Software Engineering

CoolGames Inc


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Join Griffin McElroy and Nick Robinson as they create a new video game every week – with your help.

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Episode 60: Barry Bertical's Uphill Jam

56:49 | Jul 22nd, 2017

This time around, the boys get all hung up on the idea of a multiplayer cooperative mountain-scaling game — complete with a shaky alliances, werewolf-style lying, and Mountain Justice™.

Episode 61: Breeding Amiibles (with SoftHard™ Technology)

59:21 | Jul 28th, 2017

Link's CrossFit Training, a Taken roguelike based with randomized "particular sets of skills," a game where the goal is not to rhyme, and toys-to-life but for marbles.

Episode 59: Business and Pleasure (featuring Marina from the Splatoon™ series)

54:09 | Jul 7th, 2017

This week, we make DDR Go, a game about adding new bones to your skeleton, and a 4X strategy game about dating world leaders. Also, Marina from Splatoon 2 is there.

Episode 58: Lexiconquest

51:11 | Jul 1st, 2017

After a few false starts with an anti-tycoon game concept and a Miitomo + Tinder hybrid, we settle into what might be our greatest idea yet: a marriage of Scribblenauts and Bookworm Adventures that redefines what edutainment can be.

Episode 57: Exquisite Corpse

53:51 | Jun 24th, 2017

We return from E3 chock-full of inspiration, which leads us to design a DDR game for horses, Call of Duty's new wizard class, and a video game loosely inspired by the parlour game Exquisite Corpse.

Episode 56: PoolGames Inc 2.0

25:58 | Jun 17th, 2017

It's E3 time, which means we're once again, despite our better judgment, getting in a hot tub with some friends and some alcohol and recording a wet and wild hot tub episode, featuring just about every friend we could get our hands on. (For the video...Show More

Episode 55: The "V"

47:30 | Jun 9th, 2017

This week, we create one of our greatest ideas yet — a skateboarders vs. mall cops MOBA — only to dash it against the rocks for a chance to make some of that sweet Mark Cuban money.

Episode 54: MorphCorps

50:35 | May 26th, 2017

We return from our week of absence to explore Mario & Sonic at the Eurovision Song Contest, Bad Dad Redemption, a competitive news chopper piloting game, and a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds mod that adds a shapeshifting companion.

Episode 53: Angels in the Paint

1:04:05 | May 13th, 2017

We take a deep dive in Sonic lore, make a game about One Weird Trick, a Weekend at Bernie's-style Splinter Cell game, and a game about celestial b-ball interference.

Episode 52: Property Brothers in Arms: Global Front Door

57:47 | May 6th, 2017

After kicking things off with an 8-almond challenge, we dust ourselves off and develop some games — including Breath of the Wile E. Coyote, Adjustin' Timberlake and Shrekken.

Episode 51: The Prestige Goose

1:01:41 | Apr 29th, 2017

This week, we design a game about a fake zoo, a Spider vs. Man Paragon/Renegade system, an Applebee's based fighting game, and a movie.

Episode 50: CoolGames Inc in the City

18:11 | Apr 23rd, 2017

In this special video episode of CoolGames Inc (available on, Griffin and Nick lay out their plans for Taste Buds, a friends-only cooperative VR food experience.

Episode 48: Silhouette of the Big One: Takedown

54:02 | Apr 8th, 2017

This week, we set aside some time to address #Cheetogate, introduce the first in our three-part "algorithmically-generated video games" segment, and then do what we do best: make video games inspired by Burnout 3.

CGI Jr: Vitality Egg

36:35 | Mar 31st, 2017

With Griffin all souped up and Nick reporting in from the South, we've produced a baby-sized episode centered mostly around creating the ultimate proprietary Nintendo peripheral: the Nintendo Vitality Egg.

Episode 47: Mr. Bucket's Stroke Wars

54:33 | Mar 25th, 2017

This week sees us barrelling headfirst into Easter as we reminisce about our favorite holiday traditions — before making a monstrous classic movie / anime hybrid, designing a Shadow the Hedgehog ending-based birthday quiz, figuring out what S.E.X. Tr...Show More

Episode 46: Munchlax Analysis

1:03:55 | Mar 18th, 2017

We briefly set aside the video games while Griffin pitches us on his new app that's taking SXSW by storm — and then hop back into our game developer chairs to make games about Borrowers in a snack machine, a cover-based shooter where you're invincibl...Show More

CGI Jr: Oops! All Baileys

30:54 | Mar 10th, 2017

Nick is dying of a mysterious GDC ailment that renders his brain non-functional, so we're doing a half-length episode about bear mascots, a sweetlip emperor-based successor to Dolphin Olympics, and a world full of Cash Cabs.

