On 28th June 2008, a young Kenneth worked as a part-time cashier at a Japanese confectionary in Singapore. The shop was mostly quiet; during his 6-hour shift, perhaps only 20 customers entered. He had approached his job with diligence during the first few days, but soon, boredom began to seep in. Back then, basic handphone plans didn’t support surfing, and the shopping center basement's poor network signal didn't help. Plus, there were no compact, wireless AirPods, so listening to music wasn't an option. Stocking shelves and attending to the occasional customer hardly consumed his time. Hours were spent just sitting and staring at snacks he couldn’t indulge in.
Then, Kenneth picked up a small notepad and pen, something he could carry discreetly throughout the day. As he managed the shop, he let his imagination roam. Initially unsure of what to do with these tools, he considered drawing or crafting a story. Maybe he'd develop the D&D campaign he'd been mulling over. At that time, he aspired to be a graphic designer, having nearly completed his diploma in creative media design. He also toyed with the idea of becoming a writer or an artist, though he lacked confidence in his creative abilities.
Eventually, he grew restless brainstorming stories and campaigns, as the core ideas and flow didn't demand extensive writing or elaboration. But then, an unexpected inspiration struck him. An irresistible urge welled up, prompting him to pen down his thoughts. What filled that notepad were the foundational ideas of a game design.
He envisioned the ultimate fantasy board game. It would feature character builders that allowed players to evolve from scratch, not restricting them to a specific class. He thought of distinct enemy factions where a single expansion introduced an entire army – be it undead, goblins, or dragons. He meticulously outlined stats for weapons, devised attributes for heroes, and dedicated stamina to melee classes and mana to the magical ones. For the first time, he delved into balancing these game elements. His enthusiasm was palpable; he wrote tirelessly.
Although this game never materialized, it ignited Kenneth's profound love for board games. In 2008, he might not have foreseen his entire future, but he recognized that board games would significantly shape it.