Away with Words

board game · print · illustration · 3d

A board game for 2-6 people that lets players learn more about American dialects by taking a road trip around the country. I worked in a group with designers Aleah Oxley and Leah Dupre, and I was responsible for the 3D renders, the illustrations, as well as the board and box design.

The visual system of the game was inspired by vintage postcards, and the quirks of each U.S. region.

See case study here

Overview of all the elements designed for the board game

During our team's research into this topic, we discovered that regional dialects were fading in the U.S. due to mass media and increased migration. The objective of this project is to increase appreciation of America's different dialects, and to create something that would let players have fun with each other while learning.

The goal of the game is to win by gathering food tokens representative of the four main dialect areas in the United States: the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, and the West. Players move around the map-based board with their car piece by rolling a die.

The four food tokens for each main dialect region: an oyster for the Northeast, ribs for the South, corn for the Midwest, and a taco for the West
Player pieces based off of different car types. From left to right, top to bottom are: a jeep, an RV, a semi-truck, a convertible, a sedan, and a Volkswagen bus

Before the game, players choose amongst themselves where the challenge and event tokens for each region will go, which can make the game easier or more difficult. Challenges are symbolized with a question mark, and events are symbolized with an exclamation mark.

To get the chance to answer a challenge question, players must land on a space that has a challenge token and then draw a challenge card. Getting the correct answer gives players the corresponding regional food token.

Selected challenge and event cards

If players are over 21, there is an optional drinking game that can be played. Some challenge cards have drinking penalties, indicated by a system of icons, for picking the wrong answer.

There are also event tokens that inflict a region-related event on any player who lands on them. A few event cards also have drinking penalties associated with them.

Close-up renders of board game elements in play


Selected concept sketches and notes
Selected iterations of the game board
Lineart for the card illustrations