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 PostPost subject: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:32 pm 
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Hey guys,

There is a game on the internet with lots of lost builds called ShiftOS. If you have heard of Australian YouTuber OSFirstTimer, you have likely heard of ShiftOS since he was the one who started it all. OSFirstTimer then left the game before it was finished and development was handed over to 16-year-old Michael VanOverbeek in 2014. The game died in 2015, and Michael made a clone in VB called ShiftOS-Next, however he didn't like the way it turned out. In 2016 the game was revived. Development started on 0.1.x, and then 1.x. There are no builds of ShiftOS 0.1.x on the internet, but there is a build of 1.x on GitHub: https://github.com/shiftos-game/ShiftOS-Michael. The ShiftOS project was abandoned on August 2017, however there is a game that uses ShiftOS's code still being developed called The Peacenet. A lot of lost ShiftOS builds can be found on https://oldgamerec.itch.io/shiftos, however there are no 0.1.x or 1.x builds, just 0.0.x.

According to tvtropes.org:
"ShiftOS is a game about a fictional work-in-progress operating system also called ShiftOS. A hacker known as DevX "hijacks" your computer and installs the OS in a barely usable state, forcing you to use it because they needs beta testers, and you must bring your computer back to usability by enhancing the system's functionality by earning and spending "code points". The game was under active development for several years by the original developer, but it was eventually discontinued. The source code has since switched hands, laying dormant for a while (across this period, a lot of the existing content for and surrounding the game disappeared from the Internet) before being abruptly revived in December of 2016.

I was thinking about reviving the game however I am bad at coding.

Hopefully it will be revived soon...


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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:19 pm 
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I've known about ShiftOS since the very beginning, I've survived through all incarnations of it. On paper it doesn't seem like a half-bad concept, but every single time it has been executed... well, it died. Thinking back, I wouldn't consider it to be under active development before it was passed off or even after that. There were several gaps from 2015-2017 where nothing happened. The reason why Philip (OSFT) stopped development was that he just didn't have time nor energy to continue it. ShiftOS started in VB.net which proved to be one of its biggest flaws (along with terrible optimization and relying on WinForms), and over the last couple of years has gone through so many rewrites that I've lost count. One thing that gets overlooked is that there was never any actual gameplay, unless you count playing Pong to earn codepoints to change color schemes. The game just doesn't work to be perfectly honest (and to make this somewhat short). Several people have tried to revive it, and like Histacom, it never comes out great. The Peacenet, I can't stress it enough, is not the new ShiftOS. I haven't really eyed its development because I'm just not interested in it like I was ShiftOS back in 2014-2015, but I know from first hand experience with Michael that it's very different.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:43 pm 
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Congrats - you've attracted the attention of the last ShiftOS (and current The Peacenet) lead developer. I was linked this on Discord just a few minutes ago and decided to give some input, updates and reasoning on what really happened with ShiftOS.

First of all, the lost builds

I still have the latest code for ShiftOS 1.x on this computer, as well as most builds that I released. I don't think they go beyond pre Alpha 4.x though. I also have the latest 0.1.x source code (no binary builds, sorry) on this drive, and somewhere on a hard drive in my parents' basement, the ShiftOS-Next source code. Probably even some binary builds, too.

However... Although I still have the code (which means I can at least compile a somewhat buggy version of the latest release of each rewrite of the game) and some binary builds, there is a very good reason why I choose to not release them to the public - I've...simply got nowhere to put them. I could put them on itch.io but then you'd only get access to the latest version I upload, or I'd have to upload each one to a different slot. I could put them on GitHub, (which I believe people have already archived the code), and I've done that before, but then people try vigorously to hack my GitHub account to troll me. Don't believe me? Look what happened to my old "TheUltimateHacker" GitHub from 2014-2015 which once hosted many of those "lost builds." It was hacked by ShiftSyndicate and I can't be arsed to recover it because of how old it is.

