Time Rifters is a single player co-op shooter created by Proton Studio that has been cooking in development since the early days of the Oculus Rift. The game has finally been released on Steam with a 10% off discount for the launch.
Time Rifters was created during a 3-week ‘VR Jam’ that was put together in collaboration by Oculus and IndieCade in 2013. Four days from the start, the Proton Studio team designed the main character and one of the in-game weapons. A couple of days later they had expanded the gameplay logic, art style of the levels, and modified their control schemes. Within a week, a demonstration of the new game was available and uploaded on their website.
The fundamental idea ingrained into the game was that a single player could open up ‘time rifts’ that allowed the person to switch perspectives to that of their teammates giving them the option to control those characters. These ‘time clones’ added additional layers of interactivity that could be implemented within the simulation by setting up the characters in strategic places. The gamer had become an army of one with several robotic individuals at their disposal.
Soon, a boss battle was added which increased the excitement of the game. Hovering menus bars were inserted into the scenes that floated perfectly in place just enough to be viewed, while at the same time not taking up the screen in a distracting way. Electronic music and dubstep tracks were implemented in the background as gamers zipped through custom environments too.
Later, optimizations were made to make the demo run as smooth as possible. They managed to triple the frames per second by removing dynamic lighting and making small adjustments. They also changed the progression of the game making the person always continue to the next level regardless of whether or not the killed off all the enemies. This was in response to Cymatic Bruce testing out their game and not being able to move on to the following boss battle because of one active enemy army member that was still roaming around at the end.
Eventually more and more people started playing and providing critical feedback that altered Time Rifters by pushing the upgrades further and crazier. For instance, one of the weapons purchased that could shoot bullets of acid that would start explosive chemical reactions. This caused enemies to burst into fragments of light after being infected by the acid.
Additional work was done and soon Time Rifters was uploaded onto the Oculus Share platform. More levels were integrated, all of which were extremely detailed and polished. The level of detail induced strong feels of presence in those who played, including Cymatic Bruce who stated in a video stream that the game was “freaking awesome!” and further went on to describe that it was a big jump from the initial demo. As the months passed, Time Rifters was shown at a virtual reality meetup in Calgary.
Now, after testing and modifications were completed, Time Rifters has been released onto Steam. It is currently available for purchase at a price tag of $8.99, which is 10% off the regular price. Out of 10 reviews from Steam thus far, all are positive with several praising the game’s Rift support.