If Hogwarts existed in the real world, if I were lucky enough to be invited, I would greatly prefer to receive a paper invitation in my hands (by post or owl). As much as I love email as a form of communication, the digital format just doesn’t have the same impact when inviting you to something special.

This was my thought when I recently received this postcard from El Dorado Games (which was also shared with me by shareholder Ryan):

“Dear Student,” it begins. “We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Legend Academy for the upcoming school year…. We invite you to join us for the first day of classes on the morning of August 3, 2021.”

This side of the postcard is entirely thematic…and I love every inch of it. The text, the art, the signature, and the date–which, of course, is the date the project launched on Gamefound.

The other side has information about the product itself, along with a code to scan to take you directly to the project page:

We actually considered doing this for our Red Rising game (the first book of which features an institute), but we ended up using a house selection web app instead. Seeing it executed so well by Eld Dorado makes me wish I had looked into postcard services a bit more, though.

That, for me, is the barrier: Finding a service that will print and mail postcards, each with its own address. Really, it’s multiple services–one for each region where we have a fulfillment center (the US, Canada, Australia/NZ, and Europe).

El Dorado indicates in the comments that they worked with a company called Envision Ink to pull off this feat. If you have any recommendations in other regions, I’d love to hear them in the comments. It’s completely possible that the postcard itself was printed at one place, and another facility printed the individual addresses–it’s just easier to do it all in one place. It’s also possible that using mailing addresses from current customers without explicit approval from them isn’t legal in every region.

Invitations aren’t the only example of this method. As My Little Scythe designer Hoby Chou reminded me of yesterday (see photo below), Tim Fowers recently sent a rules update postcard for Burgle Bros 2:

Unlike the invitation postcard, though, there are some customer service issues that could arise from sending a rules update in this way (despite the exceptionally good intentions). I’m sure there are backers whose postcards will be lost in the mail or go to an old address, and they may contact Tim to ask for him to send them another, which will take him quite a bit of time.

What do you think about the use of postcards for invitations, rules updates, and more? As I mentioned before, if you’d recommend any printing/mailing services in your area, please share them in the comments!

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