My name’s Mitch Goh and I am the designer and creator of the game, Zero Order aka 0o. Some people know me as a 3rd year Architecture student in the National University of Singapore (NUS), and most people know me as “Mitch Advent”, the electronic music producer. However, I see myself as just a creative person that enjoys bringing new things into the world!
I’d bought myself a 3D Printer during the mid-term break with the main purpose of building models for my architecture projects. During that break, I printed a multitude of things for Thingiverse, just to familiarize myself with the software and hardware that makes 3D printing possible. During that period, I discovered many 3D printed games that others had made, most being variations of chess sets and role-playing board games. That kind of ignited the spark in the little kid in me, to create one of my own!
It was not until the end of my projects that I got to work, but I guess in my subconscious mind the idea was already building up inside me. This was the two weeks in between the end of my projects and the start of my end of year examinations though, so I had to work quick!
The very first iteration of 0o I tried was on an old dusty chess board I had laying in the storeroom. While experimenting, I decided that the game has to be abstract like chess, but the pieces have to move in a way that’s nothing like Chess. Using only one of each chess piece mirrored by the opposing color, I came up with an idea which at the time (maybe now too lol) felt revolutionary. I asked to myself, “What if, instead of moving to kill like Chess, the pieces moved to affect?”
An example of this that came immediately to mind was the turn-based strategy game of Final Fantasy Tactics I used to play on my old Gameboy Advance as a kid. There, certain moves not only damaged the opponent unit but sometimes also have a knock-back effect. Moving the affected unit one or more squares back. Some skills let you paralyze, poison or trap your opponents. There was such a variety and vibrancy in the way you can play that game that I began to wonder,
“What if I could bring those digital role-playing mechanics into a board game?”
It is this question that brought 0o to life!