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.

Noir Wednesday: The Maltese Falcon Recast

I am working on my third scenario for Langston Wright (Cthulhu Confidential), an African American veteran fighting Mythos horrors in 1940s Washington DC.  Writing in this shadowy, corrupt world of politicians and detectives makes me wish there was more diversity found in the noir genre. I know my Mosley and Hines, but that's a short list. 

However we are in the age of the remake, so it's only a matter of years before it happens...is it too much to ask for some blind casting? This got me thinking about who would I recast in one of the greatest noir films ever, The Maltese Falcon...

Chad Coleman (Sam Spade)
Ruth Wilson (Ruth Wonderly/Brigid O'Shaughnessy)
Karen David (Iva Archer)
Bill Hader (Joel Cairo) 
Tony Leung (Lieutenant Dundy)
Sara Rue (Effie Perine)
Vincent D'onofrio (Kasper Gutman)
Idris Elba (Detective Tom Polhaus)
John Cho (Miles Archer)
Martin Freeman (Wilmer Cook)
Michael Pena (Luke)
Octavia Spencer (District Attorney Bryan)
Denzel Washington (Captain Jacobi)

All right. Back to Cthulhu Confidential and listening to my noir mix.


GenCon in the Rearview

This was the greatest GenCon for me to date! Hands down. I mean professionally, personally and spiritually. So many things happened and it is impossible to sum them up or this feeling of joy. Good job writer, saying you don't have words to describe something and then using words to talk about that (a comment from a redline). As a staunch member of the once-bitten thrice-shy club, I am hesitant to talk about my GenCon in fear of it all being a fevered dream moments away from being shattered. But alas, here's tempting fate...

First off, I got to hang a bit with my crew, You Too Can Cthulhu. It is always a pleasure to see them and do an annual huddle for the Black Letter games. This was my first year going to the Diana Jones Award and dipping my toe into the professional world of game design at GenCon. I also attended the Ennies with the Pelgrane Press gang and watched them sweep up awards for all of the hard work they have done. It was galvanizing and spectacular to watch. 

The days were filled with running the two games I wrote: Old Business in a New Town (Trail of Cthulhu) and Lost Legends: Utopians (Call of Cthulhu). Both got rave reviews from the players and they introduced a crop of new players to Trail of Cthulhu, and exposed others to the wonders of 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu. I gotta add in some player feedback and then shelve those scenarios until they are up on the site. 

It was fantastic to meet a host of new friends and colleagues, and finally meet some of the old ones in person. A special thanks to the Pelgrane crew for the warm welcome and LATE nights of drinking, joking and general geekery. Hopefully I embarrassed myself only minimally (doubtable).  

I referenced this already on social media, but it keeps playing through my brain, because it is why I do this: to make gaming a safe space for my daughter and other people of color. To have a young black woman tell me this was her first GenCon and my game is the reason she will be back next year, makes the crazy hours of writing and researching worth it (my wife Jill may disagree having to deal with the light of a computer screen peaking under the door while she sleeps).  

So many other things happened, so many people to shout out to and games to play. Instead, I am going to spend time recuperating (writing), avoiding the con crud and start planning my games for next year. No matter what happens, I will always remember this GenCon and this gaming high. 


OMG! GenCon! A handful of days filled with hanging out, talking, drinking and gaming.

If you are looking to link up with me, send me a tweet, DM or look below for where to find me. I am running some games and on a panel (crazy!). 

You Too Can Cthulhu Black Letter: Lost Legends: Utopians

Thursday/Friday/Saturday, 1200 - 1600

You Too Can Cthulhu Classics: New Business in an Old Town

Friday, 0800 - 1200

Investigative Roleplaying MasterClass

Saturday, 1600 - 1700

You Too Can Cthulhu Black Letter

Sunday, 0900 - 1400

Any other time...Pelgrane Press booth, or the bar...or maybe squeezing in a Delta Green game!

Fear and Reality

I am afraid. 

Another police "incident" occurred today, after the one from yesterday, and after the now-countless others. 

I am afraid to step out of my door, to think that I may never see my family, to think of Zora growing up without a father, or to think of Jill living without a husband. 

I am afraid this epidemic of systemic violence and executions won't stop and will continue to go unpunished. That each death is "justified." 

I am afraid that in a couple of days people will forgot these two men were killed in cold blood by those sworn to protect them. 

I am afraid that the world, that we are not doing enough to try to change this. We accept it as a daily part of our lives and move on. We watch those who protest get dismissed as rioters and criminals when they are really people of color trying to promote civil rights. When the people who are standing up for our community are disregarded, how do we stand up and be heard?

I am afraid for my child growing up in this world.

© 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.