Value added proposition
I want these in my games. I mean really, really want them. I love them on limited edition lithographs that I buy. I love them on other limited run designer products that I get. I love it when I get an autographic copy of a book I respect. Why? Because it tells me I have something unique. It tells me that these games that I'm buying aren't mass produced objects, but very special limited edition sets – which they actually are. It tells me that someone really cares about this piece in no uncertain terms. Enough to sign their name. Enough to print a stupid piece of paper with words like "Certificate of Authenticity", "First Edition", "From our Big Box Collection", "Carefully assembled and inspected by" and my favorite "This Rio Grande – Alea – Uberplay – Eagle – Game is number XXX from an edition of 2000". It rewards me for being the collector, connoisseur and "smart individual" that I am for having been informed enough to make this purchase. It personalizes the purchase.
It adds value. It adds a lot of value on an emotional level. It feels like the next logical step after putting designer's names on the covers and the increase in production values that we have been seeing in the last number of years. It is what I want to see in games and what I suggest to all publishers I work with.
The page could be printed with other parts of the game – usually there is paper waste involved in printing where this could fit in on the run – the artwork ganged up with other elements. A seal could be hand embossed on each one. Such pocket embossers generally cost $80 for a custom logo. To hand emboss 1500 of these certificates would probably mean 4 or 5 hours of work. Hand scribbling a number from 1 - 1500 (or whatever the run is) would probably be somewhere around the same. Signatures of the designer, producer and even artist could be preprinted on the certificates. they could be 5" x 7" pieces of paper or smaller like a card. It would be nice if these were put in glassine or vellum envelopes as well. The cost here is minimal. But the value add is great. It elevates these games to what they actually are. That is, limited edition run, designer art piece games. In an atmosphere where many complain about the prices of these games, such a simple touch is a powerful reminder of the craftsmanship and rarity that these objects employ.
I've never seen this done before in this category. Boy, I would really love it if publishers would though.