ARARTCOVThe Quest to Destroy the Rift

By Julie Morley

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The main character and his dog travel across wasteland America to get to the Rift.
The main character and his dog travel across wasteland America to get to the Rift.

Roughly ten years ago, plenty of the science community became heavily sucked into a new science project that completely changed the world as we knew it. They went above and beyond and created something outstanding, incredible, and flat out awful. It was affectionately referred to as ‘The Rift.’ We don’t know what it was intended for because the government was terribly secretive about it but whatever it was, it backfired.

It spread all across the nation, engulfing the majority of the American population whole. Somehow, it manipulated their DNA and turned them into some strange mutants known as “Feeders.” The Rift feeds on something that regular human beings offer and the Feeders appear to go after anything that is flesh and blood. There isn’t much information about it which is where our main character begins his journey.

Him and Bounder get stuck, now having to fight off Feeders.
Him and Bounder get stuck, now having to fight off Feeders.

In the midst of this crisis, many took to hiding out in an effort to avoid The Rift. The main character had hid himself for roughly ten years then decided that it was time to shut down The Rift once and for all. It was time to restore peace to the land and he traveled cross-country to do it.

But The Rift completely ravished the terrain of the nation, making it distorted and unrecognizable. Debris rests everywhere. Buildings are collapsed and eroded. It’s an absolute mess.

He has limited resources and has to manage carefully.
He has limited resources and has to manage carefully.

The story of Ashen Rift begins with the main character and his dog, Bounder, getting stuck twenty five miles just outside The Rift. They have to continue their journey on foot from this point on, which is a little frightening considering that there are feeders all around them. They must rely on the ammunition and miscellaneous rubble to maneuver around the feeders and defeat any that pose a threat.

 

Pick up miscellaneous objects in the environment to use against the feeders.
Pick up miscellaneous objects in the environment to use against the feeders.

Ashen Rift is designed as a 3D first person shooter, horror, survival game, which is a bit of a mouthful. It’s not giving you an easy ride though, your resources and ammunition is quite limited. This forces the player to remain conscious of their ammo count. They must plan out how they are going to use what little they have rather than recklessly shooting left and right.

 

Blegh! Such ugly mutations!
Blegh! Such ugly mutations!

There are four important elements of interaction that Barry Collins kept in mind with Ashen Rift’s design: World, dogs, objects within the world and enemies. There is a little bit of problem solving and creativity to toy with involving the terrain such as setting off bombs to create craters or knocking over rocky formations. Through a command wheel, the player can give Bounder commands that suit the situation. Many objects are scattered all over the landscape and can be thrown around or placed as a trap. Lastly, you can either directly confront the feeders, distract them, or attempt to sneak past them.

A closed alpha test trial was conducted this previous fall and playthrough videos have been posted online since. Future tests haven’t been suggested yet.

Currently, the campaign is approaching $10,000 with a goal of $45,000 with twenty two days to go.

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Game Info

Game : Ashen Rift

Developer : Barry Collins

Platforms : Win / Mac / Linux

Julie Morley
Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.
Julie Morley