Funny story. The Rift was my first serious attempt at a boardgame, many years ago. But it arose more out of a joke than anything else. We were bored one day and so the conversation went something like this:
Tom - Hey, lets make a game.
Me - What kind of game?
Tom - Maybe a board game.
Me - Ok, what type?
Tom - Maybe some kind of space game.
Me - With aliens?
Tom - And a demon!
Me - A demon in space?
Tom - Yeah!
Me - Hmm. Maybe it came through some sort of portal...
Tom - Yeah, and you can fly your space ship into Hell!
Me - And shoot it with lasers?
Tom - Yeah, and we can have magic weapons too!
Me - Ok, let's do it!
And so we set out to make a scifi board game with aliens, demons and a portal to Hell. Which is originally how it came out; you would have to seal the rift on one side using tech and then fly through to the Abyss and seal it there using magic. It was going to be a dual genre game. Pretty cool for a ridiculous idea. But in the interest of keeping it simple and keeping the play time down, I decided to split it into two games that were fully compatible. That way people could play whichever version they liked or add them both together for one long epic quest.
Actually the aliens/demons and tech/magic used to be counters/chits but cards were more doable and harder to misplace. And the board used to be bigger, having 18 hexes instead of twelve. Other than that it is pretty much how we envisioned it 20+ years ago. See what happens when you have too much time on your hands?