“The most challenging part of building the game was keeping it a secret,” Robert Fink, 24, a 3D artist from Portland, Oregon, tells Yahoo Shine, adding that he had been telling his girlfriend, Angel White, 24, that he was working late at the office, to cover for the fact that he was actually at a friend’s house designing the game. All told, the project took five months to create from start to finish. When it came time to execute on the plan, Fink, who works at SuperGenius, an art and animation support studio for video game developers that's based in Oregon City, Oregon, asked White if she would come in to test a retro-style game the company was developing.
To cleverly capture the proposal on video, Fink set up the game and two cameras in the company conference room: one camera to record the actual game, and one to record White’s reaction. In the game, dubbed Knight Man, a dashing white knight attempts to save a princess by completing a series of challenges. Each successful challenge helps him build a golden ring that, in turn, unlocks the castle, where the princess is frozen in a crystal. (You can play the game here.)
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According to White, the golden ring tipped her off to the fact that this game might be something special. “When I saw that the collectible ‘artifact’ pieces were starting to form a circle, it became apparent something amazing was about to happen. I was internally freaking out,” White tells Yahoo Shine, noting that, because Fink was behind her while she was playing, she didn’t notice anything unusual about his behavior. “He played it cool the entire time, but he told me after the fact that he was internally freaking out, too!”
Once White freed the princess, a message popped up on the screen, saying, “Princess, I have searched far and wide and braved many dangers searching for my one and only. I believe with all my heart that I have found you. Angel White, would you do me the honor of sharing your life with me?” Fink then got down on one knee and presented White with an engagement ring, a moonstone set in oxidized silver, and the pair celebrated with 25 friends and family who were waiting outside the conference room. “I was absolutely exploding with emotion,” says White of the proposal. “My mind was racing with thoughts like, 'I'm getting engaged!' 'Oh, my God, Robert is such a badass for putting this game together,' and 'I am the luckiest girl on the planet.'
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And while White did rescue the princess, she didn’t do as well in the game as she could have: At the end of the video, a heart partially filled with pixels is shown with the message, ‘You could do better.’ Says Fink, “I didn’t mean that she could do better by finding a more awesome guy. But if you collect all the pieces to the heart, it reads, '100% getting lucky tonight.'” Game over.
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