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#3 Indie Cover Story: Coffence - Fencing with Coffee

September 6, 2017

"We think there is a real opportunity for beverage combat to expand. Tea-Kwondo? Juice-Jitsu? Cupoiera? The possibilities are endless!"


As the Betacade project moves along it's quickly evolving into a content machine producing different lengths of posts. The first post, I wandered around Kickstarter and found a game to munch on. The second, I reached out to a developer who was taming his own creativity, and for this post, I've found a project well on it's way to Indie stardom to include a cheeky interview. Hence why the title for this post begins with "Indie Cover Story" due to it's length and the depth of the development the game has completed. 


Starting off #3 a bit differently, here's the latest trailer for Coffence. 


If it wasn't clear already, this is a fighting game.. with coffee. Specifically a fencing game with coffee named "Coffence". It is as charming and whimsical as it is original. Brewed up by Sweet Bandits Studio, an indie development shop from Quebec, Canada comprised of 3 ex-Activision devs. After leaving the gaming behemoth popular for the Call of Duty and Destiny games, one would assume their first title to be somewhat serious and military-esc in nature. Not so, initially used as a testing ground for early development tools, the small project evolved into their first title.


Today, Coffence maintains quirky and comedic balance while perpetually becoming more difficult to master. In a recent blog post summarizing their experience at the EVO 2017 conference, developer Phillippe Pelletier Baribault writes "We are more confident than ever that Coffence brings something new to the table even for experienced fighting game fans."


Okay, enough. Details please.


First, you pick the fight type and for the moment there are only 2. One classic 1v1 then, Coffence tips it's hat to smash bros with a 4 player "brawl" type. A third "party" option is listed, no details at this time. Continuing to a selection of characters specifically designed to attack all coffee stereotypes, we pick our fighters. From barista's to businessfolk, most of the coffee snobs are available representing their roasting prowess. Onward to picking your coffee container/weapon. Each one has differentiating stats and abilities, for example, some can hold more coffee (health) than others. Lastly you pick the place for coffee combat. The dev team has shown they're not afraid to take you anywhere to fight for coffee with a diverse assortment of arenas like the moon and a pirate ship. Each one will have different experiences and add something extra to each fight, heavy foam perhaps?


Once everything has been selected, it's time to fight.. er.. fence. The premise of the game is straightforward. Coffee is health, taking damage shoots your precious drops of coffee into the air. Capturing said drop with your coffee mug retains your health and losing it means Count Barista is sipping you dry. The first hipster to have their mug emptied, loses.


What's great about and keeps Coffence relevant in the fighting genre is it's rock, paper, scissors mentality. Every move has a counter meaning, button mashers beware. Melee and range are weak against blocks while strong against spin moves. Since we didn't get to play the game we learned this from YouTuber Janky's Lab who goes in depth with his review of the game on it's mechanics. Follow the link to find out more about the game.



If you haven't read our previous posts, we're all about digging into the minds of devs so per usual we've got a juicy interview with the folks at Sweet Bandits, enjoy! 


1. On twitter you said the idea for Coffence came from 2 team members wanting to brew a cup of java at the same time. How did this serious situation end in the real world and then how did it turn into a game idea based on the beloved sport of fencing with full indestructible coffee mug gun-yo-yos?

As you said, coffee priority is a very serious issue and the situation concluded in the basic rules of Coffencing being set in place. We came up with a system of dueling that would determine who would get his coffee while we waited for our real coffee to actually brew.

 As for the game idea itself, we found the basic idea of fighting for coffee to be interesting, but we really wanted to blow it open with ridiculous moves and situations. Our first iteration of the game was heavily physics based with the force of the blow influencing how coffee would spill, but it wasn’t much fun and we decided to go with a fast-paced arcade approach instead. The Yo-yo move used to be a bug back then, but we loved it so much it became a feature and the whole thing evolved from there.


2. Since this is your first title after leaving Activision, how long did it take to go from light bulb to actually coding? It seems like a corky type game for a bunch of triple A guys to produce as a first IP, or no?

We began working on Coffence pretty soon after we started Sweet Bandits Studios. We wanted to make something we could ship with a small team of 3, but also something we could never possibly make in a AAA studio. Making Coffence as our first title started as a joke, but we decided to use the concept as a training on Amazon Lumberyard to test the engine’s capabilities. Soon enough, we fell in love with the concept and decided to make it a full-fledged game so everyone can enjoy coffee powered fencing!


3. Are characters based off of stereotypical coffee snobs, follow up, is your team a bunch of coffee snobs?

Absolutely, we started the game with Coffee Hipsters fighting for coffee and we decided to expand on the idea to include more coffee drinker archetypes. We have the Hipster Coffee Connoisseur, the audacious Barrista, the aggressive business man and a pirate named Captain Puccino… because we love our coffee puns.

As for the team, we aren’t very picky about our coffee but we do have a terrible secret: One of our team member has never tasted coffee in his entire life! Of course, we can’t reveal exactly who to protect him from coffee snobs.


4. If Coffence was a real-life sport;

- What would one learn first to become a pro and why?

- Which professional athlete would be best fit to transition to this sport?

The closest sport to coffence is definitely fencing, so that would be the best start to get the basics in, but some Yo-Yo training would be a must to master the ranged aspect of the fights.

As for a professional athlete? I’d pick a fencing champion, but I think a world class Barrista could hold his own with his cup-holding skills and coffee knowledge. That’s a tough call…

5. Where do you see the game/IP in 2 years? Maybe a brand of coffee specifically brewed for office shenanigans? 

We think there is a real opportunity for beverage combat to expand. Tea-Kwondo? Juice-Jitsu? Cupoiera? The possibilities are endless!


6. I think learning about a cappuccino machine is sort of boring, maybe you should make a level inside the coffee/cappuccino machine? 

Well, we do have a level set on a giant coffee bean orbiting the earth, so I’d say nothing is off limit in the world of Coffence. I do like the idea of having to dodge some steam and being able to grab some coffee flying around!




A big thanks to the Sweet Bandits studios dev team for having some fun with us as we learned about their first title, Coffence.


For more information, check in with the team using these 21st century forms of communication;

Their dev blog

The dev website

Dev twitter



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