Dog Eat Dog World: Ashen Rift Back On Kickstarter

What do you do if your Kickstarter project looking for $45,000 CAD fails? Try again but ask for almost twice as much. Ashen Rift is now looking for $85,000 CAD via the crowdfunding service to make its man-with-beard-and-dog first-person shooter a reality, but despite a shorter pitch video and a higher target, there’s still reasons to be intrigued by the game that piqued John’s interest earlier this year.

Austere exploration combined with a half-silent relationship put Ashen Rift’s grim, post-apocalyptic world in clear Journey or Shadow of the Colossus territory – two games cited by the original Kickstarter pitch – but it’s the combination of those elements with inspiration from Quake that interests me most. This is a game that’s aiming to introduce tenderness to a world ruined by a rift created by scientists gone too far, populated by gribbly flesh-eating monsters, and navigated by way of circle-strafing with grenade launchers.

The pitch video above shows a good deal more of the game’s combat than last time, showing how you might cause bits of the world to explode and how enemies handle shotgun blasts. It’s still worth watching the last pitch video however, which goes into greater detail about the developer’s inspirations – which apparently include his own beard.

Thus far the game has been developed as a spare time project, but the money from this Kickstarter would be used to make it a full-time job and to contract another programmer and artist to help with the game’s creation. $20CAD (£11.27) will get you get the game upon release with a projected delivery date of October 2015, while $45CAD (£25.36) will get you early access to the game at some point in the future.


  1. padger says:

    Backing this. Again. No idea why it didn’t go through last time.

  2. Blackcompany says:

    Imagine a beautiful world with very realistic and immersive physics. Imagine a heartwarming tale of a man and his dog, struggling to survive in the wake of an apocalypse forced on them by the hubris of others. Imagine exploration, scrounging for supplies and finding/building shelter.

    Imagine…shooty bits reminiscent of Serious Sam?

    Pity about that last part. I would actually be more likely to buy this game without the strange monsters and frantic FPS action.

    • Holysheep says:

      Oh yeah, because good, fun gameplay should totally be impaired in order to achieve what a movie or a book could do!

      YOU want a tale.

      • Blackcompany says:

        In this particular case, yes, I would prefer a tale to a shooter. An emergent tale, of exploration and survival. A tale created by the player, as they make their way through this world.

        Good FPS game play has its place. And I am certain some folks might enjoy it even in this title. I would never begrudge someone else something they enjoy. On the other hand – and speaking for myself once again – I dont think I would enjoy this type of game play, in this particular setting or game. That’s just me, of course, but it seems very…jarring…somehow.

      • Chuckleluck says:

        No, but good, fun gameplay should match the game stylistically. That’s (in part) why people were so baffled over COD’s “press F to pay respects” – you have been murdering hundreds of bad guys throughout the campaign, and suddenly you’re getting all teary-eyed.

        • Holysheep says:

          Edited: misread.

          No: the story should fit the gameplay and should be changed accordingly. It’s what made Thief II’s level design and gameplay in general much more enjoyable than the first one, for instance.

      • Sam says:

        I think that’s a little unfair. The STALKER games have shooting things as a core part, and that shooting of things is designed so it supports the game’s themes.

        In STALKER fighting a bandit or monster is a typically loud, brutal and at least slightly panicked. Whereas the combat flow of a Serious Sam game is much more about exercising control over the situation, bouncing around in circles and so on. Skilfully dispatching enemies with interesting weapons is fun, but rocket-juggling rather breaks the mood of a hostile world. If DayZ had Quake III combat mechanics it would feel completely different.

        • Holysheep says:

          I know, you mistook my side for another, specifically the one of the person I was answering to. And you’re using my favorite FPS license for that purpose…

          I do not see how the gameplay of Ashen is in any way opposed to the story of it.

          • Blackcompany says:

            To be fair, I never said the shooty bits were opposed to the narrative/exploration/survival bits. Not directly.

            What I did say – and perhaps I should have been more clear – was this: Circle strafing, blast away Serious Sam style does seem to fit with the more somber, slow paced, exploration bits. This particular brand of shooting seems very…jarring…beside the rest of the game. It feels to me like this game is begging for cautious shooting, scarce ammo and an emphasis on avoiding combat as opposed to entering into it.

            So yeah…I dont think combat itself is opposed to the rest of this game’s setup. But this sort of combat sure feels like it is.

    • HyPeer128 says:

      Hey BC: You can avoid the conflict like that if you want. And unlike most FPS games, with calm bits here and there between the action, it’ll lean more towards bits of action between the calm bits. This is a tale, a story above all else, I even try to refrain from calling it a “First Person Shooter”… I prefer “First Person Story”.

      To get attention we do tend to focus on the action elements of the game, since that’s a little more interesting than watching a guy talk to a dog when you’re talking about the 10 second KS backer attention span.

  3. FurryLippedSquid says:

    I was wondering what Computer Aided Design had to do with this.


  4. Kefren says:

    What does CAD mean in this case? There seem to be lots of possible acronyms, I haven’t come across it before.

  5. Hex says:

    Ugh, had to turn off pitch video due to awful hipster music.

    I think I feel about hipster music approximately the same way that my parents’ generation felt about rap.

    It ruins everything.

    Also, so does rap.

  6. 2helix4u says:

    Wait I’m not playing as that dog? Then who the hell cares?