The National Espresso: Caffeine Demo And Crowdfunding

What is a Monday morning without Caffeine? A dangerous ravine packed with razor-sharp rocks at the end of the weekend’s gleaming superhighway. I don’t function particularly well until I’ve had my first coffee of the day, which is why I’m so grateful to the galaxy’s caffeine miners. Now seeking crowdfunding over at Indiegogo, Caffeine was last featured on these pages when I first spotted a nifty trailer that displayed its sci-fi horror charms to good effect. Since then, a demo has emerged, showcasing the game’s previous incarnation as an Unreal Engine 3 entity. The release version will be constructed using Unreal Engine 4, and takes inspiration from the spooky works of Monolith, including F.E.A.R. and Condemned. New trailer below.

Designer Dylan Browne is seeking A$80,000 (that’s Australia-Bucks) but the campaign is using flexible funding, which can raise alarm bells. Half of the necessary budget may well mean that nothing gets made, even though the pledgers still have to cough up the dough. I’m less wary in this case because the proof of concept trailer is evidence of Dylan’s so-far unpaid work on the project and he openly admits that any shortfall will result in a longer development period. Presumably because he’ll have to work full-time while making Caffeine in the evenings and weekends.

If the short teaser above doesn’t convince you that it’s at least slightly appropriate to be impressed by the potential here, check out the earlier videos here.


  1. staberas says:

    I not a caffeine guy, i prefer tea so if you rename the game in Theanine i will consider pledging :P

    • Gap Gen says:

      Tea also contains caffeine.

      • roryok says:

        I drink decaf tea. It still has caffeine in it, but a lot less.

        • Jackablade says:

          I recommend rooibos tea. It has no caffiene and doesn’t taste like a mug of grass clippings.

          • Philotic Symmetrist says:

            with a quarter teaspoon of honey and a dash of [soy] milk

            Edit: I do also drink coffee, green tea and a variety of black teas; Rooibos just happens to be one of the many options I enjoy

          • w0bbl3r says:

            Wow, I thought I was a pussy for quitting hard drugs.
            You guys are the biggest pussies in the world.

  2. LionsPhil says:

    Half of that trailer is a black screen. Half is text. Any actual footage is a rounding error, and appears to be some generic sci-fi corridors.

    This is not how to make people excited about your game.

    • ANeM says:

      There is another, slightly longer trailer, but it doesn’t do much better at selling the game. The choice to make the main character a child seems to be something of an afterthought; the environments are all scaled as if you’re an adult, but with 4-5 foot tall tables to still make you seem “small.” Either that or the tables are normal sized and the ceilings, which are only about twice as high as the tables, are only 5-6 feet high and any adult males would have to hunch over to avoid smashing their skulls.

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        Are you sure you’re not thinking of Among The Sleep? Or is the character a child in this one as well, and if so, is You Are A Child becoming the new They Are All Zombies?

    • p14c3b0 says:

      It’s just a teaser, not a full blown trailer and it literally says “Mini Teaser” in the title, what exactly were you expecting?
      It’s supposed to make curious and download the demo, they don’t need to show gameplay if you can try it yourself.

      • Wisq says:

        I was kinda expecting either a better trailer or no trailer at all, TBH. (Up to and including not covering it, if the article author deems there must be a trailer but there’s no good one available.)

        Didn’t the RPS Hivemind at one point decide to specifically stop covering teaser trailers, or did I imagine that? Granted, that was for AAA super-hype-tastic releases, but I don’t think these sorts of things serve anyone well any more.

  3. archiebunker says:

    TW: Linux superiority complex

    Being developed with UE4, eh. It says on their official website that there are “many new initiatives under way” including built-in Rift and Linux support. I wonder if the dev is considering a Linux port, even though he says at the moment it is Windows only. Colour me interested if such support is planned for the future.

    • dylanbrowne says:

      Hi There! ,
      Linux support is a possibility and I am actively working on trying to make both the Mac and Linux port a reality :) It really depends on time on my end and in part funding.

  4. kwyjibo says:

    Oh no indiegogo, where crowdfunding goes to die.

  5. SillyWizard says:

    Lemme get this straight — this is an ostensibly serious survival horror game…set on a caffeine-mining station?

    • The Random One says:

      Yeah. Some time ago I wondered why no one had made a parody of Amnesia style scare-em-ups, by using the genre’s tropes in a ridiculous environment (my idea would be killer space clowns, because that’s what you do when you want to make a parody of horror tropes). Right now I’m wondering if Caffeine isn’t that, only it’s trying to keep a straight fact for much longer.