And although my security habits have gone from bad (using the same password everywhere, not using 2FA, using an insecure password, etc) to good (doing the exact opposite), I'd just rather not post these builds online so a few people can play my buggy game that never truly succeeded or got finished, while also risking my account getting hacked by ShiftSyndicate or, lord knows, someone else who's got the skill, time, and will to troll me over this game. Since I've stopped caring about the project in 2017 and moved on to The Peacenet,, that stuff's gone down heaps and I've been pursuing a career in professional game development (currently taking a dual credit course at my college for C++ programming this semester and the next), and things have been going really well. For my own sanity, I'd rather not go back to early-to-mid 2017 or even risk it. ShiftOS just isn't demanded enough for that risk. No thanks.

If you really want me to rewrite ShiftOS again...

...Not happening. I'm sorry, but, it's a failed project. Yes, I would code a similarly-styled game but it definitely would not be a complete revival of the original. In fact I do plan on doing that near the end of Peacenet's development cycle. When it gets released fully in a few years, that is. I may try my hands at making a ShiftOS-like that isn't like ShiftOS, if you know what I mean. But you do have to respect the fact that the project is dead, for good, and there's many valid reasons why.

If you're STILL not satisfied...well...just play Peacenet. Nowadays it's got virtually nothing in common with ShiftOS other than the way the desktop is laid out, and it's not even using the same codebase anymore (switched it over to C++ earlier this year), many of the ShiftOS dev team from 1.x is still on the project. The community's there. We're just no longer associated with Philip Adams (OSFirstTimer) or ShiftOS. We're our own community now. And Peacenet itself is sort-of my take on both Histacom (ShiftOS's spiritual predecessor) as well as my distant, fantasy dreams for the future of humanity (involving sentient AIs), and what happens when it all starts to fall apart because of one bug in the code. And I'm throwing a lot of cyber crime into it too. I'm not going to link it here in this thread, but if the OP is interested, they can email me at alkaline@watercolorgames.net.

TL;DR:

1. I'm the last lead dev of ShiftOS.
2. You got my attention.
3. I still have most of the game's various rewrites in source code form, and some in binary form.
4. I'm not releasing them. Ever.
5. I have reasons involving hacking-for-trolling and other problems I faced during development.
6. It is not worth the risk, due to how small of a project ShiftOS was and how unknown it is, for me to release my personal archive for those reasons.
7. If you want something like ShiftOS to be revived as OP wants, either play my current game or play my next game. Those are your closest options.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:35 am 
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If you're not releasing them, then I might try and code my own clone in C# however I am barely 11 years old and bad at coding. Yes, you are talking to someone who is under 13 and I am the same guy who emailed you about giving me the 1.x build back in August of this year.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:56 pm 
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Okay, well, just a word of warning. ShiftOS isn't something you should ever attempt as your first coding project. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make it work and it's a very huge codebase compared to my current game. So unless you're prepared to maintain a large codebase, dealing with all the bugs and glitches that come with it, browsing Stack Overflow a lot, wanting to smash your head in several times every time your save file corrupts at 1 AM because of a race condition because you tried to optimize the game using multithreading, or dealing with bugs that don't happen for you but do for everyone else, don't code ShiftOS.

I only say that and I go that specific with it because ShiftOS was my first project (minus a few crappy text editors in WinForms) and those were the exact headaches I went through. I was prepared for it though because I'm the kind of person who, deep down, enjoys those kinds of puzzles and challenges, which is why I'm pursuing a professional career in gamedev. But if you're not that kind of person, I'm warning you now. You're in for a rude awakening if you try to code ShiftOS.

Also...

I've given it thought, and I'm okay with releasing my binary (and src) archive on archive.org, if the demand for it is high enough. If people here show a genuine interest in collecting betas for my (and Phil's) old failed project, then I'll release my archive. So, basically, if people want to see it, then reply to this topic and say so.