Episode 45: The Crew: Wet Country

54:04 | Mar 4th, 2017

It's Nintendo Switch launch day, a day that we here on CoolGames Inc treat as a federal holiday. To celebrate, we treat ourselves to a big ol' batch of good, stupid video game ideas, including a game about going to heaven, another about buying a Vita...Show More

Episode 44: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

58:23 | Feb 25th, 2017

The boys set a new landspeed record for crime confessions in a video game podcast, before diving into a Mario Party 6 microphone reboot, a Santana-driven baseball game, and a Skyrim toilet game.

Episode 43: December

1:04:30 | Feb 17th, 2017

It's a Valentine's Day special — and, whoops, we made a Christmas game.

Episode 41: Yelp!

55:43 | Jan 28th, 2017

This week, the boys devise a haunted NES Classic, take a few stabs at a Carmen Sandiego reboot, and ultimately create a first-person horror game based on 1-star Yelp reviews.

Episode 40: Silent Soap

48:30 | Jan 20th, 2017

A survival horror Ikaruga, Super Mario Brother Maker, A Chumbawamba tumbler, and Fieri Emblem.

Episode 39: Hide and Chic

59:53 | Jan 14th, 2017

Whoops: we tried, but we couldn't resist just talking about the Nintendo Switch for the entire episode. Sorry!

Episode 38: Alan Twodiscs

52:49 | Jan 6th, 2017

New year, new us! This week, Griffin and Nick kick off a 2017 "pawncast" rebrand, quadruple their game output, and explore some potential 2K17 launches: games like FuddBorne, Ninten_Dogs, Burnout 3: DMCA Takedown and more.

The 2016 Spike TV Video Game Awards

1:02:35 | Dec 31st, 2016

Griffin and Nick set aside the jokes and finish off 2016 with a recap of all the greatest video games that came out in this wonderful, wonderful year.

CGI Jr: Dis-ho-ho-honored

39:49 | Dec 16th, 2016

Deal or No Deal but with mimics, Doctor Robotnik's Nice Rice Device, Scribblenauts: The Lost Words, and so much more.

CGI Jr: Burnout, With Horses

27:33 | Dec 9th, 2016

Griffin graciously takes some time out of his paternity leave to make an appropriately baby-sized episode of CoolGames Inc, where we explore a small but delightful selection of ideas — including a horse-based Burnout clone.

Episode 37: OLD PERSONα (& Knuckles)

57:48 | Nov 19th, 2016

OlliOlli Oxenfree, Urine Danger, Mr. Bean x Hitman, and so, so, so much more.

Episode 36: Death Stranding: Ground Zeroes (feat. Dan Ryckert)

1:05:12 | Nov 12th, 2016

Super Mario Moonshine. Darrenfall. Steal Me I'm Perfect. Mario & Sonic Judge the Olympic Games. Dan Ryckert guest stars.

Episode 35: Foreverteenz: Pencils Down! Motor

1:02:26 | Nov 4th, 2016

This time around, we finally — finally! — give Waluigi his own game, before ditching that idea and creating the ultimate teenage driving exam simulator.

Episode 34: Dale's Crossing / Spaghetti Trouble

56:24 | Oct 29th, 2016

To celebrate the announcement of the Nintendo Switch, Griffin and Nick attempt to do an all-Switch episode. It does not go well for them.

Episode 33: Stacks on Stacks on Stacks (feat. Austin Walker)

1:06:01 | Oct 21st, 2016

This week, we non-confrontationally enforce theater etiquette, remake Danganronpa with Adam Sandler characters, create a 5-vs-5 Voltron-style mech game, and build a bizarre VR noun-stacking game that harbors a terrible secret. Waypoint editor-in-chie...Show More

Episode 32: Yummy & Wild

55:23 | Oct 15th, 2016

Griffin and Nick go on a Trophy Nut Flavor Adventure, create a game about stealth vaping in class, devise a Gran Turismo game but for wheelbarrows, and reimagine Lucky & Wild as a 3-on-3 competitive food truck simulator.

Episode 31: Dr. Robotnik's Dinner Blasterz

57:54 | Oct 7th, 2016

We kick off October with a full-length eppy, which means it's time to grapple with some Halloween-themed Twitter display names, a Mary Berry weed review show, a Shenmue-style game set in an early-2000s gaming comic, and pinball with a hunk of raw mea...Show More

CGI Jr: Time-Travelling Prank Wizard

22:58 | Sep 30th, 2016

This week on CoolGames Inc, Griffin and Nick learn a valuable lesson about why you maybe don't record 4 back-to-back episodes of a podcast: because you might end up running out of good ideas. As a result, this final installment of CGI Jr includes suc...Show More

CGI Jr: Anime Food (for VR)

20:38 | Sep 24th, 2016

In the episode 3 of our 4-part SPECIAL PODCASTING EVENT, Griffin and Nick briefly flirt with an all Shrek the Third-themed episode, explore an asymmetrical Olive Garden game, and then settle on an idea that's poised to change everything: More

CGI Jr: Why Hasn't Anyone Made a Video Game About the TV Show "Monk" Yet?

