Spawn On Me Episode 48: #Brookago Invades #IDARB


We couldn’t have been more excited to welcome Mike J. Mika back to Brookago! IDARB is a critical success and we get into how that feels & what’s next in store for the game. We switch things up by talking about Mike Mika, the movie star. Of course Mike drops a ton of video game knowledge plus hints at what Other Ocean is doing next!


Guest Info

@mikejmika, @idarbgame


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Spawn On Me Episode 45: Da_Anniversary

52 weeks! Brookago was founded one year ago & we celebrate the only way we know how…with a BANG! OG YouTuber and basketball aficionado turn NBA2K15 developer, Da_Czar visits Brookago! He talks his origin story, how he got hooked up with 2K sports and what it feels like to be in a video game!  We talk more sports and ponder if sports games should actually be a service. We laugh too… A LOT! Plus, we hear all of the well wishes from former guests & from YOU!!!



Guest Info


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Get It Right: Go Simple With The X-Men

Those of you old enough to remember filling arcade cabinets with machines probably have at least a handful of games that you couldn’t stop playing. For some, it was all about getting the high score on Ms. Pac-Man or Galaga while other flocked to the competitive nature of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. But for me? It was all about the beat-’em-ups, particularly those in the comic book realm. While Punisher remains a classic and close to my heart, I have especially fond memories of playing the X-Men arcade game for hours on end. It’s with that in mind that I have to ask: Why haven’t we seen another game like that starring Professor X and his crew of mutants?

In addition to recently thinking about the arcade game, I have not been able to get the awful taste of X-Men: Destiny out of my mouth since playing it three years ago. It was just an absolute mess of a video game that should have never left the developer’s studios, which is actually something that Kotaku covered in depth in this article. For those unfamiliar with it, though, X-Men: Destiny attempted to fall into the category of action-centric role-playing games, which would have been fine had it been executed properly. Instead, we were left with button-mashing madness that wasn’t even reminiscent of what can make button-mashing games fun. It really just tried to do too much.

Maybe, then, the best thing potential X-Men game developers can do is keep it simple. What’s funny is that there have been well-crafted X-Men games in the past few years, just not on a console! As seen here, slot developer Playtech was able to successfully integrate scenes and imagery from the first X-Men film to create a unique and fun take on an otherwise sterile gaming experience. It’s simple, sure, but that’s kind of the point of slot-styled game, right? Of course—but it’s that simplicity that needs to carry over to full-fledged console versions of titles based on the classic Marvel franchise.

Stop trying to give us over-the-top games where the graphics and appearance are top priority. The focus needs to be on what made those aforementioned classic games so memorable: the gameplay. Ditch the nonsense and go for something straightforward. Then, and only then, can developers even attempt to try a more complicated approach. After all, retro games have had a hell of a year, what with Shovel Knight recently winning Best Indie Game at the Game Awards, per this tweet from Nintendo.

Why can’t we just get something like this year’s X-Men mobile game, Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past, on a console? I can’t even imagine how quickly it would get eaten up by people with some money to spare on Nintendo’s eShop, the Playstation Network, or Xbox Live. It’s a shame that the best X-Men game around is only available on your smartphone but hey, at least we have that, right? Superman fans, on the other hand…

*This is a guest post written by Paul Donegan. Paul is an avid gamer and freelance blogger. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out in his local comic book shop or rewatching episodes of The Wire.*

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Spawn On Me Episode 28: Positively Positive

We try to balance out our somewhat angry discussion last week. For that we needed some help from our SpawnPointBlog video master, Daniel Moore! We run down what we’ve all been playing this week while we talk of everybody’s favorite, Popeye’s fried chicken and who exactly makes the best biscuits!   We dig into Polygon and Kotaku’s Pateron policy change, Cicero gets positive by apologizing (AGAIN) for jumping the gun on something. We also find out Cicero’s political affiliation while discussing the GOP’s video game? That’s just scratching the surface!


