It's Thursday, January 12th. Or "Day 220" in the world of 1000 Heroz
: an iPhone platformer from Finnish developer RedLynx.
Since the game debuted in the summer of 2011, the studio has delivered a brand-new stage every single day. Gamers then have 24 hours to perfect their run and post the best possible time on the global leaderboards before they're reset.
"This game has become a part of our life," Peter, from Bangkok in Thailand, says.
He plays the game with his girlfriend Ying whenever they're together. They download the new stage when it drops at 1am (in their time zone), and spend hours trying to best each other's score.
"Unfortunately, she is better than I am," Peter concedes.
"I've been trying to think of a unique way to pop the question to my girlfriend," he writes on the RedLynx forums, in early January. "Seeing as we are both crazy fans of this game, I thought this would be best."
He wasn't a regular poster to the forum, he later admits. "The only reason I joined up was to get tips on how to beat her times every day."
Not that the tips helped much - she still regularly beats him.
Despite Peter being a junior member, a moderator quickly came along and agreed to help him out.
They made characters that looked like the couple, built a proposal message that almost fills the screen when you finish, and printed the words "Ying, will you marry me... love Peter" in big block capitals.
"We were happy to accommodate Peter and Ying," Joonas Tamminen, producer of 1000 Heroz
, told Pocket Gamer
. "It was such a great story, and when Peter told us how they both play the game every day together, we couldn't resist helping out."
On Day 220, Peter and Ying download the new level in the early hours as always, and start playing. The special message won't show up until Ying finishes the stage, but she's a perfectionist who will keep restarting until she can produce that perfect run.
"It was so frustrating seeing her keep restarting because I wanted her to see the finish and my message," Peter says. "After about six restarts, I just told her, 'just finish the race!'"
"When she saw it, it didn't click straight away and took her about five seconds to react, but then she was just so happy and started to cry," he recalls. "Then, she said, 'yes, yes, yes' many times."
"She thought that RedLynx had only sent her
the message, but I said 'no', all 8,000 players that day will see the message. She must have played that day's race over 200 times just to see the message".
After posting the good news on the forum and thanking RedLynx, both 1000 Heroz
fans got a surprise the next day.
"We were playing the game together at about 12.50am just to play 'our' level for the last time before it disappeared, and at 1am, we played the new race, competing it once again."
They didn't know that RedLynx had put another message in the following day, reading: "Ying Said Yes!".
"We were so amazed at how much RedLynx helped us - it really went out of its way to make my proposal special."