20:06 | Sep 16th, 2016

For week 2 of CGI Jr Month, we explore games for olds: a MUCH easier Dark Souls, a game about Wonder Trading phone apps with your dad, and an-depth industry expose about the glaring lack of Monk video games.

CGI Jr: Kingdom Hearts for Babies

18:27 | Sep 9th, 2016

Welcome to CoolGames Inc Jr — packed with all the game design you know and love, but in a convenient, bite-sized 20 minute format! In CGI Jr's debut episode, we explore Kancolle for babies, Kingdom Hearts for babies, VeggieTales for babies, and much,...Show More

Episode 30: Beep Beep Evolution Party (feat. Thomas Biery)

1:03:47 | Sep 2nd, 2016

After spending a few minutes just really letting those darn millennials have it, Griffin and Nick explore Charlotte's Deep Web, an Incredible Machine but for bongs, a game about being Mario's cameraman, and a whole lot more. Polygon editorial intern ...Show More

Episode 29: InduStreet Boys

1:06:37 | Aug 27th, 2016

This time on CoolGames Inc, we explore a game about sneaking food into a movie theater, a Where's Waldo edition of No Man's Sky, Nintendogs but for Doom demons, and Nine Lives: Origins.

Episode 28: THUDDS

57:30 | Aug 19th, 2016

This week's episode opens with about 7 minutes of Griffin electrocuting himself, but once that's done, we hop right into the thick of it with a haunted Casino Kid cartridge, a cooking game with delivery, and the social media reboot WarioWare needed.

Episode 27: Homestuck

57:58 | Aug 12th, 2016

This week, Nick and Griffin are set upon by two special guests: a man with a drill and an audio engineer. They do eventually make some games, though, including a No Man's Sky / Crazy Taxi hybrid, an MGS2 skateboarding role reversal, a game based on G...Show More

Episode 26: Sabotage Rally

52:09 | Aug 5th, 2016

This time around, we contemplate a game about doing BMX stunts for the troops, re-design Super Mario Galaxy but for flat earthers, create a game for boys (finally), and, finally, Sabotage Rally — the next big esport.

Episode 25: Barber Art Online

57:30 | Jul 29th, 2016

The gods of computing gobbled up last week's episode and destroyed it, so we're making up for it with an episode this week that's two times as good as normal. That means two times the jokes, two times the baby mattress reviews, two times the VR, and ...Show More

Episode 24: Spooky Sunday: An Ageplay Experience

58:28 | Jul 15th, 2016

This week's CoolGames Inc, we put it all on the line and really rack our brains for an idea that'll save this company — and that means Pokemon Go but for dogs, Pokemon Go but for eye contact, and Pokemon Go but for WHATEVER, MAN, GET ON THE MONEY TRA...Show More

Episode 23: 169 Al Borlands

54:17 | Jul 8th, 2016

This week's episode starts out normal enough, but then we panic and somehow find ourselves spiraling down a path that culminates in an asymmetrical multiplayer Al Borland mindfreak simulator.

Episode 22: Pokémon Bryce

1:03:38 | Jul 1st, 2016

In this special July ep of CGI, we explore games including Stay Outta the DragonZone, an Osmosis Jones MMO, and Explain Your Tumblr To Your Dad Simulator 2017.

Episode 21: The Dance Hunter (feat. Patrick Klepek)

1:13:05 | Jun 24th, 2016

This week's episode runs the topical gamut from an "It Follows" game to horseshoes with your mom, before concluding in an acoustic assault so aggressive that we're legitimately worried we might be banned from iTunes. Kotaku's Patrick Klepek guest sta...Show More

Episode 20: PoolGames Inc

26:36 | Jun 18th, 2016

Okay, here's the deal: this was originally intended to be the first-ever video episode of CoolGames Inc, but thanks to a technical SNAFU, the entire video more or less vanished. On the plus side, the audio survived, so count your blessings and enjoy ...Show More

Episode 19: Pre-E3 2016 Special!

1:01:43 | Jun 10th, 2016

This week, we're celebrating the week of the Triple the only way we know how: by making E3 predictions — with your help! Join us as we talk about the Vita CD, Fulltime Shang'n, EVE Online but for ants, and HEYGIVEME THATYES: WILD WORLD. And Reggie.

Episode 18: AFVR

53:59 | Jun 3rd, 2016

This week, we meet the Pounding Fathers, explore a permadeath cowboy dueling game, and ultimately create what might be our best idea yet: an game that will singlehandedly create the genre of virtual-reality schadenfreude-based esports.

