Coffee Crisis

About (Background)

Coffee Crisis is a 2D side-scrolling, retro-styled beat'em up in the vein of games such as Streets of Rage, and created by Mega Cat Studios. While working as a contract developer at Mega Cat Studios, my main game projects were as a co-developer on the original Sega Genesis homebrew version of Coffee Crisis, as well as the Lead Developer on the enhanced version of Coffee Crisis for modern platforms. This project page is about the latter version, which we rewrote from the ground up in Unity3D/C# for Steam and Xbox One. The game was later ported by other contractors to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

About (The Game)

"Coffee Crisis is an neo-rogue brawler that puts you in the shoes of the only baristas on Earth with enough heavy metal in their veins to fend off an alien assault. Play solo or join up with a friend to fight across 8+ locations ranging from your Coffee House HQ to the far reaches of outer space."


The game is a side-scrolling fighting game similar to Streets of Rage series, and takes place/is based on various areas of my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and fictional places. Play as Nick or Ashley from the local Black Forge Coffeehouse as they fight aliens from body snatching the local populace, stealing the metal music, WiFi, and retro videos games! Fight aliens and bosses with various weapons, special attack moves, and powerups. The game also features Twitch/Mixer social integration support and optional random modifiers that viewers can vote for to give interactive gameplay for viewers, as well as Razor Chroma support (keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, headphones).

The Game Development

As the Lead Developer of Coffee Crisis, I was responsible for coding all of the features implemented into the game. Everything you see in game I developed and coded for Unity3D/C#, with code assistance from senior and co-developers as needed.


We rewrote the game from scratch from the Sega Genesis homebrew version and reimplemented the gameplay into Unity3D/C#, as well as added additional features, new levels, and enemy/boss types. After the core gameplay and features were designed, I ported the game onto Xbox One, utilizing the Microsoft Xbox One XDK devkit that they provided us. Code was rewritten, optimized, and adapted to meet Microsoft's Xbox One XRs for their game certification process. The Xbox One Store page and trailer were designed according to Microsoft's specs.

Throughout the development process, I collaborated with teammates and beta testers for feedback on Slack, asked for clarification on technical specs and software requirements on features, delegated out tasks for the creation of new art/audio/graphical assets, and wrote glue logic code to tie all assets together in-game. A big feature was designing enemy/boss and player animator's for AI and player controls, respectively.


Features developed:

  • Redesigned the menus with new options and game configurations

  • Designed new levels and layouts

    • Implement Finish Them Zone areas

      • Areas where the screen stops scrolling and locked fights occurred

    • Implemented static spawn points

    • Placed breakable objects and weapons

  • Designed new enemy/Boss types and their AI

  • Designed new attack and fighting game mechanics for players

    • Weapons

    • Suplexes

    • Various attack combos

  • Implemented support for various VFX polish and juices for the game

  • Implemented new input controller types

    • Using InControl plugin, remapping of buttons/keys

    • Keyboard

    • Xbox 360 controllers

    • Xbox One controllers

    • Haptic feedback

    • Razer Chroma color support

      • Keyboard/Keypad

      • Mouse/Mousepad

      • Headset

      • Lighting presets/animations

        • Main Menu

        • Cutscenes (brown palette cycle)

        • In-game (encoding of in-game stat data onto keyboard)

        • Credits cutscene

  • Integrated Steamworks support for PC stats and achievements on Steam; a depot system for release

  • Xbox One support

    • Support for Xbox One stats and achievements

    • Saving/uploading of stat and game options settings data to/from the Xbox One cloud

    • Xbox One User Engagement screen on boot (selection of user on console to apply game stats/settings to)

  • Writing a few blog articles for Mega Cat on development aspects (see the above links)

Development photos

A Mega Cat poster the devteam was given

Various development-related/misc Mega Cat Studio artifacts given while working there

  • My own Sega Genesis 32x with EDMDv3 flashcart for testing

  • Unfinished Smash Bros (N64) styled arcade cabinet project that went unsold and was gifted to me during an office cleanup.

  • SNES with repro cartridge for testing games

  • Mega Cat Poster

  • Mega Cat hoodie

  • Coffee Crisis promo coffee, mouse pad, prototype build of game

  • MMC3 NES repro cartridge for testing

My own Sega Genesis 32x with EDMDv3 flashcart used for Coffee Crisis (Genesis) development

Public playtesting of Coffee Crisis (Sega Genesis)
during the
2017 Pittsburgh Retro Gaming Convention at the Ace Hotel

Coffee Crisis fanart
that somebody emailed the Studio

Piano SNES with repro cartridge for testing

Release information

Official list of
password cheat codes