Bree Westphal, Rhode Island (RISD)
“Trench Wars” and “The Inner Critic”
http://breewestphal.daportfolio.com/

Trench Wars Number of Players: 2 Player Age Range: 10 and Up As an adaptation of classic Backgammon with the look and feel of a World War I trench battle, the player’s objective is to navigate all of his or her surviving troops across enemy lines and bear them off into his or her enemy’s home country, indicated by the flags at either end of the board. To win, at least twelve of one’s soldiers must live to invade the opponent’s home country. Before beginning play, the board is to be set up in the manner illustrated in the diagram below. Though the board now has a long, horizontal design to more vividly portray a wide, spacious battlefield, the playing pieces, or ‘troops’ are set on the board as they were in the classic game. On the board itself, the number of men to place on the starting positions is indicated by the number of soldiers occupying the trenches. As in classic Backgammon, players move their soldiers toward their opponent’s end of the board as prompted by the roll of the dice. The numbers on the dice constitute two separate moves, so two men may be moved per turn, but only to trenches that are occupied by one or none of the opponent’s soldiers. If a player moves his or her soldiers to a trench occupied by one enemy soldier, the trench is invaded and that soldier is removed from the board. If a player rolls doubles, he or she may move his or her men that many spaces up to four times, and then roll again. For example, if a player rolls double sixes, he or she is entitled to move four of his or her men six spaces, and then roll again. The game proceeds as normal. Each player has fourteen foot soldiers, and one Army General. If a player loses men upon trench invasion, they are considered to have been killed and do not restart at the beginning of the board, as is so in classic Backgammon. However, if the General is moved past the radio tower at the halfway point of the field, he may call up to three reinforcements, or three men who were previously lost. Those reinforcements are placed at the trench just before crossing halfway. If one enemy soldier occupies that space, he is killed. If two or more enemy soldiers occupy that space, the reinforcements cannot be called.

The Inner Critic
Player Age Range: 17 and Up Number of Players: 2 to 4This game explores the psychological concept of the Inner Critic, which can briefly be described as a negative, judgmental inner voice that develops during childhood as a reflection of the criticisms of authority figures in one’s early life. Most everyone has an Inner Critic, though the prevalence of this force varies among individuals, but it invariably leaves its listener feeling inadequate or incapable of performing tasks. In extreme cases, it can cause serious psychological harm and acts as a paralyzing force.To illustrate a journey of inner growth being stifled by such a malicious force, the board’s aesthetic was inspired by thorned vines encroaching a tree. To reinforce the idea that an Inner Critic can be an inhibitor to progress, the two playing pieces that each player controls – the Self and the Inner Critic – are literally bound by a chain and move along the board in this way. Simply put, the objective of the game is to navigate the Self along the board and ultimately to Self-Acceptance, all the while confronting one’s deprecating Inner Critic. On a player’s turn, he/she rolls the dice once to move the Self, dragging the Inner Critic along to a corresponding space, and then again to move the Inner Critic. The Inner Critic can never pass the Self, but can only land on the same space; when this happens, a card is drawn. This game emphasizes interaction between players in the form of open discussion about personal experiences, which is prompted by the text on the cards. If a player has experienced a situation in which they let some form of his or her Inner Critic stop or hold him or her back from something, he or she must forfeit a turn. This mechanic exists to illustrate the debilitating effect of the Inner Critic in person’s life

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Artist Statement When designing games, I aim to tackle themes that are heavier and more cerebral than those of most conventional games. I try to develop mechanics that portray abstract as well as more tangible concepts, and I design the aesthetic of each game with careful consideration for what mood it evokes, how it complements the mechanics, and how it communicates the theme. As an illustrator, the success of my art is dependent on how it connects with its viewers, and I consider the same to be true of all games. In the case of this particular entry, Trench Wars, I envision the potential for this game to provide a link between children, who are attracted to the look and play of it, and older adults, who can appreciate the history behind it. I nd my work to be a success not only if the game itself is enjoyable to play, but if it generates enthusiasm for the theme it embodies, which is World War I trench warfare. I am a senior in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, and I aspire to work in the entertainment industry, namely in games. I see the potential of games, traditional and digital, to more eectively deliver a narrative or to communicate a theme than any other media, for nothing else commands such active participation from its viewers to push the story forward. I want to be part of the eort to help games dispel the perceptions of most as being mere entertainment, and to see them become more substantial, provoking as much thought and emotion as literature, film and music.

Artist Bio

Brianna Joy (Bree) Westphal hails from a single-parent, working class household in Los Angeles, California. She has always had an unwavering passion for making pictures, and as she has grown, her love has evolved to encompass image-making as communication, education, and political statment. Through force of will and the faith and generosity of many wonderful guardians, teachers, and friends, she is due to receive her BFA in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI this June. She will be the first woman in her immediate family to graduate college. As a student funded primarily through grants and scholarships, Bree has been privileged to receive lifechanging growth and education as an artist while in attendance at RISD. It was here that she discovered an inclination for game design as well as for illustration, and for working as an organizer with teams of people to promulgate positive change in her community. She aspires, ultimately, to help change the world for the better through the compelling, interactive venue of games, and to acquire the means to give back to her supporters and to RISD. She lives every day of her life in reflection, and in thanks for those who have helped to shape it.