Fantasy Flight, the publishers of some of the world's biggest and best board games Star wars at Arkham at Game of thrones), you have a small tradition among the staff: once you have worked there for five years, you play the role of a character in one of their games.
While this may sound like the same sort of thing as in video games, where some random NPCs are named after a developer, the nature of the board games, with their card games, means that you can often see these guys and these girls often like you do characters like Luke Skywalker, Jon Snow and Aragorn.
In fact, I really did not know it was a thing until the weekend, when this article from Reddit highlighted the work of the artist Aurore Folny, responsible for this incredible illustration of Molly Glover, designer and producer at Fantasy Flight, who has worked on games like Rebellion: rise of the empire.
So I contacted Fantasy Flight to ask him what was the practice, and they confirmed that anyone who works there for more than five years can choose an intellectual property belonging to the company. and get into a game. They also sent a host of examples of other employee cameos:
The good thing with these solutions is that it's not just about adding a face to an existing idea, most of them being planned from scratch. Glover, for example, has a number of tattoos on his wrists and arms, but with his tribute intended to Arkham Horror's a card game that could have been a bit odd, since women did not really have tattoos in the 1920s. So she worked with the artist to have her tattoos represented in the form of ritual sculptures soaked with blood. The name of the character (Olive McBride) draws both her maiden name and the name of a character from a past performance of the Renaissance Festival.
Here are some other examples of five-year veterans who stand out in a game, with details in the captions:
The next time you play a Fantasy Flight game, and you're about to drop a powerful card on the table, remember that even though the title We could say that it's Elesidor Wind Whistle, Paladin of the North Realms, it's really just Frank from HR.
UPDATE: The witcher CD Projekt Red developers do it for Gwent the cards too: