Dogged Destruction: Ashen Rift

With nine days left on the clock, Ashen Rift hasn’t quite gathered half of its target funds. Seeking C$45,000, the first-person shooter/survival horror hybrid has raised just under C$20,000 at the time of writing. When I check back at the end of the day, I expect that number to have risen significantly. The game was already on my radar, simply because it reminds me of STALKER and contains a friendly canine companion, but the latest video shows destructible terrain, collapsing rock formations and sneaky traps. It may have a daft name that keeps slipping out of my memory, but Ashen Rift looks like it may deliver the sort of emergent happenings that I crave.

Do you want to play this? I certainly do. Here’s some information about Bounder, the dog.

Interacting with Bounder will be done through a circle menu which will enable the player to shout commands at Bounder which may alter his behaviour, thus changing the dynamic of the situation.

Bounders reactions to sights, sounds and smells will help guide you safely through the world if you learn to pay attention to him like he does to you.

The four way dynamic created between the world, the enemies, the objects and Bounder is subtle and full of potential. On the surface it’s a man with a dog, which follows, listens and helps you in a decrepit world full of toss-able objects and monsters seeking to eat anything in their path. Although, the world itself and moments of interaction within will be wide open for the player to craft into their own version of what they think should happen.

Barry Collins, the developer of the game, has 14 years industry experience and….oh lord, I’m going to start sounding like a press release. Slightly shonky explosion graphics aside, I think this looks smart as a whip.


  1. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Looks really cool. I Don’t know if is still in there but the spinny Quake style loot thing needed to go. Felt wrong in a very simulationist game. But yeah. Twees! Splodes! Doggeh!

    • HyPeer128 says:

      Hey CPB: don’t worry, that stuff is long gone.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Thank you! It may seem odd to focus on the loot in this way but I love realistic siting of loot items. STALKER did it wonderfully, either a hidden backpack or chest which were a joy to hunt down, or even cooler- a great weapon or artifact sequestered behind a cupboard or tucked up in the roof of a difficult to access train. It made exploration vital and highly rewarding and I would find myself replaying SHOC just to find all the loot many times. This is just my personal preference of course. Cheers for responding, much appreciated

  2. SystemiK says:

    Hmnn, Fashion Shift….

    I do agree it’s an odd, forgettable name but it does look interesting. I imagine you start out the game out dressed a certain way and gradually begin dressing some other way? I think this could work.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      “Your pant spoiling meter is full. Please find new pants soon or your character will begin to waddle”

  3. mwoody says:

    I just don’t trust that one guy will be able to produce a game of this type. I know there are examples of single-person development – Dwarf Fortress comes to mind – but they aren’t generally fully realized 3d games, and they tend to take a long time to come to fruition, if ever.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Yeah, it does seem like a lot. The flip side is, according to the kickstarter, he’s projecting 3 to 5 hours of gametime. That’s not a lot. But I do applaud that he is being up front with how much gametime there actually will be. He is not promising epic amounts. What is there sounds creative and engaging and potentially replayable, if he pulls it off.

      It’s ambitious no doubt. But it’s the kind of ambition I’m willing to kick in a few bucks to support. This is the kind of project I find the most compelling on Kickstarter: the solo/small dev team out to prove themselves with creative gameplay systems. And I’m a sucker for destructible and interactive environments.

    • HyPeer128 says:

      Hey, Just remember, I’ve been doing this for 14 years pro, so making the art at least is a breeze for me, and that’s what the kickstarter is for! to build a larger team if possible.

      I’m doing my best to promise only what I feel comfortable to produce.

  4. Rad says:

    On first read I thought it said “Boulder”, and I was wondering why I would be shouting commands at a big rock to change it’s behavior ;)