The event will be held on June 24, 2017 at the historic Schomburg Center in New York City. All panels, talks, educational sessions, and an arcade will feature game players and developers of color.

  • 11:00AM

    Doors open

  • 11:30AM

    Opening message

    The Game Devs of Color Expo Team welcomes you to the event!


    • Catt Small

      Catt is a product designer, game maker, and developer. She is currently making awesome things at Etsy. She started programming interactive games around the age of 10 and has been going ever since.

    • Chris Algoo

      Chris Algoo is a game developer, project manager and event organizer. By fostering diversity with games and events, he hopes to make gaming more inclusive and more interesting.

    • GDoCExpo events team

      This event would not be possible without Shawn Alexander Allen, Brian Carr, Jarryd Huntley, Kirk Musngi and Jason Vega. We love you all and are so happy you could be such a big help!

  • 12:00PM

    Arcade opens

    Check out the regularly-updated games section to see what we offer!

  • 12:00PM


    In this hour-long session, four game developers will share their thoughts about a variety of topics including VR game development, crowdfunding a game about the immigrant experience, and finding your place in (or out) of the industry.


    • Auriea Harvey

      Tale of Tales

      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.

    • Hessvacio Hassan

      IAC Apps

      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.

    • Kevin Chen

      Nuclear Fishin' Software

      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

      Multimedia Designer/Developer

      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.

    • Stephanie Andrews

      Stephanie is a software engineer at, 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.

  • 1:15PM

    Lunch hour - go experience Harlem!

    We encourage you to spend 45 minutes outside and explore the neighborhood. There are delicious restaurants right by the Schomburg Center! Snacks and refreshments will also be available throughout the event.

  • 2:00PM

    Surviving the games industry

    This panel will feature five game developers who will share ways to get into and thrive within the game development industry as marginalized people. Topics to be covered will include how diversity can affect the game development process as well as ways to create games while navigating the industry and preserving your mental health.


    • Keith Jordan


      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 Fu

      Pillow Fight Games

      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.

    • Cierra McDonald


      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!

    • Mitu Khandaker

      Spirit AI + NYU Game Center

      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

      Case Commons

      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.

  • 2:55PM

    Diverse character design and representation in games

    Five games industry professionals will further the case for diversity in character design during this panel. Topics to be discussed will include the portrayal of dark skin in games, representation of Arabs in video games, queer people of color in games, whitewashing, and cultural appropriation.


    • Sande Chen


      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.

    • Amaryah Shaye Armstrong

      Vanderbilt University

      Amaryah is a doctoral student in Theological Studies at Vanderbilt University. Her research examines the relationship between race, gender, and economics in theological terminology. She is convinced that playing too much Harvest Moon (SNES) as a pre-teen is why she is a lesbian today.

    • Tanya DePass

      I Need Diverse Games

      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

      Writer + Visual Artist

      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 Abou Karam

      Game Designer / Artist

      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. (Photo credit: Terence Tolman)

  • 3:50PM

    Music, sound, and choreography in game design

    Music and sound are a crucial part of video games, but they are often considered later in the process. In this panel, game designers and musicians will convene to discuss game design, audio design, and what game creators can learn from disciplines outside their own.


    • 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

      Rap artist, producer, and PhD student

      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


      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.

  • 4:45PM

    Polishing and launching your game

    Looking to take your game to the next level? Join five industry professionals to discuss ways to best share your game with the world. Topics to be discussed will include garnering press, marketing, protecting yourself from legal issues, and getting a publisher for your game.


    • Darren Shield

      Mazzeo Song P.C.

      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

      Fairchild Consortium

      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.

    • Del Northern


      Del is a 2D game artist/illustrator currently working on the game Rain World with the studio Videocult! She also has done several album covers for Crypt of the Necrodancer. A born and bred New Yorker, Del finally picked up and moved to Seattle to pursue that good vidyagame life. She enjoys smooching cats and posting nonsense on twitter.

    • Wase Qazi

      Megastorm Games

      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 Lewis

      Microsoft (Xbox)

      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.

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