Darker Hue Studios

Scoring a critical hit for diversity by creating a more inclusive world of geekdom one game at a time.

Darker Hue Studios is an independent company aimed at increasing the level of diversity in gaming and geekdom through building community, developing new material, and promoting inclusion within the existing gaming industry.

Black Lightning Gets Lit!

For anyone on the fence about this show, I am going to put my key thought up front: I loved Black Lightning! Go watch it and come back so we can discuss. For everyone else, let’s talk...



All right, gang, let’s delve into it a bit. I watched it this morning in the wee hours and felt swept up into the pilot with the first scene at the police station. Hearing Anissa's voice over of the #BlackLightning Oath, while Jennifer compares her to Harriet Tubman, established the tone of the show and what it was going to be. Then they give us a moment to breathe, and we see three of them as a family in the car, building an emotional hook for the audience. It gave me flashes of moments from my childhood, I have been in that car. The doubling down in the second scene with the cops pulling them over for a driving-while-black stop cemented a grounding the other DCTV shows have ignored: the reality of being black in America. 

This show would not just be about superheroes superheroing, but rather the cost of superheroing, knowing that powers can’t always save the day and the community.  It was so refreshing to see a smart, respected black man excelling at his profession and winning battles with his words; to see the students at the school engage with him, his concern for them and talking down a gunman to make sure no one was hurt; and then doing something in more of a gray area by trying to deal with the local gang boss, a former student, to keep the peace. 

That's not to say there isn't superheroing, as the use of Jefferson’s powers are AWESOME!!! I loved the battling in the dark illuminated by lightning punches and bolts of power! As an African American father with a daughter, I instantly related to his motivation for quitting being a superhero and then reclaiming the mask for the same reason: his daughters. He would do anything for them.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a perfect pilot. Pilots are difficult to pull off as they need to establish the protagonist, antagonist, the world, drama and numerous other bits in about 43 minutes. A hefty endeavor. There were some moments that didn’t sit right with me too, for instance, when Jefferson knocked out the cops behind the alley and blew up the police car. I could say he was covering up his tracks, maybe disabling the dash cam in the patrol car but that scene felt more forced, as did him standing on the roof of the motel at the end of the big fight scene. But such minor ticks are easily forgotten. 

That said, Black Lightning is the best pilot of the DCTV shows followed by Arrow and Supergirl. 

I will be here every week watching this show and looking forward to the journey! 

10 Days of Harlem Unbound


Social Media Giveaway:
10 Days of Harlem Unbound


Let's count down to the new year together by sending some Harlem Unbound swag into the universe! Here's how to enter to win:

1. Post a picture of yourself with your Harlem Unbound book. 

2. Include ONE WORD or phrase to describe your first impression of the book.

3. Tag Darker Hue Studios. (TwitterFacebook, Google+

At the end of each day, we will pick a random winner and send them a Harlem Unbound Keeper Screen or Dice. On the final day (December 31), we will do a raffle to include all social media posts during the 10-day period as entries, and we will award one lucky winner a signed Harlem Unbound Set (signed copy of the Book, the Keeper Screen and Dice)! 

A few rules:

  • Every time you post on social media = one entry, including for the final prize.
  • The Harlem Unbound swag will be mailed out within one week.
  • You must tag us in each post.
  • You must reside in the United States to win physical swag. (Sorry international crew, but damn those shipping costs!)

I can’t wait to hear from you. Thank you again for supporting this crazy dream of mine.



PS - Harlem Unbound makes a great gift! Buy it here.

Cheers! For Harlem Unbound

“‘Drink took to me,’ said Simple. ‘Whiskey just naturally likes me but beer likes me better.’”

— Langston Hughes


Hey Hep Cats,

What kind of backwards, Bible Belt bum would I be if I didn’t hand you, my of-age-adult-backer, a Tasty Cocktails 101 to toast this book and your unwavering support. The juice mixes in these pages have been christened, taste-tested and received the Harlem Unbound stamp of approval. 

Harlem Unbound-ized names as well as common names are listed for all you big shots. When you drop the word to get into the club, saunter up to the bar in The Cotton Club or at a hopping rent party packed to the gills, you’ll know the right lingo. While a warbler pours out their soul on stage, a quick word about one of these babies, and you’ll avoid strange glances from the regulars. No finks or pounders here. 

Thanks again for your help in making this dream come true and keep an eye out for what we do next.


Chris (AKA The Crooner) 

Tasty Cocktails 101:
Juices to Delight the Senses

Baker’s Dozen (AKA Bee's Knees)

Josephine Baker was underestimated, much like this simple classic cocktail. Both surprised the world with their versatility and lasting appeal. Baker was an entertainer, activist and French Resistance fighter, and lived up to the meaning of the cocktail era’s slang name: The Best. 


2 oz. Gin

.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

.5 oz Honey

Bonus – A dab of Prosecco will make this cocktail even more Jake.

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker, strain and serve in a chilled glass with a lemon twist. 

Wisdom and Hughes (AKA The Perfect Manhattan)

Much like Langston Hughes, this tasty cocktail will seduce you with its allure and leave you spellbound with what is the standard of cocktails. Hughes represents the Harlem Renaissance to so many and often is the first person who springs to mind. 


2 oz. Rye (or bourbon for that Southern feel, or Canadian whiskey if you’re looking to replicate prohibition availability)

1 oz. Sweet Vermouth

½ oz. Dry Vermouth 

2-4 Dashes of Angostura bitters

Pour all ingredients into a glass, stir vigorously, and then pour into a chilled glass and serve with a maraschino cherry. 

Their Eyes Were Watching Zora (AKA The Boulevardier) 

The Boulevardier is a powerful and complex drink that comes at you head-on, like Zora Neale Hurston, and once you have experienced it, you will keep coming back. For Zora, the power of her words are unquestionable, as was her drive for telling stories and traveling the darker path, no matter the danger. 


2 oz. Rye (or bourbon for that Southern feel, or Canadian whiskey if you’re looking to replicate prohibition availability)

1 oz. Campari

1 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Pour all ingredients into a glass, stir vigorously and strain into a chilled glass. Add a twist of lemon for rye or a slim slice of orange for bourbon or Canadian whiskey. 







- Chris & Jill

© Chris Spivey and Darker Hue Studios, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Chris Spivey and Darker Hue Studios with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.