#GACONF 2019

The third US edition of #GAconf was held on 18th March 2019 at the Children’s Creativity Museum, San Francisco.

ALL PREVIOUS CONFERENCES

Ian Hamilton

The New Normal – 2018’s Game Accessibility Advances

Ian Hamilton, independent

Every year the pace of chance accelerates. 2017 saw advances on a scale never before seen, and 2018 trumped that by considerable margin. This session shares a sense of that change, of where the industry is currently at, and where it will be heading in future.


Making Forza More Accessible

Jon Knoles, Turn 10

In this session, Jon shares Forza franchise history, learnings, and approach to inclusive design and accessibility. Over the past decade, Forza has become a more inclusive and accessible racing franchise by accident and by design. The development teams at Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games have learned that solving accessibility problems is about solving customer problems, and vice versa. Now they are focusing on inclusive design first, knowing that it empowers all players. Today they fully embrace these new opportunities and challenges, and are looking not only to evolve franchise accessibility, but also to evangelize the importance of making gaming for everyone a reality.


Chris Power

Designing Accessible Player Experiences

Christoper Power, AbleGaners / The University of York

With accessibility in games now being at the forefront of the minds of many professionals in the game industry, there is a need to push
accessible design earlier in the development lifecycle so that designers can do what they do best: innovate new engaging and inclusive experiences.

In this presentation, I introduce you to the AbleGamers Accessible Player Experience Design Patterns and describe how this new technique can help inspire you to create new accessible designs, making it so everyone can game.


Shell Little

Finding the Sweet Spot Between Bored and Overwhelmed

Shell Little, Wells Fargo DS4B

For someone with an attention related disability, fun is had when activities live in the space between boring and overwhelming. That “Sweet Spot” is critical when we are talking about playability and most importantly, the enjoyability of video games. Too overstimulating and the game can cause harm, too boring and the game becomes another unbearable chore. In this talk, Shell Little, an Accessibility Specialist with ADHD, discusses the different elements that can make or break a game for someone with a range of Cognitive Disabilities and why she probably hasn’t played your favorites. Viewers will leave this talk with not only a better understanding of common barriers experienced by people with Cognitive Disabilities but also concrete examples of ways to help users find their own “Sweet Spot”.


Steve Saylor

Gamers First, Blind Second: Tackling Common Obstacles to Make Your Game Low-Vision Friendly

Steve Saylor, Meghan Dornbrock, Jesse Anderson

Jesse Anderson, Meghan Dornbrock and Steve Saylor are blind and low-vision gamers, and many obstacles still persist in video games that make them difficult to enjoy. As gamers first they share their experiences and provide helpful ideas on how to improve visual accessibility in your games.

Tara Voelker

Road Trip: Accessibility At Events

Tara Voelker, Mixer

Now that you’ve made an inclusive title, you’re ready to show it off to the word. In this talk, Tara walks you through how to set up and accessible event and demo area so that the hard work you’ve put into making your title doesn’t get lost because of real world accessibility barriers.


Jay Kidd

Collapsus – Puzzles for People

Jay Kidd, Wraith Games

Collapsus’ Lead Designer and Creative Director, Jay Kidd takes a deep-dive into Collapsus’ 40+ accessibility features, the process of developing the game, what you can do to start implementing features like these, and why Wraith Games felt the need to make it so accessible in the first place.


Chris Palmer

More Inclusive Communication with Playfab Parties

Chris Palmer, Xbox

Multiplayer gaming can enable incredibly fun and social experiences. Chris talks about Microsoft’s work to advance accessibility, moderation, and translation capabilities for multiplayer games. The front-line of our efforts is a communication service called PlayFab Party, which seamlessly integrates Azure Speech Services for transcription, speech synthesis, and other features. He discusses accessibility best practices and on-going research in the communication space.


Bryce Johnson

The Xbox Adaptive Controller Story – GAconf Edition

Bryce Johnson, Microsoft

It has been an amazing ALMOST year since we announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and the response has overwhelmed the team. This talk tells stories that haven’t been told, discloses things we have learned, and asks for help on where we should head next. We also go through guidance that we give developers about creating games for folks with limited mobility.


Kaitlyn Jones

Reengage: Accessible Solutions and Practical Applications of Gaming in Occupational Therapy

Kaitlyn Jones & Erik Johnson, Warfighter Engaged

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a profession that focuses on each unique individual and how they independently interact with their environment. In our world we find that many people with disabilities often identify with gaming as an important and meaningful occupation, while also providing a rich environment that has given therapists the ability to offer new avenues in physical rehabilitation, behavioral health, brain injury, pediatrics, and more. This session explores that unique perspective and mindset that therapists bring to the gaming world as well as explore the therapeutic implications for gaming and how it can open an alternative world of play for people with disabilities.