Caffeine is a small third person adventure game about coffee, friendship, and exploration. You play as Steeper, a young barista who recently opened his own coffee shop in the mountains of a floating island called Oromo. Steeper sets out to make the perfect brew by venturing into various regions of Oromo in search of four perfect ingredients. At his disposal is a variety of coffee based drinks he can make using the Brewstar, a backpack designed to make drinks wherever Steeper travels. Different drinks have special effects when they interact with Oromo’s coffee rich soil. For example, throwing an iced coffee into a body of water will create an ice platform for Steeper to jump across. Players must learn to brew and utilize these drinks to help Steeper delve deeper into Oromo’s secrets and ultimately make the perfect cup of coffee.
Caffeine is a work in progress by Michael Shillingburg, Sluke Martin, and Katie Salvi. There are currently 10 explorable areas, 5 brewable drinks, 12 non-playable characters (6 of whom are goats), and a full soundtrack by Daniel Shultz. The game is being built using the Unity game engine and runs on PC and Mac, but we aim to release it on consoles in the future.
1. Make something real. It’s easy to think about things, but actually creating a product takes skill, consideration, and time that will pay off in the end. While projects that show hypothetical solutions can be great, proving that you can execute your ideas will be even more impressive.
2. Don’t be afraid to collaborate. Working with others sounds intimidating, but having input from multiple people will only make your project better. Designate a project manager, set up a Slack team to keep in touch, and stick to your schedule. Lastly, don’t overpower teammates because you think your opinion is right. Trust each others strengths and divide the workload accordingly.
3. Have a web presence. While you may not think other people care about your work, there will always be someone out there who isn’t as skilled as you and can learn from you. Having an internet following greatly helps your chances of landing a good design job, too, so that’s nice!
4. Don’t sell yourself short! When you’re looking for work, send emails like your life depends on it. Apply to jobs you don’t think you’re qualified for. You might be the perfect fit for a position, but if you don’t put yourself out there, they’ll never know.
5. Never stop learning. A designer with a massive tool belt will always win out over someone who only knows a program or two. Learn to code, learn 3D, learn to animate, and learn to work fluidly between all of your skill sets. Combining a variety of skills will elevate your work from “cool” to “how did they do that?” and in my opinion, getting others thinking about designing something themselves is the best outcome a piece could have.
Michael is an interaction designer & 3D illustrator creating fun experiences for people to see, interact and play with.