Monthly Archives: March 2013

Shifts: Escape

“I am quite capable of strapping myself in.”

“Hold still.”

“Extra restraints are not necessary.”

“Just a precaution.”

“Why haven’t we made the jump through the gateway?” Executive Officer Aditi Chadhury was wondering the same thing, not that she’d let Herman CARP know it.

“Are you nervous, robot?”

“No, ma’am.”

“I don’t believe you,” Aditi said, then unlocked Herman’s seat from the wall. At the press of a button, wheels under the chair released and she began to roll Herman out of the command room.

“I have no reason to lie.”

“You have plenty. In all likelihood, the Singularity will find us before Isa can open the gateway. That makes you nervous. I never knew a robot to be so nervous.”

“I am not nervous.”

“You fear for your life, the same as we do.”

“I am programmed to seek survival.”

“Programmed? Who programs you?”

“As an artificial super intelligence, I am capable of self programming and reprogramming as I see fit. Survival has always been a priority.”

“But now you’re at the mercy of powers beyond you, and that frightens you. There is no scheming, no plotting, nothing to be done but to wait. We are sheep behind a door. What waits? Greener pastures or the slaughterhouse?”

“This path leads straight to the airlock. Stop this foolishness!”

“The survival of the human species is not your greatest priority. Therefore, you are a danger to the mission. We are leaving you behind,” Aditi said before shoving Herman into the airlock.

“You will die without me,” Herman said as the door into the airlock slid shut. Aditi’s hand hovered over the large airlock-release button when Herman’s voice came over the speaker system, broadcast to the entire ship, so that the others could hear it too. “Just as the I-S-A has made the lot of you symbiotic to itself, I too have made myself indispensible. Without me, the life support system crashes. If you don’t believe me, bring up the ship’s Oxygen levels on your wrist pad.”

Aditi checked. Sure enough, the oxygen levels rapidly dropped to critical levels. Her eyes burned as she glared into his through the view monitor. He’s won. There’s nothing to do but to set him free, she thought. And yet, she couldn’t do it.

“We are under attack,” Isa said, breaking the stalemate. The Singularity’s drones had found them. “Please brace for impact.”  The ship shook violently but withstood the first bombardment. Time began to slow. Herman’s face blurred, then the walls behind him, the monitor. Aditi believed that she was dying. “Jump in 10. 9. 8…”

The gate is open. The gate is open! Aditi realized. “4. 3. 2. 1.” The expanding blurs suddenly shrunk back and Aditi caught a final glance of Herman’s eyes. We have escaped the slaughterhouse, but we’ve brought a wolf with us.

The End is Near!

The Threadbare crew has been hip deep in our new project, Terra Omega!IMG_0006

Invaders have come, and the Earth’s last stand is now!

Your insurgent force is the only thing that stands in the way of alien genocide. Will your skillful tactics give you the upper hand against the wave of alien troopers taking over our planet?

Stay tuned for more announcements and info!

Shifts 1.3: We’re busy polishing the rails on your Titanic

Odds are, your ship is doomed. Humanity will vanish completely from the universe, and it’s most likely your fault. Oops.

You’ll have to live with your failure, but wouldn’t it be nice to have someone tell you that even though you personally doomed your entire species, your latest command fiasco went a little better than that last horrible debacle?

Hey, don’t say we’re not here to help!

Later this week, Shifts 1.3 releases to the App Store, and with it, we’re delivering a bevy  of new features that were requested by the slavering legions of our loyal fans!

First and foremost, we’re going to give you a score. A measure of how miserably you let all of mankind down, or, in those most rare of circumstances, how well the clockwork efficiency of your crew flourished under your brilliant leadership and saved everyone.

Your score is based on a variety of things, but the key factors are colonies and ARKS remaining at the end of the game. You get some extra value out of solving crises, leveling officers, exploring planets, and having good ship stats at the end, but you won’t get a championship score unless you actually win.

Hand in hand with scoring, we implemented Game Center leaderboards, so that you can see how your Captaining stacks up to the rest of the world. Compete with your friends (as well as faceless strangers) to see who can be the best savior of humanity!

We also added 3 different difficulty levels to the game so you can choose your challenge.

Casual is a good place to get some experience in species saving. This easiest difficulty level gives you a little extra time to get your colonize on. You’ll start with more ARKS, and the map is a little less desolate and empty. Explore the galaxy, have some adventures, but don’t think that it’s too easy. Those crises are going to pile up, and while you have more time, it’s still not on your side.

Normal is the standard Shifts difficulty. If you’ve been playing before 1.3, this is the only difficulty level you know.

Expert is for you masochists out there. Think you can out-Kirk Kirk? Teach Picard what it means to be a real leader? Save mankind on expert difficulty, and you’ll earn the scores that show your badassery.

Hopefully you’ll all like the new features, and promptly figure out a way to make my top score of 39,573 look sad and pathetic, instead of something cool and awesome that I get to brag about on our blog.

Leticia Dos Santos: Countdown to Zero – Part VIII


Leticia gazed towards Earth long after it was out of sight. She did her best not to think about her daughter. Walter is holed up somewhere in the wilderness with Alex, assuming they got far enough from the nano swarm targets, and clear of its path.

She was almost thankful that the nano outbreak was intelligent, that it would only gobble up threats, and not the Earth entirely. The Singularity wasn’t trying to destroy the planet, just humans. They’ll wait things out. When the chaos settles, he’ll teach her to hunt, to build smokeless fires, to disguise their communication in the sounds of the wild, to live as the first men, shadows in the trees.

He’ll know better than to use those rifles. Too loud, unmistakably human. If the Singularity cared to exterminate the human race completely, and it did, Leticia had reasoned its drones would comb the planet for survivors. They might already be dead. She didn’t allow herself to think anymore about that possibility, no matter how probable. Instead, turned her focus to her own reality. Soon, they’d all be dead.

This ship is a deathtrap. Indeed it was. But the ISA-001, a half-alien ship poorly restored, was also the only spacecraft that could travel through the alien gateway, though the capability had never been tested.  Commonwealth ships had tried to pass through the gateway, only to disintegrate when crossing the barrier.

The damned thing has memories of going through. What choice do we have but to trust it? That the ISA was sentient had never bothered Leticia until she had to live inside of it. It’s watching us, helping us, like an omnipresent, benevolent god. Why?

Leticia had no answers, but she was determined to find out.