s not too difficult. [Update: These card frames are now available for download and customization.]
- How do companies in other industries facilitate special surprises like these?
Update: Here are some more!
Have you ever used a board game or other product to make an announcement?
If you gain value from the 100 articles Jamey publishes on his blog each year, please consider championing this content!