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Join developers behind the hit racing game Nitronic Rush as they take futuristic arcade racing to the next level!
Distance has been released on Steam Early Access to great reviews! We'll continue to develop the game alongside our amazing backer community and aim to release the finished game on PC and PS4 when it's ready.
Distance has been released on Steam Early Access to great reviews! We'll continue to develop the game alongside our amazing backer community and aim to release the finished game on PC and PS4 when it's ready.
4,174 backers pledged $161,981 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates


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We're Headed to Gamescom! Tournament this Saturday


Hi everyone! We’ve got something really cool going on this weekend. We’ll be hosting our first ever Sprint tournament this Saturday, August 12th! Sign up to race on Discord, and watch the fierce competition in action on Twitch.


When: August 12th, 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm BST (time zone converter)

Sign Up:

One big reason why we haven’t yet hosted a Sprint tournament is that we wanted to ensure it would be as fair as possible for all players. In that effort we’ve invited three talented level creators from our community to each create a brand new level. The levels will be officially unveiled on Saturday during each round of the tournament. In the meantime, here’s a teaser:

Learn more about prizes, event rules, and more on Discord. See you on Saturday!

Distance at Gamescom

In other exciting news, we’ll be returning to Germany in less than two weeks to show Distance at Gamescom! We’re really excited to show off some of the latest levels in Adventure mode to our European friends, host a few tournaments at the booth, and some other fun stuff. Thanks to our friends at Indie Arena for having us again!

You can find us in Hall 10.1 Booth A-020. If you’re attending, be sure to watch @refractstudios on Twitter for the latest info during the show. 

(check out the great looking lineup of games at this year’s Indie Arena booth)

Looking for Gamescom Volunteers

Since there are just a couple of us making the trek to Germany we’re once again looking for volunteers to help at the booth (especially with events like tournaments). In exchange for volunteering we can get you special access to the expo and likely some other rewards. If this interests you please email with the subject line “Gamescom Volunteer” and we’d love to discuss the details with you.

Quick Development Update

The past couple months have largely been focused on wrapping up major content for the 1.0 release, including Adventure mode as well as some miscellaneous content for Arcade. Wrapping up a project of this scope has certainly been an immense challenge, but I can’t describe how exciting it is to see the pieces all come together.

On the PS4 side of things, our next major step is to take any content that’s locked in and do our best to make any required optimizations. Not only do our latest Adventure levels push the CPU to its limit, but we’re noticing that memory has finally become a concern. We’ve been holding off on these final optimizations until we knew how far the PS4 would be stretched. On the upside the visual quality of our environments has never been higher. We just have to ensure that the PS4 (and lower spec machines in general) are able to fully enjoy them.

Following Gamescom we’re essentially moving into the final polish and optimization stage of development. We don’t have a perfect plan for what will be publicly released on PC before the 1.0 launch because our focus is 100% on finishing content for 1.0. There is (of course) an endless list of things we’d like to improve in the public build, but we must stay the course and get this 1.0 content locked in before moving on.

Anyway, our plan is to keep pressing forward and do our best to bring this project to a proper 1.0. We hope to see many of you at Gamescom later this month, and in the meantime we can’t wait to witness the tournament madness this weekend.

- Jordan (with everyone at Refract)

The Radical Update, Adventure Progress, MomoCon Award


Hi everyone! We just had some exciting news on our end... The Radical Update has been released! It's a large update that focuses mostly on improvements to Stunt mode while adding some powerful new tools in the editor. See the trailer above for an overview!