Episode 17: Horse Hockey! (feat. Russ Frushtick)

1:02:38 | May 27th, 2016

This time around, Polygon's own Russ Frushtick joins in to help us create a brand new sport — by horses and for horses. Also: Plumbing Boys, competitive political cartoons, and a Hydraulic Press Channel game adaptation.

Episode 16: DreamWorks Kissing Party (feat. Danny O'Dwyer)

1:12:00 | May 20th, 2016

A fully physics-based horse cave game, A MOBA where MOBAs fight other MOBAs, assassinating a person from the inside and Call of Duty: Blast That Ass. Guest starring GameSpot's Danny O'Dwyer.

Episode 15: creativecloud.exe

53:36 | May 13th, 2016

This week's CoolGames Inc has us making our most illegal game yet — but not before talking about a wrestler who thinks wrestling is real, Self-Defense for Gentle People, an FPS about shooting food into faces and more.

Episode 14: 50 First States (feat. Austin Walker)

59:44 | May 6th, 2016

Giant Bomb's Austin Walker joins us to help us build the most patriotic, romantic visual novel ever created — but not before exploring a battery-life-based iPhone game, a dog with human legs, and Dr. Wario's Guide to Good Sex Twisted.

Episode 13: Love On The Rocks

57:26 | Apr 29th, 2016

Nick's sick, so we forego having a guest and instead talk about DuskQuil, a gun that shoots salt at bugs, and also a couple of fake video games.

Episode 12: Capcom vs. TGIF

55:01 | Apr 22nd, 2016

Nick is back from Tokyo and only mostly jetlagged, which means it's time to make some games: namely, games about becoming an overnight millionaire, Willem Dafoe, and the American Broadcasting Company's now-defunct TGIF lineup.

Episode 11: Bing Bong King Kong

57:15 | Apr 15th, 2016

Part two of two of our "Griffin and Nick Didn't Plan for the Latter's International Trip, So They Recorded Two Episodes in a Row Very Early in the Morning and Very Late at Night" sessions. We literally take a nap in the middle of this one. The name o...Show More

Episode 10: Honk!

46:10 | Apr 8th, 2016

The first of two episodes we recorded back-to-back this morning. We landed on a totally innocent and innocuous game about truck breeding.

Episode 9: Basketball Ignoring Simulator (feat. Tara Long)

59:39 | Apr 1st, 2016

Augmented-reality Jumanji. Judge Judy and Executioner. Shadow of the Colossus, but with dunks. Tara Long guest stars.

Episode 8: Austin Powers (feat. Merritt Kopas)

1:07:39 | Mar 25th, 2016

Diaper Light Drifter, game-less DLC, Danny Dorito: The Revenge of Chester Cheeto 4. Merritt Kopas guest stars.

Episode 7: ASDFsfdA;;DAIFDJL:KDSJ:FS;js;dkf♥♥♥♥

1:01:39 | Mar 12th, 2016

This week, Nick and Griffin explore Nintendo characters who know how to party, take a submission from Griffin's brother Travis, trudge into uncomfortable territory with Dad or Alive Extreme, and Nick gets a visit from a very special plumber (NOT MARI...Show More

Episode 6: Hugh Jackman's Huge Actin' (feat. Simone De Rochefort)

1:01:20 | Mar 4th, 2016

Getting bullied at Rack Room Shoes. Charlie Sheen Megami Tensei. Gex-COM. Stomp: The Yard. Guest star Simone de Rochefort.

Episode 5: Glasshouse (feat. Dave Lang)

1:09:36 | Feb 26th, 2016

This time around, we explore a few very strong concepts like Nintendougs, Ni No Clooney, and David Schwimmer: Creative Mode before throwing on the brandcuffs and creating a 100% unique IP with the help of Iron Galaxy CEO Dave Lang.

Episode 4: Tim McGraw's What If? Trucks: Fates (feat. Dave Tach)

1:04:09 | Feb 19th, 2016

In an unprecedented move, we retcon episode 3, jack up our ohms, establish moon laws to define moon crimes, and Business Dogz. Dave Tach guest stars.

Episode 3: Surgery Date (feat. Phil Kollar)

1:00:11 | Feb 12th, 2016

Ace Ventura. Yomi. Tekken, but better. Guest star Phil Kollar.

Episode 2: Cook For Cube (feat. Justin McElroy)

1:00:08 | Feb 5th, 2016

Griffin McElroy and Nick Robinson delve into the dark truths behind Pokéball metaphysics, DJ Hero 2 turntable compatibility, Jonathan Blow DDoSing GameFAQs, and the untapped concept of 'social permadeath.' Special guest Justin McElroy.

Episode 1: Grandma Wants It Al Dente(feat. Chris Grant)

52:48 | Jan 27th, 2016

Nick and Griffin co-develop their debut video game: the world's first SmartGlass-enabled pasta-shaman roguelike, Grandma Wants It Al Dente. Guest starring Polygon editor in chief Chris Grant.