2017 Game Devs of Color Expo
472 attendees heard new perspectives from game developers of color.
2017 games list
(try to) Dress Up
As a daughter of a mostly rural Indian family, my clothing choices were monitored very strictly. Growing up, dress up games gave me an outlet where I could dress as I wanted without reprimand. '(try to) Dress Up' is a game than functions like the dress up games I loved but with a twist. It reflects my real world experience with dressing up- you'll have to get my parents' permission before going out in what you're wearing. Good luck with that... they're pretty tough judges.
A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher
A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher is a split-screen single player twin stick risk 'em up where you control two ships simultaneously. Your primary goal is to get the highest score possible, however the only way to keep your score is to leave the level with it. Playing till death will result in a zero score and a wipe of your leaderboard progress; that is if you had one to begin with ;)
Media is Dead, You are Alive
A game where you travel through worlds reflecting media of different types.
The Faceless Ones
A hypertext fiction about a faceless child who journeys through an unknown countryside to find their face. On the way, they meet the people of the countryside--whose faces are those of creatures, real-life or mythical--who could probably point the child in the right direction.
Semblance is a puzzle platformer where your character and the world it inhabits is made of playdough. Squish, squash and deform your character and the world to solve puzzles in this soft, bouncy world. The world of our character, Squish, is usually entirely soft - but an infection and infestation of hard material has started to spread, feeding off the playdough world to survive.
Long Gone Days
Long Gone Days is a character-driven RPG inspired by dystopian literature, but set in our present time, featuring real countries. The game tells the story of Rourke, a soldier from The Core, an isolated settlement below the surface of the Earth. After discovering the dark truth about an operation he's part of in Kaliningrad, he decides to abandon his post, not realising the consequences of deserting an inescapable war.
Demon's Revenge is an alternate perspective RPG where you play the role of Sen, a girl facing judgement from a world of prejudice and injustice. Dropped into a land full of conflict and bigotry, Sen will face the many trials and tribulations of a society that abandoned and hunts her for what she is. Ultimately her experience and judgment will play a role for the fate of the universe.
Even the Ocean
A grand story about Aliph, a lowly power plant technician for Whiteforge City, who finds her world turned upside-down after a routine maintenance trip goes awry. Balance your energy bar with Light and Dark energies to overcome diverse obstacles and stabilize the city. Meet and talk with new friends, powerful allies, and enigmatic travellers. Explore the beautiful and strange geography in the overworld, towns, and environments surrounding Whiteforge City.
An Afternoon Rippling
Inspired by visual novels and interactive fiction, An Afternoon Rippling is a text-heavy 2D adventure game about getting lost in a valley after your car breaks down. In your search for the elusive Mechanic, you have conversations with several strange individuals.
Liyla and the shadows of war
Liyla and the shadows of war is a game based on actual events, it tells a story of little girl lives in Gaza during the war in 2014.
A math puzzle filled with music.
Art Club Challenge
Art Club Challenge is a game that presents players with a basic painting interface and a challenge to create. Using just a few simple tools, players get to create works of art to pass those challenges. After passing a challenge they have the ability to upload it to the global gallery and discover how others decided to solve those same challenges.
Ghosts of Miami
Miami, 1986: the cocaine cowboys run the streets, and the morgues are overflowing with bodies. Chelo Martínez resolves to find people who fall through the cracks, but her path is thwarted by dead ends, dangers, and distracting romances. Navigate our soft-boiled detective through a twisting visual narrative, and solve the greatest mystery of Chelo's life--or don't.
Don't Look Away VR
Don't Look Away is a psychological horror experience that pits you against a mysterious entity bent on breaking down your mind, body, and soul before it feeds. Strapped to a chair, bound and gagged, with only a limited ability to reach for what's within your grasp, can you figure out the mystery of the room before it's too late? Just remember, whatever you do, whatever may happen, whatever you may see or hear... Don't Look Away.
Shotgun Farmers is an Online Multiplayer shooter where your bullets grow the guns. Harvest weapon plants quickly for more ammo or let them grow for a stronger clip. Aim carefully, as a missed shot means you've just gifted your enemy with the gun you're using!
Five: Journey to the Truth
WELCOME TO THE FIVE. You have joined the elite few who represent their planets and protect the Sult Galaxy from the Great Evils. It is your job to keep order and balance in the ever changing cosmos, while trying your best to not let your troubled past effect the future you Five must face together! Succeed and save us. Fail, and watch us crumble.