The Radical Update includes:

  • Fully implemented v1 of the trick announcer (like in Nitronic Rush)
  • Completely reworked Stunt mode
  • New Stunt level (Neon Park)
  • New Challenge levels (Red Heat, Disassembly Line)
  • 22 Steam Achievements
  • New editor features (animator component, force zones, etc.)
  • And more... read the full changelog

Adventure Mode Progress

While we did put quite a bit of time into releasing The Radical Update, we haven't slowed our momentum towards completing Adventure Mode. Without spoiling anything, here's your first look at some of the newest content Galen, Brent, and Kristian have created:






Click on each image to view a larger version. As usual I can't quite yet reveal exactly what they've been adding and changing, but I can say that they're doing an excellent job of making the publicly available Adventure mode feel like an ancient relic. More previews likely to come later this summer.

MomoCon Recap, Indie Award

Last month Jason and I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to take part in MomoCon which was an adventure of its own. Refract was given booth space since we were finalists in MomoCon's indie awards, and we figured why not give it a shot. We demoed a completely new build, and the response to the new content was resoundingly positive.

On top of that, out of 20 finalists we were selected as one of the 5 winners in the MomoCon Indie Awards ceremony! Winning gave us a $1,000 prize, 10 x 20 exhibit space at MomoCon 2018, a dedicated panel at MomoCon 2018, highlighted placement in a MomoCon newsletter, and the glass trophy seen above.

Watch the video of us collecting the award on stage here. You can also read a bit more about the judging process via this Kotaku article.

While MomoCon was a solid "marketing" event for us, I think the playtesting side of it was actually the most productive part. We still could a do a bit better in terms of teaching new players mechanics (which is half of the point of Adventure mode), but I'd say that our latest experiments certainly demonstrated a big improvement. Thanks to all of the Distance and Nitronic Rush players that came over to say hi and chat!

Moving Forward

As usual following a big update release we're currently soaking up the feedback and making plans for our next Arcade release. For the most part we are incredibly close feature-wise to achieving what we set to create from the start. It's now all about getting that last 5% down, finishing Adventure mode, and making critical improvements based on feedback.

In terms of release info on PC and PS4, if you have questions I'd recommend checking our FAQ. If you play The Radical Update and have any feedback we'd love to hear it. Otherwise we're just going to keep powering through so that we can release Distance 1.0 as soon as possible. Thanks as always for the support!

- Jordan (with everyone at Refract)

PAX East, Team Changes, New EULA


Distance at PAX East

Ellie and I will be heading out to Boston for PAX East next week! We’ll be showcasing a preview of our upcoming beta update at Booth #23131. This update features big changes/additions to Arcade gameplay including improvements to Stunt mode, a first version of the announcer, Steam achievements, and a few other surprises!

Of course it wouldn’t be a Refract booth without some ridiculous over-the-top booth lighting. See above for a mockup of the booth I created using Distance’s level editor. I’ll also be posting previews of the lighting tech on Twitter leading up to PAX.

It’ll just be me and Ellie at this year’s expo, so if possible we’re looking for volunteers to help run the booth. If you’re passionate about Distance and are interested in volunteering some time in exchange for expo access, please contact us at

New Team Members

Today I’m excited to announce that Refract has added three new developers to our team! Please join me in welcoming Brent Potter, Galen Heninger, and Kristian Larsen to Distance’s development!

If you’ve been keeping up to date with the Distance community you might know them better as Ashamael, snowstate, and Krispy. They’ve contributed greatly to Distance’s community over the years (on top of creating some incredible level content). We’re excited to now bring them behind the curtain to help complete Distance’s Adventure mode.

 (check out Forsaken Shrine for a collaboration between all three creators)

While I can’t yet show the content they’ve been creating for Adventure mode, I recommend checking out their previous works on Steam Workshop. Trust me when I say that the new stuff they’re creating for Adventure mode will be worth the wait.

EULA Update

Finally, on a slightly less exciting note, we’ve updated our EULA and added a dedicated Privacy Policy. You can review it on our website:

If you’ll be at PAX East we hope to see you at Booth #23131! Watch out on Steam for news about upcoming experimental builds. Otherwise stay tuned for more info about our upcoming major update!

