So last week, I talked about how the SketchUp program I used to design 0o directly influenced the game itself. In this album you’ll find detailed explanation of each units, but for today I’ll be explaining, design-wise, how it eventually came to this. Back tracking a little, I began the design phase by looking at what others have made on Thingiverse, one of the most popular online platforms 3D Printing enthusiasts go to find interesting things to print. Undeniably the most popular board/tabletop game on the platform was this Settlers of Catan. Which I would not have discovered if I’d not seen it first on one of Corridor Digital’s vlog. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have purchased my own 3D printer if not for them.
However, Catan was too big and I wanted to try something small which could easily be printed on my Flashforge Creator Pro, just to see how a 3D printed game would look and feel. I decided to print this Pocket-tactics project which I felt was quite interesting. Since I’ve never played a tabletop role-playing game before, this project was my first introduction to tiles, units and dice play. I really liked how the creator decided to make a pocket-size version of a role-playing game and made it my goal too.
The earliest design of 0o was a combination of tiles from the pocket-tactics project and 6 circular units that I had designed myself to represent, Kill, Push, Toss, Twist, Freeze and Switch (photo here), mentioned in the previous blog post. In that photo, I made 2 different sets of white circular units with slightly different designs because I was dead set on making everything white (blame the architect in me). They looked similar and confusing, but that’s an idea I have brought over to the latest version as well, because real battles are confusing and soldiers do look alike under all that camouflage.
When I had the, “Let’s make all the tiles and units the same thing!” eureka moment, I decided one side just had to be a different color just so players don’t immediately give up on the game.When that idea came into play, I discarded the idea from Pocket-tactics to have different types of tiles that affect the units differently. Rather than having impassible rivers & mountains represented by tile, I would let the empty spots and edges of the tray speak for themselves.
The earlier conception of 0o was super confusing as I experimented with different ways to balance the game out. Initially, defensive units can only on field tiles and “higher ground” like the hills and trees you see in the above picture. The defensive units had to remain perched on the higher grounds once moving up, giving emphasis to base setting. Offensive units could only go on land and into the water.
I decided to scrap all of that confusing nonsense and just make a super slim board game that is as full of depth as it is thin. When the game opened up to more unit varieties, some of the aspects of the discarded tile concepts could be brought into play. Thus creating units like, stack, lock, group and cover.
I was happy with the 36 unit design for a long while. Believing that that was probably the end of the design process. However I had the whole holiday to spare and so I decided to focus in on what could be better. The most jarring next step that spoke to me was the tray. The initial design was thick, wide and had raised edges around each hexagon. This made the tiles far apart and difficult to traverse from one point to another because of the unevenness. I wanted a board where players could slide pieces around like on chess and decided to overhaul the tray from the ground up. The wide margins wasn’t a problem for me at first, and the above was what I came up with. I also decided to round the edges of the board as carrying it around tended to leave marks on the hand.
The final design (as it is now) came with another overhaul. Deciding to reduce the use of as much material as possible. Just enough to give the tray structural integrity. Beautiful thin white margins that made the black pop like a board game from the future. Curved rounded edges, straight out of an apple factory. And a translucent dust cover that follow the same principles. The end result is a section that I’m actually proud to show.