A downloadable game

Rifter will be released soon! Head on over to http://store.steampowered.com/app/625740/Rifter to wishlist the game and stay up-to-date!

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 synthwave-infused 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
  • Multiple endings
  • 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! :)

StatusIn development
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
(10 total ratings)
GenrePlatformer, Action
Tagscombat, dash, Fast-Paced, Futuristic, grappling-hook
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Mouse, Gamepad (any)
AccessibilityConfigurable controls

Development log


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9/10, some things are hard to notice (it took me a while to realize that there are some pointers to enemies etc, not sure if necessarily a bad thing), there's this bug that if you are in water and you swim against the purple wall you bounce  back and down, making it possibly to go down really far, not sure if you noticed that.
Generally a very good game, liked it a lot, great movement, awesome atmosphere, great aesthetics. Ori and the Blind Forest in 80s sci fi style.
I feel some levels at the end of region (Alpha, Beta, Gamma) should be longer to better close the region and to sum up all the new mechanics (see Ori and the Blind Forest, I think that game does that very good) and Towers feel like they are "boss fight" but turns out they are pretty short too.
Don't get me wrong, I REALLY liked this game, but you can make it even better! (if you are still working on it, if not you can make better next game)
(played version 0.31.0)

Thanks a lot for your feedback! Very good points, I will try to improve the game. :)

This game is rad. I am in love. I wishlisted on Steam and will be day 1 purchaser.

Thanks for playing! :)

While I may not be great at it, Rifter is a fun and unique speed running platformer that has it all. 80s style music? Check. 80s style visuals? Check. Smooooth handling controls paired with aerial acrobatics? Checker shoes. There is nothing I don't like about this game and I applaud the dev's efforts. Now if I could just stop smacking into things...

Good job on this and good luck with its full release.

Thanks a lot for playing! :)

Deleted 2 years ago

Sorry you're having this issue! What do you mean by resolution is "f****d up"? Does it happen right after you start the game or after you change something in the options? Which  windows version are you using? 

Fantastic game. Very impatient to see the final version ;) 

Awesome! Thanks for trying it out and making a video! :)

I'm absolutely loving it so far but I just got stuck because of what i think is a bug.

At the end of second planet's first level (I haven't checked on the other levels on the planet because i can't get past this one) the end ball thingy doesn't finish the level. I can dash to it once but nothing happens and after that I can't dash to it anymore. Everything else in the game still works. T_T

You've reached the end of what is currently playable. The rest of the game is still in development or not polished yet. But if you enjoyed the game so far, I'd really appreciate it if you wishlist it on Steam (if you're using it): http://store.steampowered.com/app/625740/Rifter/

Do you have any (negative) feedback for me that I could improve on? Thanks for playing! :)

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Ah that makes sense. I think you should put some sort of disclaimer of that though ;).

If I would complain about anything I think it would be how inconsistent the challenges are in difficulty. Some I can easily do on my first try whilst others are almost impossible for me without there being any sort of extra reward for beating them that I wouldn't get from the easier ones. Many of the normal challenges are way more difficult than some of the advanced challenges.

I guess that you will put in some kind of thing to buy for the challenge triangles so I'm looking forward to that.

Other than that, almost everything feels really good and I've put it on my wishlist :)

Also just remembered: had some weird things happen when i tried full screen. It was like my mouse was offset from where it looked like it was so it was almost impossible to use my mouse. Had to use the arrow keys to turn it of again. I'm using a windows 10 computer with  2560-1440 resolution if that helps.

Great feedback! Challenges are definitely still a work-in-progress and not well balanced. I have some ideas for rewards for completing them though! ;)

Thanks for the fullscreen bug-report! Could you tell me your PC specs? Do you use an Intel graphics card by any chance? And I assume you playing with mouse+keyboard (not gamepad)?

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I have a gtx 960 graphics card and intel core i5-4690 processor(i don't know if that is relevant but i'll write it anyway), and yes I am using mouse+keyboard. Have tried with and without the pad connected and it's the same.

I tested it a bit and when i have full screen it seems like the mouse sprite works normally but the hit box moves slower than the sprite which makes them totally disconnected. It is like this everywhere, not just in the options menu, except when you're playing but then you don't see the normal sprite anyway.

