We're a small open-source indie game dev team started by Michael VanOverbeek in 2017 from the ashes of the ShiftOS community. With a new team, new skills, and a new vision, we set out to accomplish what ShiftOS never could.
Our roots go back to late 2014 from the days of the ShiftOS forums. Originally developed by Australian YouTuber and programmer Philip Adams, ShiftOS was a game where you were thrown into an experimental operating system and your aim was to try to perform various tasks in the OS so you could earn Codepoints which could be exchanged at the Shiftorium for new programs and OS features. The goal was to upgrade the OS to something more modern and to find the secret behind its mysterious developer, DevX.
Phil's development of ShiftOS was halted and development was handed over to a few members of the community. One such member happened to be Michael, back then known as ThePCTransformer. 2015 saw the development of ShiftOS-Next as Michael became the lead, and soon only, developer. Eventually, in 2016, the game was ported to C# and the UI completely redesigned, with one of the final results being this image.
In mid 2017, the ShiftOS team had grown once again, with Michael still in charge. With help from Phil, the game's community was able to grow once again too. Things were looking great until we attracted the attention of SpamSyndicate, otherwise known as ShiftSyndicate, who took our website for ransom as a scare tactic to get us to quit development. We didn't listen.
While it wasn't because of SpamSyndicate, we eventually did need to stop development of ShiftOS. The game had gained a notoriously bad reputation and it just wasn't worth it. We decided as a team to rebrand ourselves as Watercolor Games, and begin work on our first project - Project: Plex - which would eventually become The Peacenet.
Eventually we felt that Watercolor Games was not a true representation of who we are. We had already came up with a name for The Peacenet, and named its engine the Peace Engine, but we still had to name ourselves something that made sense to us. We determined that the Phoenix was a perfect representation of our history, and the community had voted on our name, Bit Phoenix Software. So here we are.