Five: Journey to the Truth is a cooperative role-playing board game, where the players select one of five characters and embark on a mission.
Need a break? Let’s relax with a soothing cup of robo-tea! This dating sim is about consideration and designed for self-soothing. In this all-robot world you’re Galine, a guardbot who’s been given a curious task… Through the path you choose, learn more about the bots around you and go on a cute, calm date!
Dominique Pamplemousse and Dominique Pamplemousse in "Combinatorial Explosion!"
In this sequel to 2013's breakout musical hit, Dominique Pamplemousse in \"It's All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!\", our favourite genderqueer private detective discovers that, through the power of multiple endings from the previous game, they have been cloned! Join the two Dominiques as they traverse surreal locations and interrogate increasingly bizarre characters in order to answer a very important question: which one of them is canon?
EXPOSURE is a game of intense hiding. Survive in an evolving environment by morphing between light & dark forms to camouflage from your predators. But be careful: you won’t be able to see yourself either. Adapt to see without looking.
Featuring intuitive controls & unusual gameplay, psychedelic abstract minimalist art & atmospheric soundscapes, and a pace that alternates between zoned-out and ultra-focused. Take a different path through seamlessly branching levels each time you play.
FRKN WKND is about video game developer Aquma as he tries to make a living and give back to his mother. Using his cell phone, you play through different vignette apps that give a window into his world. Sometimes you’re coding your latest game, other times you’re dealing with an angry social media mob. Breathing meditation and connecting w/friends & family is key. Plus, you never know who might call.
A game by Aquma featuring art by Amy Huang, Tonia B, Blendo Games & more.
The Ultimate Clap Back
This game of witty banter is not your parents' night in go pinochle and spades. The Ultimate Clap Back is a fast-paced game of wordplay. With just the right amount of sarcasm, snark and shade, this card game is bound to shock and keep you laughing for hours!
Swipe and tap your way through out the city, battling reckless bicyclists, oblivious tourists, dangerous subway performers and much more.
Customize your hero by learning different skills and changing your appearance.
The city is depending on you to bring justice and balance to these mean streets, can you answer the call?
Bounce around racking up points & avoiding several ways to die!
WHO LURKS is a local party game involving deception. Where players assume the role of crew members on the AE Hybrid spaceship. Play as a human protecting the crew, or stay undercover as an alien saboteur set on eradicating all human life. Each player takes turns performing tasks to conceal or reveal the alien lifeform.
The Joylancer: Legendary Motor Knight
The Joylancer: Legendary Motor Knight is a fast-paced, high-style character action platformer where you take the role of Joy Lantz and her massively powerful lance-drill hybrid weapon, the Joylance, as you venture the country of Antoria and attempt to vanquish the dark king Rosell.
The year is 1967 and you are a TV repair person. Get to work.
In TV Trouble, you are presented with an endless conveyor belt of faulty TVs. Each TV is a micro-puzzle comprised of dials, button panels and antennae. Tune in and repair as many televisions as you can against the clock. Earn bonus points for speedy and efficient work.
Card Witch is an Action/Strategy RPG staring Julia Morgan, a spell caster who uses cards containing spells stolen from her enemies. Guide Julia through this first look as she seeks out and confronts Flame Witch.
Defeat your enemies
Messy is a life commitment.
nour is an experimental art game about playing with and reminiscing about the luxury that is food, in this post-soylent world.
She Dreams Elsewhere
"She Dreams Elsewhere" is an adventure JRPG about dreams and the extent to which they mirror reality. You play as Thalia Sullivan, a comatose woman determined to defeat her nightmares in order to finally wake up. Unfortunately for her, some nightmares are harder to confront than others...
Breakup Squad is a fast and asymmetrical team-based game for five players. Two people play as former lovers who spot each other at a party after their toxic breakup. Three players are the lovers' friends who suffer from collateral damage after each makeup and breakup session. Will the lovers be together again, or can the friends keep them apart until the party is over? Make distractions and obstacles to win the cutest breakup game ever!
Treachery in Beatdown City
Treachery in Beatdown City is a dark comedy political thriller. During a speech at the UN, President Orama is kidnapped by Ninja Dragon Terrorists! In response billionaire Mayor Mike Moneybags shuts down the police leaving his private security to investigate. Desperate, the police chief Antonio Santiago enlists his daughter Lisa, and her friends Bruce Maxwell and Brad Steele. Together they must fight punks, drunks, thugs, cops, ninjas, terrorists and cyborgs to bring the president back alive!
