If think you've officially played every game in the book, we're here to tell you there's one you may not have discovered yet, and it's made in Montreal! "Connect Deck" by Happy Tears is a bilingual card game that sets out to help you build more meaningful connections with the people you choose to play with — and it digs deep.

The beauty of this game is that you can play anytime, anywhere, whether it be at home with your roommates, over Zoom with someone far away, or while sitting at the park with your favourite people.

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With every deck sold, a $3 donation is made to Jack.org, an organization that helps build young leaders by providing them with mental health programs.

MTL Blog got the chance to with the creator of Happy Tears, Brandon J. Roy, about the purpose of the game and the community that created it.

Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Where did the idea to create Connect Deck come from?

After struggling with mental health for much of my teenage years and early 20s, I found confidence, comfort, and refuge in the world of mindfulness. Having found the right mindset and the light in my own life, I set out in 2018 to make more people smile in the world with the launch of my brand, Happy Tears. 

With the launch coinciding with the pandemic, we felt that our community needed a more meaningful way to practice mindfulness during a very challenging, socially-distanced year!

All of our creations are co-created; that is, designed with votes, polls, and comments collected from our community. Creating the Connect Deck was no exception. We asked our community what questions they would ask their loved ones, or best friends, in order to get to know them on a deeper level, and these became the foundation questions of our card game!

Born out of the pandemic was the Connect Deck — 120 bilingual questions (French and English) made to inspire meaningful connections!

The concept is simple: players take turns drawing a card, then asking or answering the question displayed. YELLOW cards are for getting comfortable, TEAL cards are for going a little deeper, and PINK cards are the deepest question cards that are known to induce some tears! 

What do you hope people get out of the game?

I hope the Connect Deck makes open, vulnerable conversations a habit in people's lives! I hope that people begin to feel increasingly safe to express themselves with each other and feel the bravery that comes in expressing our innermost, deepest thoughts.

In the way that Hinge is said to be the dating app ‘designed to be deleted,' the Connect Deck is the card game designed to be passed on! I hope people start dreaming up their own questions, and never lose the curiosity to understand themselves and each other.

The Connect Deck can be a meaningful starting point for anyone who wants to feel more connected to the people around them.

Tell me about Happy Tears. What parts of this community bring you joy?

Happy Tears is a bright, bold and vibrant world I've created to spread positivity and make people smile!

I love to see my community living in the moment, expressing their individuality, taking control of their mindsets, and freeing themselves up from the barriers that keep them from making bold choices with their lives.

As a queer person who has proudly grown into my difference, I love to see people be a lot less worried about being cool, and a lot more interested in being authentic. That is so powerful to me.

If I had to choose one thing, I'd say that the most amazing thing that my community has taught me, is that our deepest, most vulnerable struggles that we feel are the most universally felt by the world.

I spent so many years feeling so alone in my thoughts, and when I finally began to speak on my struggles, I realized that so many others were struggling in the way that I was. 

Over the pandemic, I've really seen people start to prioritize what makes them happy, to find true joy in the ordinary, realizing that the process of that is in fact the secret to what makes life so extraordinary.