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Twitchizon? Amaitch? Twitch has been Acquired by Amazon.


In the deal that nobody saw coming, Twitch was acquired by Amazon.com today for a sum reported to be around $1B. What does this mean for the gaming community going forward? Time will tell. If they integrate such fantastic things as their Prime service into a video game streaming website, things can get real crazy real fast. And will Bezos light a fire under the heels of the Twitch team and finally get long-standing issues like chat ironed out? Will Twitch raise the maximum bitrate allowed (currently 3500kbps) now that they have the power of Amazon’s huge server farms?

Here is the open letter from Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch:

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 4.11.07 PM

Right now nothing not much is known, but we are excited to see what changes may come. The Spawn Point Blog will keep you updated and keep on streaming. Come play with us!

Kahlief: http://www.twitch.tv/thespawnpointblog

Cicero AKA StubbyStan: http://www.twitch.tv/spawnonme

Dan: http://www.twitch.tv/dantherobot

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Spawn On Me Episode 23: You’re Flamingo Teeth, Lisa Brown


Insomniac’s Lisa Brown visits Brookago to talk about their new game, Slow Down, Bull. We find out how to get your game into a quilt, how awesome eye trackers are and the nuanced greatness of the NES’ Rambo video game! Wonderful easter eggs abound! Listen in!

Music Break

[y=okyl-3yBP00 height=400]

Dee-1 Writer’s Block

Guest’s Info

Lisa Brown, Slow Down Bull, SDB Twitch Streams (Friday’s 1 PM PDT)

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On My Radar: July 25th 2014


On my Radar is a weekly segment bringing you things from around the web. It’s the first week back for it so please pardon the dust. More update and awesomeness coming soon…

Halo: Nightfall shows us it’s lead character, and he’s dreamy.


Halo: Nightfall, the upcoming prequel digital series to Halo 5, has shown us its lead in Agent Locke. Played by Mike Colter (The Good Wife, Men in Black 3), he remains somewhat of a mystery. I would talk about how amazing it is to have a black man in Halo, but Bungie and 343i have both created playable characters that were not white males. via Variety

 Destiny beta now open to all!


Not gonna write much about this. Just GO GO GO! via Bungie

 Youtube buying Twitch?

Did you think that Mays story about YouTube purchasing Twitch was a flash in the pan? Well it’s actually sizzling nicely. I wonder when they will fix all the stream chats… via Venture Beat

 Keith Olbermann blasts the NFL.

Not video game related but amazing: Keith Olbermann melts the NFL with his tirade about Ray Rice and how the NFL lacks respect for women. via Deadspin

 Dwayne Johnson has the power of a god.


Over the past few years, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been rumored to have been cast to play many different DC heroes. Looks like we are going to find out soon which one he bagged. Dwayne is alluding to the powerful Shazam! but I’m still bummed he won’t be playing Lobo. via i09



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Spawn On Me Episode 22: Life is Like a Box of IDARB


Brookago gets a new resident in the form of video game developer extraordinaire, Mike J. Mika, maker of the upcoming title #IDARB! We discover that Kahlief and Cicero form a new version of Voltron. Mike describes the brilliance that is #IDARB while giving us pearls from his four decades in the gaming industry. As you can imagine, being in the industry that long affords you the opportunity to meet lots of folks and we hear about ALL of them! Plus Mike and Cicero make a perfect wrestling tag team?

#IDARB E3 Trailer

[y=jMbY24Fj7So height=400]

Duty Calls Bulletstorm Promo

[y=eE_msAKWdOs height=400]

Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition

[y=JeXDNg7scyU height=400]

Follow Mike & #IDARB on Twitter

Mike                          IDARB

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Guess Who’s Been Invited to Dinner

We woke this morning to the most pleasant of surprises. Spawn On Me guest and great beard grower, Kevin L . Clark penned an article for blackenterprise.com called 10 Video Game Podcasts You Should Know About and Spawn On Me was right there in the mix!  We have been extremely fortunate and grateful to all of our guests and supporters in the short time since we began. Thanks, Kev, for honoring us in this way and congratulations to the other shows spotlighted. It was well deserved!

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Black Girls Code

BlackGirlsCode’s S.T.E.M Program Might Produce Gamer’s Next “Flower”

Black Girls CODE

(Courtesy of) Black Girls CODE.

I can remember the first time I played a videogame, a small circle figure traveling around a maze chomping on dots captured not only my attention but my imagination. A secret dream I’ve always held on to was to one day make a game of my own. My love of videogames springboarded my love for computers and tech and is the reason you are reading these words on the SpawnPointBlog today.

That same love of all things nerdy is shared by an amazing organization called Black Girls Code. I became aware of them via Twitter and one my favorite shows, “The Melissa Harris Perry Show” on MSNBC. She profiled the group in her “Foot Soldiers” segment titled, “Why Girls Should Be Geeks,” and I knew that at some point I needed to reach out to them.

Well this Saturday, August 17th the New York chapter of BGC along with Hidden Level Games will be holding their first “Make a Game in a Day” class that is a part of their Summer of Code. Any parents out there with young girls should run and be a part of this wonderful program.

To give you a little info on what is going on with BGC and this Saturday class I reached out to Donna Knutt and Peta-Gay Clarke who were kind enough to answer some questions about the program via email.

Check out our interview below:

SpawnPoint: Please introduce yourself and give some background about Black Girls Code.

Donna Knutt (DK): I am Donna Knutt and I’m the Technical Lead for the New York Chapter of BlackGirlsCode. I run my own Web development company right here in New York, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with code and creating things. When I came across Black Girls Code, I jumped at the chance to be part of such an amazing organization!

Peta-Gay Clarke (PC): I am Peta-Gay Clarke and I am also the Technical Lead for the New York Chapter of BlackGirlsCode. I work as a Technical Analyst for a bank in the heart of New York. I am a graduate student at Pace University and most importantly, I am a mom to an amazing little girl. I first came across Black Girls Code via a facebook post. Once I read what this organization was doing, I thought, “We have to get this program to New York!”

DK & PC: BlackGirlsCode was founded in 2011 in San Francisco by Kimberly Bryant, a Biotechnology/Engineering professional. Kimberly decided to launch BlackGirlsCode to meet the needs of young women of color who were underrepresented in the STEM fields. Programs are geared towards girls ages 7-17 and range from Web Design classes to mobile app development classes, and even trips to tech companies. BGC’s goal is to provide girls with skills in computational reasoning and computer programming. We want to expose them to role models in the tech space and inspire them to become the next generation of tech creators and entrepreneurs. From BGC’s inception to now, much has changed but our mission remains the same: to empower girls of color to make a lasting contribution to society through the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) industries.

SP: What are some of the classes that BGC has offered in the past?

DK & PC: We’ve had classes such as Build A Webpage in a Day, Mobile App Development, and other programming workshops. We’ve also done national video game challenges across the US with our other chapters in Altanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. The New York Chapter is really excited to launch our very first Game Design Workshop this Saturday Aug 17 at Pace University!

SP:  Can you go into some detail about the Summer of Code “Make a Game in a Day” class? What are some of the rules, and what will be taught? What programs will you be using?

DK & PC: Our “Build a Game in a Day w/ Beta” workshop is this Saturday, August 17, 2013. It’s being held at the Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems from 10am-4pm. The workshop will focus on game development with Beta! Beta is an arcade puzzle platform designed to make learning how to code more fun. The Beta team of developers which includes folks like, Errol and Patrice King along with Chris Moody created the program to use codePop, a tweet-sized game programming language. Players are given a great deal of control including the ability to create and customize every aspect of their game world. The workshop is designed to encourage student-driven learning, as participants think analytically, design, play, and code in real-time. What’s unique about Beta is that it blurs the line between playing a game and creating a game. So we’re excited to see some of the things that the girls will create and do with Beta. To learn more about Beta! Visit: http://www.betathegame.