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Alright, I think I can work with that! Again, thanks a lot for trying out an unfinished game and offering your feedback, I don't take it for granted.

When I try to load the game up it does this glitch to where I can't see anything in the game. I don't really know why it does this, can you help me on fixing it?

Sorry you're having problems! Are you using Windows? And what do you mean with "glitch"? Where exactly does this happen?

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I am using windows, the glitch is when I press play in the menu It says loading then it just is black, it has the sounds and it seems like you are moving.

This was a bug that happened on some Windows machines. I just uploaded a new version that should fix the issue. Could you try again? Thanks! :)

I will thanks!

It works fine now, but, now I can't jump anymore, I've tried to change the keybind to something else and I've tried to restart the game, but, I still can't jump.

Sorry I didn't reply any sooner

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

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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 :)

I played some more and enjoyed it. I like the variety in enemy design, it's well communicated how each one works, really well done. 

What I would have liked to see is some sort of branching levels. Something like a fast route that is hard but super fast, but when you fail that you could still take the alternative route which is easier but a lot slower.

There were again a lot of shards placed in some remote corners and now that I know what they are for I was more motivated to collect them. I think I understand the motivation to place them off the main path, to pose a challenge and encourage exploration. But after getting two upgrades my interest in shards went back to zero as the upgrades where underwhelming. Frankly I did not notice the increase in jump height and run speed. Maybe instead of an increase in jump height give the player a weak double jump instead? I guess you have to keep the upgrades small to not unbalance the game, as you can not predict which upgrades the player will choose. All levels have to be beatable and challenging for all upgrade combinations, right? I imagine this could be a ton of work to balance right.

Maybe it would be a good idea if the shards weren't a currency and instead just gave the player a boost. Either instantly or one the player can spent at will. This way shards of the path would hold the appeal of an investment "Will this detour make me faster in the end?" I think this could open interesting level design options and player choices. The upgrades could then be collectibles in the level. It would not matter as much if the upgrades are insignificant as the investment for the player is smaller. I regretted my upgrade decisions and wished I had spent my hard earned shards on something more effective. If I had just found an upgrade in a level I would have been ecstatic. It would have made me more willing to explore the levels, too. This would have the benefit that you could know which upgrades the player could possibly have at each point of the game, making it less work to balance.

I stopped playing at the 2nd giant encounter. The unskipable cut scene where the giant stands up is just too damn long and I could not endure seeing it one more time. It's ok to make a hard boss, but if you make me suffer through a cut scene instead of letting me back into action as soon as possible, I will be gone quicker then a free steam key on /r/gamedeals

Wow, thanks for playing again!!!! :) :) :)

You're really good at finding the not-so polished and added-later things. :D But this is exactly the feedback I'm looking for!

There are a few levels that branch out a bit but you're right, this is not very prevalent yet and could be improved.

About the upgrades: you can actually re-distribute the upgrade points at any time. Looks like that's badly (or not at all) communicated. Some of the upgrades are rather gradual like the movement and jump speed. I understand you felt underwhelmed by their effect. These are more meant for doing high-speed re-runs to beat challenges and such. Just handing all these upgrade options to the player is probably a bad design decision. I'm currently thinking about only unlocking upgrades bit by bit as well as grouping them into categories (speed/survivability/etc.). Maybe hiding them behind optional paths would make them even more meaningful as well. And requiring a number of shards for unlocking these optional paths on the world map. You gave me lots of inspiration! :) 

Unskippable cutscene: yeah, that's just bad! Sorry, I didn't have the time yet to implement a proper fast-lane if you've already seen the cutscene.


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 :)


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 :)
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Here's the shader for the glitched font:

Vertex shader: https://gist.github.com/maximi...

Fragment shader: https://gist.github.com/maximi...

Its not particularly optimized (I should replace the "if" in the fragment shader) or documented but you probably get the gist. :)

Not sure about the level editor. It would take a lot of time to polish it to a state where its usable by anybody but me :D I have basically no GUI and rely almost solely on keyboard shortcuts. Not exactly intuitive ;)

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

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. :)


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.


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

you could have two control options, one with auto shortening and one without, that way the player gets to choose what feels best to them

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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! :)