- Jordan (with everyone at Refract)

Booting Up 2017


Hi everyone! It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a long-form devlog, so now that 2017 is in full swing I figured it was time to bring it back. For those that haven't been following the development closely via Twitter and Steam announcements, it includes answers to all of our frequently asked questions (including info on physical backer rewards, the launch window, the PS4 release, etc.) as well as thoughts on Adventure mode, new music, and more!

In short, development is going well. We recently released our most ambitious update to Distance yet: The Ghost Update. It features ghost racing, a replay viewer, official HTC Vive support, an increased online player limit, a new stats system, and tons of other improvements. It’s now available via Steam Early Access and Humble Bundle. Check out the trailer for a quick overview, plus your first teaser for the final release of Adventure mode!

As usual, if you have feedback you'd like to share, let us know via Twitter or the Steam forums. Those are the places where we've had the most success in keeping up with feedback. We can't seem to enable notifications for comments on Kickstarter, so please be aware if you post here we might miss your note. Hope you enjoy the devlog!

- Jordan (with everyone at Refract)

Distance October Update: Revamped Reality


Hey everyone! We have some cool news to dive into today, but real quick I need to mention something important:

Update your address by Oct. 16th for physical rewards

At long last, we have a pipeline in place to send out shirts and posters! Since it's been quite some time since we asked for your address we wanted to give you another chance to update it. You should be able to edit your survey response on the right panel here.

Once we have the addresses at the end of next week we'll start sending stuff out. Obviously we've been distracted and got behind on these rewards, so we'll be including a small bonus in with each package. Thanks again for your patience.

Revamped Reality is live!

(check out the new trailer featuring VR gameplay)

Following gamescom and PAX we shipped the Revamped Reality update. Check out the trailer above! It's a huge step forward towards releasing the final game. We upgraded to Unity 5 which improved overall performance, upgraded all of our menus, and added new features like cockpit view and VR.

As a quick reminder, if you haven't grabbed your key you can access Distance beta via Humble Bundle. Click here for instructions.

Build 3920 features:

  • Better overall performance
  • Faster level loading
  • VR integration
  • Cockpit view
  • UI revamp (with mouse support)
  • Improved car color customization
  • Improved player names in multplayer
  • New editor assets
  • And more... 

>> Learn more about the update

Survive the Editor contest

(grand prize winner earns this majestic trophy)

Survive the Editor is a 3-week long Distance level creation contest. We're so excited to be working with members of the community to bring you a fun competition with amazing prizes!

Running from Oct. 3rd to Oct. 24th, weekly winners will be chosen during the "Speedy Saturday" multiplayer meetup. Each week we'll announce a mode and theme, and it's up to you to create a level that impresses both our judges and the community.

This week's mode is Challenge and the theme is Industrial. We're giving away prizes in 4 different categories so there are plenty of chances to win! If you don't feel like participating you can watch the judging live each Saturday.

>> Click for the deadlines & prizes


We still have quite a bit to finish before Distance is done. Getting Unity 5 integrated was fortunately one our last "big" technical hurdles before shipping Distance, so moving forward a lot of the upcoming work is content creation and mode improvements.

While we think it's possible to be tech complete by the end of 2015, being content complete (a.k.a. final release) is looking like Q1/Q2 2016. If you’re anxiously awaiting the release all I can say is that we’re moving as fast as we can while still retaining a certain level of quality. It would be even slower without the continual feedback from the early access community.

As you may have also noted, we've been improving and adding to Adventure mode all year. To maximize the impact of playing the final story we've decided to only release updated Adventure content as a complete package near the final release. It might be tough waiting to play through the new content, but we really think it'll be worth it in the end after we've massaged out all of the rough edges.

On a side note, for future updates we're heavily considering merging Kickstarter backers into our main mailing list to simplify things on our end. Watch out for the same format of update coming from a slightly different source next time. Until then, Steam Announcements and Twitter remain the best way to keep up to date.

Thanks as always for being a part of this exhilarating development! 

- Jordan (@torcht for more dev updates)