About Project Moondance

Project Moondance is an overall effort to modernize and revitalize the open source rhythm gaming engine StepMania. It is led by Team Rizu, a development team led by community veteran Squirrel, as well as many other prominent members of the current StepMania community.

Moondance was originally conceived as being a complete fork of StepMania. However, we have since gained the support of its current lead developer, and are currently working on an experimental branch codenamed OutFox – based on version 5.1. OutFox focuses primarily on refactoring low-level portions of StepMania in preparation for future development, including code modernization to improve performance, as well as changes to its graphics architecture to provide more complete support for modern hardware.

However, OutFox is only the first stage of our plans: “Serene” is a future project that will significantly refactor StepMania to make it a true video game engine for rhythm games, with wide support for various game play styles and input schemes, including touchscreens.

The Team

Crystal Squirrel

Squirrel is a game developer and veteran member of the StepMania community, dating back to the late-1990’s. His main interests include C++ and OpenGL.


A member of the StepMania community, who has primarily worked on themes and noteskins for StepMania.


A member of the StepMania community involved primarily in improving compatibility between StepMania 5.x and OpenITG and NotITG gimmick simfiles.


A member of the StepMania community, who has primarily been involved in the use of StepMania on arcade hardware. He is currently working on arcade and profile-oriented features for StepMania 5.3.


An ambitious man from Veracruz, México who tries to do something new everyday, no matter what it is, whether is animation, music, art or programming. He mainly creates StepMania 5 content in the form of themes, utilities, stepfiles and more.


A creator and member of the StepMania community from Saskatchewan, Canada; he is involved primarily in UX design for StepMania, having designed the current “Lambda” default theme introduced in 5.1

About StepMania 5.3

StepMania 5.3 is a development branch focused primarily on refactoring SM’s internal codebase to improve performance, adhere to modern coding practices, and enhance its capabilities on modern hardware and other platforms (including single-board embedded systems such as Raspberry Pi). Improvements to uncapped frame rate have also been recorded on older hardware, as far back as the Pentium E2180. It also incorporates a new default theme with more integrated features than previous versions of SM, and new internal functions that can be used for future content.

As StepMania 5.3 is a continuation of the 5.0.12 and 5.1 codebase (not “5.2”), it remains compatible with almost all existing songs, themes, and noteskins that are supported on these versions (if you do encounter odd behaviour or other issues with older content, please report it to us as a bug).

5.3 is unrelated to 5.1 -3 (sometimes written as 5.1-3), which was a prior build of 5.2 before it was renamed