2017 speaker list
Nuclear Fishin' Software is a tiny independent games studio in Brooklyn, New York, founded by NYC game industry veteran Kevin Chen in 2015. They are best known for the SLG/visual novel Four Horsemen.
Ethan Redd is an independent multimedia designer, artist, developer, and consultant currently based in Buffalo, NY and New York City. Forged in the fires of the aesthetics of the mid-1990s, Redd boasts a signature style sporting bold colors, sharp silhouette, and lively, life-affirming charm. A self-taught jack-of-all trades and one man juggernaut, Redd believes in the power of art and media to inspire people to reach higher and push further in their own lives.
Games are an amazing window into another world and with the progression of VR designing new worlds can now be a reality. Hessvacio has been working in VR for the past year creating prototypes and releasing Don't Look Away VR for the Gear VR. With his knowledge from the release of such a successful project, Hessvacio would like to share his insight on making a VR project in Unity and finishing it. Hessvacio is a software engineer at IAC and builds out games as the tech lead in EOS Interactive.
Stephanie is a software engineer at Brilliant.org, an enthusiastic game jammer, and one half of Jello Moat Studio. She started programming and making games at 24, with no prior experience doing either. At 26, she is now very experienced at being super confused but sticking with it and figuring out what it all means. She hopes to make the game development process more accessible to people like her.
Auriea Harvey has been a prominent figure in independent gaming as part of Tale of Tales, her studio founded along with Michael Samyn. They released titles such as The Endless Forest, The Path, The Graveyard and Luxuria Superbia; And introduced new concepts to the scene with the Realtime Art Manifesto and notgames. After over a decade of making games Auriea radically stopped after their last release ’SUNSET’ in 2015. But the tale goes on, she feels there is abundant life after videogames.
Cierra is a Senior Program Manager for Team Xbox. As the owner for Xbox Live Achievements systems on every device since the Xbox 360, she loves working on gaming platforms to help game designers and developers bring their ideas to life and to customers. She has presented at GDC and organizes Xbox's annual Blacks in Gaming GDC event. Cierra is passionate about encouraging others to embrace gaming as both a hobby and a career. She is also on a mission to increase her Gamerscore by 25,000 in 2017!
Keith Jordan is an indie game designer from The Bronx, New York. Through his education and employment, he has worked with several local game projects including Flu Busters, an educational survival game about the flu shot for Winthrop Hospital, and Orbital Round Bits for mobile devices. When he is not making games (or playing them), he teaches game design to children and teens. He also enjoys camping, swimming, and studying name etymology.
Jo founded a small company to make visual novels for nice people. She uses Twitter for cat pics, indie game screenshots, and threaded rants about being a woman in professional spaces. She ships Pharmercy, and is basic in other ways too.
Mitu Khandaker is CCO of Spirit AI, making tools to help game developers use tech to make games more accessible and intriguing in various ways: from rich autonomous characters to procedural narratives to even mitigating online harassment. She is also founder of indie microstudio The Tiniest Shark, and an Assistant Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center. Her research interests include social simulation, the aesthetics of interactivity and its relationship to critical play, in which she has a Ph.D.
Laura Simpson is a user experience designer and game designer. She has designed Driving to Reunion and Companions’ Tale. With her expertise in interaction design and interactive art, Laura brings a formal design process and a dedication to frequent iteration to her games.
Jennifer Estaris’ days are spent game designing, writing, producing, and chasing after her child. Her credits include games for Nickelodeon, Disney, and Dreamworks, and she has spoken at IGDA NYC, WonderCon, L.A. Comic Con, and DragonCon, among others. She is currently running indie studio Astra Rise with fellow Filipinos.
Sande Chen is a writer and game designer whose career has spanned over 15 years in the game industry. Her credits include 1999 Independent Games Festival winner Terminus, MMO Hall of Fame inductee Wizard101, and the 2007 PC RPG of the Year, The Witcher, for which she was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in Videogame Writing. She writes about game design and other topics on her blog, Game Design Aspect of the Month, and can be found on Twitter @sandechen.
Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit foundation based in Chicago, that is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. She’s the Founder and EIC of @OutofTokensCast, the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at conventions. Her writing appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Vice Gaming, Waypoint, Wiscon Chronicles, Paste Games and other publications.
Yussef Cole is a writer and visual artist from the Bronx, NY. He is of Arab and African-American descent. His specialty is graphic design for television but he also deeply enjoys thinking and writing about games. Yussef has written for many online publications including Paste, Waypoint, The Ontological Geek, and ZAM. He recently cowrote "Black Skin is Still a Radical Concept in Games" with Tanya DePass for Waypoint, which will be his main platform for this panel.
Dina is a game designer and artist. No stranger to travel, they have lived, studied and worked on games in cities from Beirut to Paris to Oslo to Cologne to Osaka. They've rubbed elbows with numerous industry titans, and tried their hand at mobile and console titles. Ask them about their latest project: a VR empathy game on what it's like to be an Arab when a bomb goes off in your city.
Shawn Alexander Allen
Shawn makes (often political) art in the way of games (both digital and non), photography, poetry, and dystopian fiction. He also writes media criticism, with a focus on race/class and representation, as well as game design critique. He is currently making the political dark comedy & tactical beat ‘em up Treachery in Beatdown City, and is perpetually working on the graffiti turf warfare game Corporate Vandals. Always support #blackgamedev
SAMMUS is an Ithaca, NY based rap artist, producer, and PhD student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. Known as much for her rousing stage presence as she is for her prowess as a beatmaker and lyricist, Sammus has spent the past several years cultivating a strong following of activists, hip hop heads, punks, and self-proclaimed nerds and geeks, among others. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Sammus \"has a gift for getting a message across.\" (Photo credit: Andrew Doench)
Shawn Pierre doesn't do much. Currently, he lives in Philly, and helps run the local meetup, currently known as Philly Dev Night. He also tries to make games.
Sean Han Tani
Sean Han Tani is a game developer known for the games Anodyne and Even the Ocean. He also writes music for these games and other musical projects. Currently he is interested in using themes relating to race and diaspora in his work. He also teaches game development at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Haleek Maul is a Brooklyn born rapper and digital artist. He has collaborated with the numerous artists including Deniro Farrar, Shady Blaze, Hot Sugar, and Saul Williams. Haleek has made a name for himself as an artist with sites such as Noisey, The Fader, and FACT by crafting a unique musical viewpoint fueled by his eclectic musical upbringing and his personal life. In 2015 he debuted a VR video to commemorate the release of his album, Prince Midas, at the art space Babycastles.
Darren Shield is an associate attorney at Mazzeo Song LLP, where his practice includes securities and corporate law, copyright and trademark licensing, counseling, prosecution and litigation, and data privacy counseling. His clients include crowd funding and social media startups, award winning video game companies, and other technology startups.
Mr. Shield received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School, and is licensed in New York State, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Charles Babb is a game lover. He has developed properties for TOKYOPOP. He has also produced eight game titles published by Warner Bros., Activision, Sony PlayStation, and Koei Tecmo. He’s considered a well-connected futurist working on a few AR and VR projects. Currently, Charles is a co-founder and Chief Experience Officer at Fairchild Consortium, a small studio focusing on developing inventive and innovative interactive entertainment experiences for augmented, virtual and mixed realities.
Jenny Jiao Hsia
Jenny Jiao Hsia is an independent game developer who lives and works in New York City. She worked with AP Thomson to make Beglitched, which won Best Student Game at the IGF in 2016. Jenny is currently making personal games about doing yoga, dieting, and putting on makeup in 10 seconds or less.
Wase Qazi is a solo independent game developer who streams the creation of the art and the code for his games live on Twitch as QaziTV. Qazi is currently working on Shotgun Farmers, the multiplayer shooter where your bullet grow the guns.
James is an Account Manager with Xbox 3rd Party Publishing who works with several tremendous independent developers in the ID@Xbox Program. With experience in XBLA Publishing and internal development, James enjoys collaborating with developers and teams of all sizes and backgrounds. James is proud to work with the Gaming for Everyone team at Xbox to encourage diversity in both games and their creators, as well as to help organize the annual Blacks in Gaming GDC event.
Follow our 2017 alumni
Get regular updates from former speakers and expo participants by following our 2017 alumni list on Twitter!See the list
Subscribe to find out when tickets and applications go live! We send emails less than once per week.