A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

Lightning fast and action packed, Rifter is the love child of Dust Force, Bionic Commando and Hotline Miami, mixed with acrobatics and parcour. Run and gun and swing and dash in this glorious neon-colored platformer.

  • Lightning fast and action packed gameplay
  • Run, swing and dash your way through 50+ levels
  • Boss fights against huge enemies
  • Stay fast and agile, avoid enemy attacks and strike back with your gun and your sword
  • Discover secrets and complete challenges to unlock new areas and better gear
  • Pumping 80s synthwave soundtrack
  • Compete online for the best level times and scores

"Crazyawesome pre-alpha-early-access-or-so release of Rifter. It's the ninja rope from Worms on steroids and crack." - @MercuryLegba

Rifter is still in development. That's why it's free, that's why I'm actively looking for feedback! Please, check it out and tell me what you think! :)

Install instructions

Just download and run the executable (.exe on Windows, .app on Mac).

And most importantly, I'm grateful for any feedback! :)

Download

Download
rifter-mac-universal.zip (128 MB)
Download
rifter-win-64.zip (128 MB)

Development log

Comments

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I like the game and I think it has potential.

The part that was most fun was the rapid movement, zipping by obstacles swinging from point to point. This is where the fun was for me and I would like the game to focus on that and to encourage and reward me for doing so. I think these collectible white dots (I have no idea what these are or do) just distract from that. The game was considerably less fun for me when at first I tried to collect all those dots. Once I decided to ignore them I had a lot more fun.

The graphics are very stylish and well done. Personally I think the whole neon pink/green look is overused these days but that is just me I guess. All those effects are juicy as fuck, good job in that regard.

The level "encounter" was very weird. I was stomped by a giant, could no longer move and was stomped again. The level restarted I got stomped again by the giant but this time he didn't finish me off, but instead walked by. I recovered and finished the level and tried it again but there was no giant this time. I don't understand what that was about. Was that supposed to happen?

I think I finished the first zone. Progress was displayed at 44% but I have no idea where to continue from there. There doesn't seem to be a second zone. Is that just where the demo ends?

I hope you answer all those technical questions Bartek Szczeciński raises, as I'm curious myself how you achieved all that with LibGdx. I hope you find the time to post some code samples or what ever, this could drive some traffic towards your game if you post on /r/gamedev

(Edited 2 times)

Hey! Thanks for your comments! Quick info: you can move to the second region/area by right clicking to zoom out and then rotating the planet by dragging the left mouse button. But you are right, it should be explained better!

edit: now a proper response!

Really interesting that you found the game better without chasing the white "shards" (they are the upgrade currency btw). I specifically put them in certain places to encourage players to experiment more with the hook controls and get more practice in using the grappling hook. In earlier playtests some players never properly swung, but only pulled themselves or tried other things. My plan was to put shards in places that are easy to reach if you swing, but hard otherwise. Maybe I did a bad job at that... but I totally understand where you're coming from! Some players (like you apparently) almost immediately grasp the whole mechanic and could dart through the levels fast if they wouldn't also want to collect all these shards... tough choice, I gotta think about that! But awesome feedback, thanks! :)

The first "encounter" with the giant is apparently STILL a major point of confusion. Yes what you saw was correct. It's actually a cutscene and should show that you are basically undying (and time rewinds when you die). The giant realizes this when he wants to stomp you the second time and hence doesn't do it anymore. You're not the only one to not "get" this so I should definitely change that! Probably way to convoluted for a short cutscene with no text whatsoever.

I posted my answers to Bartek's questions below. :) And I'd LOVE to write articles for /r/gamedev again and will definitely do so after the release, maybe earlier. The game itself it priority #1 though.

If you're looking for fast(er) challenges, I think you will enjoy the later levels more once traps and enemies are introduced. I'd be glad if you give it another go :)

(+1)

Disclaimer: Even though there is only a Windows and Mac version available, I played it on Linux trough Wine and it worked perfectly :D


I absolutely love the main gameplay mechanic. Nothing changed there.


During the last levels of Region 2 the whole gameplay started to be a bit repetitive. But then enemies were introduced :D There is nothing as satisfying as a triple kill without touching the ground.
In further sections the challenge was enough to keep me playing :)


There is just one problem. After beating the boss (dashing trough his head) the main character just runs to the right and blocks on the nearest rock. Input doesn't work. It looks like there is a bug somewhere :)

I have a few technical questions though:

  • How did you make the trail behind the main hero. Is it a particle effect?
  • I love the "shaking font" effect at the end of the level (The letter indicating achieved rank) Is it a custom shader effect using fonts? :O
  • What software are you using to design levels? I'm asking because I couldn't find a decent LibGDX editor myself.
  • And what's the name of that sleek font, which is used everywhere? Is it a free one?