And I also got a simple skinning system working in Unreal Engine 4 for my current game, so if people really want me to revive ShiftOS in some way then... I don't mind doing that either. I'd like to get my current game done first though.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:31 pm 
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Umm... I've made lots of C# games before but they're pretty terrible and full of bugs.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:07 am 
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It sounds very interesting! It would be great if you decide to release it to the public

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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:39 pm 
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Alright, well I'm putting together a ShiftOS archive section on my website that documents the game's development history. It has links to various GitHub repos containing code and binaries for each relevant version of the game.

It's still work-in-progress so expect 404s, incompleteness, etc. But, GitHub Pages is awesome. And this is all on an organization tied to my account (and I have 2FA and a strong password so no hacky hacky.) I decided to use git for these so that anyone can contribute new binaries/code/etc through pull requests. So, yeah. I'm working on it.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:02 am 
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I'd definitely like to see this released. I've been interested in ShiftOS for a long time now, probably since the beginning.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Well, I think I already got the source code for 0.0.9 up a few days ago. Still need to root around my drive for binaries and sources for the rest of the rewrites. I've been focusing on my dual credit course and developing Peacenet so I haven't had time to do it yet. I'm going to do it tonight when I get home from school, I'll try to catalogue everything based on version (all 0.0.8 builds in a 0.0.8 folder etc), grab redistributable dependencies for the game and catalogue those based on game version, etc.

Once I get the cataloguing done, if anyone has builds that I'm missing, go ahead and either submit them as a pull request or email/PM them to me so I can catalogue them. Thanks! :)


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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:16 am 
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EvanKTC wrote:
Hey guys,

There is a game on the internet with lots of lost builds called ShiftOS. If you have heard of Australian YouTuber OSFirstTimer, you have likely heard of ShiftOS since he was the one who started it all. OSFirstTimer then left the game before it was finished and development was handed over to 16-year-old Michael VanOverbeek in 2014. The game died in 2015, and Michael made a clone in VB called ShiftOS-Next, however he didn't like the way it turned out. In 2016 the game was revived. Development started on 0.1.x, and then 1.x. There are no builds of ShiftOS 0.1.x on the internet, but there is a build of 1.x on GitHub: https://github.com/shiftos-game/ShiftOS-Michael. The ShiftOS project was abandoned on August 2017, however there is a game that uses ShiftOS's code still being developed called The Peacenet. A lot of lost ShiftOS builds can be found on https://oldgamerec.itch.io/shiftos, however there are no 0.1.x or 1.x builds, just 0.0.x.

According to tvtropes.org:
"ShiftOS is a game about a fictional work-in-progress operating system also called ShiftOS. A hacker known as DevX "hijacks" your computer and installs the OS in a barely usable state, forcing you to use it because they needs beta testers, and you must bring your computer back to usability by enhancing the system's functionality by earning and spending "code points". The game was under active development for several years by the original developer, but it was eventually discontinued. The source code has since switched hands, laying dormant for a while (across this period, a lot of the existing content for and surrounding the game disappeared from the Internet) before being abruptly revived in December of 2016.

I was thinking about reviving the game however I am bad at coding.

Hopefully it will be revived soon...

Wait, for real? It was just like yesterday I was looking through the ShiftOS YT page and watching all the videos of the newly released versions that 'Michael' kid would make

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 PostPost subject: Re: Ever heard of ShiftOS? (A lost game about an OS)        Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:17 pm 
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AlkalineThunder wrote:
Okay, well, just a word of warning. ShiftOS isn't something you should ever attempt as your first coding project. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make it work and it's a very huge codebase compared to my current game. So unless you're prepared to maintain a large codebase, dealing with all the bugs and glitches that come with it, browsing Stack Overflow a lot, wanting to smash your head in several times every time your save file corrupts at 1 AM because of a race condition because you tried to optimize the game using multithreading, or dealing with bugs that don't happen for you but do for everyone else, don't code ShiftOS.


Well after all, the original ShiftOS was a giant mess under the covers. A huge codebase partially due to the fact the original author has apparently never heard of this little Visual Basic feature called inheritance, so every single form in the game contained exactly the same hundreds lines of code to implement skining.

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