#GACONF USA ONLINE 2021

The online edition of #GAconf USA 2021 was held on 11th-12th October across Zoom and Discord.

ALL PREVIOUS CONFERENCES

DAY 1

 

Ian Hamilton

News update

Ian Hamilton

A round-up of some of the great progress made in the past 6 months.

 


Dave Evans

Unveiling The Vale

Dave Evans and Jamie Roboz, Falling Squirrel

Falling Squirrel’s The Vale: Shadow of the Crown started out as a means to create an affordable narrative experience, but quickly became an endeavour to make a high-quality, accessible, and equitable gaming experience for blind, low-vision, and sighted gamers alike. Learn how we got from point A to point B, our struggles and lessons along the way, and what we’d like to do in the future.

 


Andrea Fletcher

Acessibility in the Metaverse

Andrea Fletcher, Roblox

If we want the future of the internet to be for everyone, it follows that the innovations we create must also be for everyone. At Roblox, this future is deeply routed in the metaverse and the user-generated experiences within it. In this talk, we will explore how to approach accessibility in digital communities, and delve into how Roblox is addressing this vital challenge across millions of immersive experiences, solving problems at scale, taking the long view, and educating our developers on best practices to integrate and ingrain accessibility across the platform.

 


Paul Amadeus Lane

Motor Accessibility In Gaming – The Barriers We Still Face

Paul Amadeus Lane
Erin Hawley
Littlenavi
Mike Luckett

Even with the major strides that have been made in motor accessibility, those with motor disabilities still often face barriers. What are they? How can we make progress? Will we ever reach full inclusion? We will tackle these topics and more.

 


Cherry Thompson

Pausing and Peering Into The Distance

Cherry Thompson, Ubisoft

Join Cherry in meta-thinking about our approaches as an industry. We’ll look backwards, sideways, and inwards because ultimately, design is about so much more than “accessibility options”.

Cherry’s trying to slow down and take stock of their years with game accessibility; what came before and what undoubtedly lies ahead. This is difficult work! The nature of games almost goes against the goal of “accessible”. Without “barriers”, would it be a game?

To find the answer we need to figure out what the heck challenge is. Or, even what “accessibility” is.

We’ve done a lot! So, it’s time to check the map and make sure we’re heading in the right direction. After all, we have no waypoints!! It’s OK to stop running for a second and catch our breath together.

 


Communicating complex information through audio for Blind Flight Simulator players

Jason Fayre & Andy Borka

We are the developers of Talking Flight Monitor, an accessibility add-on for mainstream flight simulators that makes this complex hobby accessible to totally blind players. In developing this one of a kind solution, we needed to figure out how to convert very visual and complex aircraft systems into Audio. We will discuss the decisions we made, and our philosophy for building this software

 


Phil Wallace

How Being Disabled Prepared Me For A Career In QA

Phil Wallace, Epic Games

Adaptation and thinking outside the box are key skills for anyone in Quality Assurance. It just so happens that living with a disability grows and cultivates those skills naturally.

 


Ashley Papineau

Beginner’s Mindset: Accessibility Testing with Far Cry 6

Ashley Papineau, Ubisoft

Whether you’re new to games user research, or an experienced researcher who has yet to dip their toes into accessibility, this talk is meant to help you feel more comfortable running your first user test with disabled players. Follow our journey as we set up, recruited for, and ran accessibility tests for Far Cry 6 at Ubisoft’s Montreal User Research Lab.

 


ameliane chiasson

Accessible Horror: Everyone is Entitled to One Good Scare

Améliane Chiasson, Square Enix West
Morgan Baker, The Odd Gentlemen
Tara Voelker, Xbox

Due to their interactive nature, video games are an amazing way to give someone a good scare. However, video game horror tropes are frequently inaccessible, leaving people more disappointed than frightened. Dim the lights and put on your blanket, because in this talk, horror fans and accessibility advocates will revisit the rich history of horror media, break down how games try to scare people, how some people are being left out on the fun, and how to instil a sense of dread with alternative accessible and spooky gaming methods.


DAY 2

 

Steve Saylor

Climbing Mountains – 10 Years in Accessibility

Steve Saylor

Accessibility is a rapidly evolving field. The pace of change is exponential, over the past ten years it has progressed and changed beyond all recognition. This talk will share a greatest hits collection of some of the key moments in accessibility over the past ten years, to give a sense of that change – where the field has come from, where it is today, and what kind of trajectory it is on for the future.

 


Courtney Craven

3 Years with CIPT: From Joke to JOURNALISM

Courtney Craven, Can I Play That?

A retrospective on the first three years of Can I Play That, our hits and misses, and why we keep going.

 


Morgan Rowe

Moving Disability Representation Beyond “It Matters”

Morgan J. Rowe, Hi Rez Studios
Cherry Thompson, Ubisoft
Mary Kenney, Insomniac Games
Morgan Baker, The Odd Gentlemen

If you didn’t hear the news already, now you know: representation matters. Disability representation matters as much as any other. These four developers have very different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: they have all played a part in bringing nuanced and diverse disability representation to the industry. Join them as they come together for a coffee chat to share their stories: where it all started for them, how they convinced the people that needed convincing, where they found their accomplices, what was difficult, surprisingly easy, or maybe even fun.

 


Rhys Lloyd

Through a Glass Darkly: Entering Game Worlds Through Audio Description

Rhys Lloyd, Descriptive Video Works

This presentation will provide an intro to audio description in gaming and examine how the inclusion of AD for game trailers and cut scenes can create a more inclusive and immersive experience for blind and low vision players.

 


Tabby Rose

Making The Big Con Accessible

Tabby Rose, Mighty Yell

In this accessibility post-mortem of the recently released adventure game The Big Con, Tabby will discuss how her background in science communication and education shaped her approach to user experience design.

 


Chris Robinson (deafgamerstv)

What’s wrong with subtitles?

Chris Robinson (DeafGamersTV)

A quick review on what has been going wrong with subtitles in some games that makes them inaccessible.

 


Ian Hamilton

Difficulty Vs Accessibility

Ian Hamilton

A staple of gamer discourse around difficulty is that accessibility and difficulty are entirely separate concepts that should not be conflated. This short talk will get into the weeds of what the two things really mean and how exactly they relate.

 


Karen Stevens

Treading the Game Accessibility Trend

Karen Stevens, EA

In August of 2017, I became the first person working full time on accessibility of games at a major company. Building a team ground-up is a tough road for anyone and starting in a new area adds to the challenge. This talk shares experiences and strategies of how to make progress in your own efforts, while giving tips on keeping your head above water in the process.

 


Brian Allgeier

Insomniac Games: A Journey of Accessibility

Brian Allgeier, Insomniac Games

Brian Allgeier, Director of User Research at Insomniac Games, shares the process for adopting Accessibility on Marvel’s Spider-Man and building a team of advocates. He’ll discuss developing a culture for embracing accessibility that resulted in expanding features for recent titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man:Miles Morales and the recent Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

GAconf USA

Fall 2022

Online

REGISTRATION COMING SOON