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.

Development history

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.

ShiftOS 0.0.8 Features Preview + Development 

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:

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.