I really can't wait for the full release. I'm probably gonna be the first one to buy it :D
Damn, I played the demo for 1.5 hours and I'm still hungry for more :D. That sums it up I believe :)

(+1)

Alright! A big thanks for playing (again). :)

Good job on defeating the giant, I don't think that's easy! And that at the end is indeed a bug. But that was basically the end of the demo anyway, so you could say you beat it. :D

As to your technical questions:

  • The trail behind the player character (and enemy projectiles and other stuff) is a dynamic triangle mesh that is constantly updated. I use a VBO and write to its float buffer on each render, updating position and color of each vertex. It's probably not the most efficient technique, but it works. :) I can share my (very crude) code if you're interested.
  • Yes, that's a fragment shader effect that separates the color channels into red, green and blue and shifts them a bit based on some randomness and time. It also shifts every second pixel line to get that scanline effect. I use these effects very often in the game, for example when you get hit or things explode. Heck, the whole screen gets shifted more the faster you get :D
  • I wrote my own level editor (which I already initially developed for my last game "Nubs Adventure" and upgraded for Rifter). I've already developed a few platformers and realized that it is crucial to have a quick iteration workflow between play-testing the game and changing stuff within the level as well as building it. That's why the level editor is right in the game, just hidden away with a config flag. If you're interested in the level file format, its plain text JSON files you can find in the game folder/archive (assets/maps/). The editor just parses these files, modifies them and writes them back to disk (I cache them in-game though).
  • I'm using a few, some of which I bought. I think the one you mean is this one: http://signalnoise.bigcartel.com/product/neo-noire...

I'm happy to answer further question if you have any! :)

  • I never thought about using a mesh for the trail effect. Thanks for inspiration! :)
  • Is there any chance to share the source code of this shader? It's probably trivial for you, but I don't have much experience with OpenGL programming and that would be a great resource to learn from (surely not only for me) :D
  • Does that mean that there will be a usable level editor in the final release? Would be great to see levels made by community :)
  • This font is absolutely AMAZING :D Also after looking through the game files I found a font called Orbitron. A quick search told me that it has a free license. I will surely use that one in my games then. Thanks :)

Didn't get far with shards but I did get to full upgrade jumping. :)


Thanks for playing! :) Just one question: why did you almost always shorten the hook (holding W)? Its not criticism, I just want to understand why you did it that way.

It's kind of a reflex, from playing so many games that use WASD, I always have my finger on the key. My brain could be 90% in idle and there's one neuron in there that knows - W is to move forward, so I press it a lot.

I see! Because that makes the game play pretty differently (and worse IMHO). Thanks for clarifying, I maybe need to work on making that clearer :)

I think it's more about 'unlinking' things in the mind. Cause it's clear in Rifter, but it's difficult to counter the reflex, especially when playing lots of games that use WASD.

What are you playing that requires you to hold W all the time? The only kind of game I could think of are racing games :D

Racing, shooters, other first-person games.

You're probably a good quake/FPS player then if you're always on the move :)

Hehe, I don't think I'm great at FPS but I am always on the move in them.

Looks awesome! Love the outrun theme. Any chance for a Linux release?

Yeah, the final game will have a Linux version! :)

Cool, really looking forward to it. Thx alot! <3

Played this build too, really looking forward to the full release. :)


(+1)

I have just played it and have a few thoughts.

First impression: the graphical style is just awesome :). Chromatic aberration works really well here. It reminds me of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

After playing a few levels: I like the way you teach the player new mechanics. It feels really natural. It gave me this satisfaction of learning something new, this "a-ha" moment :). All of this with only slight amounts of text :D. Also the way you kill the "wave" enemies feels great. Almost like slicing a fruit in Fruit Ninja :D

Almost at the end of the demo: Further levels bring a little bit of frustration. I had to restart them a few times before I got the hang of it. But when I finally finished them I felt REALLY good :D. I think it's because this game is all about player's skill level (kind of like in Dark Souls). I really like the fact that the succes or failure depends only on me and not some statistics / fancy weapons etc.


Now there are a few negative things I would like to point out.

The biggest thing I didn't like was the fact that the rope shortens itself on it's own. It was often frustrating and hard to accurately predict (at least in the beginning). I would prefer to be in full control of shortening the rope (by holding the "W" key for instance). Maybe even extending the rope by holding a key isn't a bad idea... :). Anyway I wonder was it a conscious decision to make the rope shorten itself?

There were a few moments where I have just finished an encouner with enemies (a batch) and I was really low on health. Obviously the next encounter ended in me dying almost instantly from one shot. Did you think about adding a way to regenerate health (either by itself, by picking a "health pack" or after killing an enemy)?

In the "Variance" level there were not enough points to hook your line. It made it unreasonably hard to juggle around enemies. Other levels didn't have this kind of spike in difficulty.

Also the giant in the final level suddenly changes direction of movement. It looks like he is teleporting. This makes the fight harder then it's supposed to be. It would be good to add an animation that would smoothly transition from moving to the right to moving to the left.


In summary this game feels really good to play and it looks quite well :) Keep up the good work :D. Oh and sorry for my "not perfect" English. It's my second language and I'm still learning :D.

(+1)

Hey! :)

This is some really great feedback, thank you!

Regarding the rope shortening: yes, that was a conscious decision. I prototyped a lot of different things, including what you mentioned, but I found that playtesters moved much slower when the rope was not shortening automatically. They were often just dangling on a long rope and didn't really do much. This didn't feel good to me, so after countless iterations, I settled on this. The current system (hopefully) encourages players to keep moving from hook point to hook point and allows them to go even faster by hitting W.

Regenerating health is definitely planned and will highly influence the game's difficulty. Dying should be an essential part of the experience :)

Variance and Giant level are not very well made yet, you are totally right! Gotte improve those! :)

... and your English is totally fine! But I'm not a native speaker either :D

(Edited 1 time) (+1)

I played an earlier prototype (before it was called Rifter) and found it satisfyingly slick, controlling and flowing well:



WOW! I wasn't even aware of that. Thanks for checking it out and making a video about it! :)