SP: Playing and later wanting to make video games proved to be my gateway into technology. What are your hopes for the young ladies going through your programs?

DK & PC: We hope that by introducing our girls to coding and STEM in general at such a young age, that we will help bridge the digital divide and help build their confidence to become tech leaders and creators. We’ve also seen that our girls have built lasting relationships with other participants in the class and those relationships can take them even further in the field.

SP: Did gaming in any way inspire you? If so, what games did you play, are there any that you would “pass down” to any young women you know? Or are there any games out there now that would get them more into tech or programming?

Donna: Gaming definitely inspired me to continue learning code. I was an avid Metal Gear Solid player. I also enjoyed games like Ico and Baldur’s Gate (a lot of RPG stuff). These games inspired me to learn more about coding so I can one day build my own game. I’m happy to see that there are a lot of initiatives out there now to get more kids involved in coding and game development (Beta for example and the Hopscotch app).

Peta: I wouldn’t say gaming inspired me to learn coding but it definitely allowed me to develop a love for technology. For me, growing up, I wasn’t your average girly girl. I think at one point I had every video game system you could imagine… from Atari to Nintendo. However, the game I played the most was on my grandmother’s PC she bought back in the 90’s. It was a Tandy 2000 and it came with a MS-DOS Operating System. It was a Mario-like game but it had a math learning component. I remember being addicted to that game and playing it day-in and day-out.

SP: What advice would you give to young girls who are curious about tech or programming?

DonnaI’d say go for it. Have them ask their parents to sign them up for workshops, and participate in community-driven events where they can meet other curious coders and hack it out together.

Peta: Take a leap of faith. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. At the rate which technology is growing, having a technical skill is imperative today and will be even more so in the near future. Furthermore, technology itself is such a broad area. If not programming, there’s the hardware area, networking area, security area. All areas that at least one member of the New York Chapter has a skill in.

SP:  What are some of BGC’s future goals? What can we look forward to in the future and what other programs will you be providing down the road?

Donna:  Black women make up only 3% of the computing workforce. I experienced that firsthand in my computer science classes in college. I was definitely part of the minority in my classes. So our goal moving forward is to continue to create a space for our girls to thrive in the tech space. We have a responsibility to our girls and as cliché as it may sound, they are our future. So we plan on creating more innovative ways to introduce our girls to STEM, and we plan to continue connecting with community partners to help bridge that divide. There is so much opportunity, especially here in New York City, and we want to make these opportunities available to our girls. We want our girls to be able to say, “I built my first app at 7 and programmed my first robot at 10.” Now wouldn’t that be a nice opener at a job interview?

SP: Lastly can you tell folks where and how they can find more information about BGC?

BGC:  We can be reached at:

Website: http://blackgirlscode.comhttp://blackgirlscode.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackGirlsCodeOrg

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blackgirlscode & http://twitter.com/volunteerbgcny for NY updates

For anyone interested in registering their girls for our workshop this Sat. Aug 17, 2013: http://nycsummerofcode2013.eventbrite.com

To register for future workshop or volunteer with the NY Chapter, email us at newyorkchapter@blackgirlscode.org

I want to thank Donna and Peta for taking time out of the schedule to be a part of this article on short notice and also for helping being involved in such an important undertaking.

As for what this means for gamers, I will say this: Many people of color have asked, pleaded, and made their voices heard about their representation in not only the games we have now but how we want to be represented in the future, not only on the small screen but in the meeting rooms when these games and concepts are being birthed.

The success of Black Girls Code means many things: a closure of the technology gap, tech workplaces that are even more inclusive than before, and a generation that is more technologically advanced and aware than we ever were. And hopefully while some these young ladies are taking over the world, they will make games that we will all enjoy.

Black Girls Code, thank you for making the world better one young geek at a time!












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