What is ShiftOS?
ShiftOS was a game originally developed by Australian YouTuber “OSFirstTimer,” otherwise known as Philip Adams. The game’s development started in 2013 and ended in August of 2017. During that time, there were at least 4 official major rewrites of the game and dozens of community-created rewrites, clones and ShiftOS-likes.
Although the various rewrites had slightly different designs in relation to each other, the core gameplay stayed the same - perform actions in an experimental operating system, earn points for those actions, and use them to buy new features and programs for the OS.
The game was never finished/fully released. Although there were many stable releases of the game, they were never considered “finished.” This archive serves as a place to host and preserve as much of the game’s history as possible, for those interested. This includes source code, skins, binary releases, and more.
Dec. 2013 to June 2015
This is the 0.0.x era, the version of the game created by Phil. Half-way through development, he handed over the project to the community. His reasoning was that the game was too draining on his mental state, that he would just “eat, sleep, code ShiftOS, go to work, code ShiftOS, repeat.”
On October 11th, 2014, he released this video, announcing that development would be handed over to the community and that developers would be hand-picked through a development competition.
A few months later, Michael, a.k.a Alkaline Thunder, become the lead administrator of the forum. On June 1st, 2015, the 0.0.x era was officially killed off and ShiftOS-Next would take its place.
The latest 0.0.x source code and binaries can be found here:
June 1st, 2015 to August…something…2015
This was the ShiftOS-Next era. This was the first rewrite of ShiftOS done by Michael, and the last version written in Visual Basic. This version of the game shared a codebase with Michael’s ShiftOS-like, UltraDOS, and thus also shared much of the same user interface.
There was no resemblance of the original game Phil had created in this rewrite. This version of the game focused on various new mechanics that only existed within this version of the game, such as:
- Multiple desktop environments: Throughout the story, the player
would switch between various desktops created by different characters in
the game. Each had their own looks and feature sets.
- Command-line: This was the environment at the start of the game.
All programs were ran through a fullscreen terminal, and were either
command-based or ran in fullscreen. The
Esckey could be used to exit back to the terminal.
- Basic Window Manager: Name is self-explanatory. Multiple programs could run on-screen at once inside windows, but everything was still controlled through a terminal.
- Memphis Desktop Environment: This desktop was developed by an in-game character named Jonathan Ladouceur and featured design cues from GNOME 2. This desktop would eventually be reused in The Peacenet, being called Peacegate Desktop this time around.
- Shifter’s Desktop: This was DevX’s original desktop. It was a carbon copy of the one in the original game, and was used as a “punishment” to the player for using Jonathan’s Memphis environment over DevX’s BWM.
- Command-line: This was the environment at the start of the game. All programs were ran through a fullscreen terminal, and were either command-based or ran in fullscreen. The
- Newer minigames: This version introduced Breakout, MathQuiz and Guess The Number, which would replace Pong and Knowledge Input.
- Storyline: This version would further develop DevX’s sinister identity and add new characters to the game, such as Jonathan.
There was also a planned-but-never-implemented “Exodus Desktop,” which would be styled similar to Mac OS X.
The source code and binaries for this era still needs to be recovered. However, repositories for them are still available. If you have any builds or code for this era, please submit a pull request.