SHAKER: An RPG by Brenda Brathwaite & Tom Hall (Canceled) project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
$244,932 pledged of $1,000,000 goal
By Loot Drop
$244,932 pledged of $1,000,000 goal


Hello everyone! Thanks for your continued support and excitement. We are pleased to present to you more information on Shaker Corporation as well as new concept art on our main character, James Connelly. Next update will feature Combat and Gameplay.

Shaker Corporation

“Welcome to Shaker Corporation.”

At 806 employees, Shaker was a far cry from from its origins in a graduate student lab at MIT. Beginning as a mere mathematical model - but an exceedingly precise one - Shaker’s core technology eventually evolved into a device that allowed it to see 100 years into the future and as far back as all past human memory allowed. Catherine Shaker knew she had struck gold, and founded the corporation well before her graduation. At the time of her death, which she had accurately predicted, the company had already received massive funding from throughout the universe.

As corporations go, Shaker had a routine. Each evening, the device would reveal the events of that exact day 100 years in the future. A team of analysts would go over the data, and Shakers would be deployed into the future or past to straighten out potential disturbances. In its history, Shaker had already averted wars, plagues and countless regional skirmishes. It has also avoided the temptation to mess with free will or act as a surprise benefactor. A multi-national board worked (and mostly argued) to ensure its neutrality and to keep its findings secret.

Then, on July 1, 2526, the entire galaxy was not there when they looked. It was not an anomaly or machine failure. It just no longer was. For the first time, genuine panic (of measurable statistical significance) struck in Shaker’s offices.

James Connelly got the emergency evac call while on his current mission. Something was wrong. From time to time, Shaker accepted work from external clients so long as their “shakes” didn’t divert the universe from its optimum path. Connelly was on one such mission when he got the cue to return to the Bridge. “Back out now, Connelly,” was all they’d said. He left his mission half finished, and a client undoubtedly pissed.

They needed him to go back to Antera. Whatever caused the galactic lights out was evidently millennia in the making.


That's it!  Stay tuned for the next update on Combat and Gameplay coming soon!

Please spread the word by following @LootDrop on Twitter, friending us on facebook at, retweeting our posts and linking to our Kickstarter -- thanks so much for your help and support!

--Tom and Brenda


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Loot Drop Creator on October 11, 2012

      Yeah, all concepts and current theory about the nature of space-time is fascinating!

    2. Anders T.N
      on October 10, 2012

      Human Time traveller:

      Yeah i know you guys are discussing sci-fi timetravel and not scientific timetravel. but "Time dilation" is still awesome.

    3. Loot Drop Creator on October 9, 2012

      Wow, the discussion goes on!

      Sounds like we will need a Time-Travel section in our future forum. Great discussion folks.

    4. pclabtech on October 9, 2012

      Usually there has to be a mechanism (albeit a superior being, deity, device, dreamstate) that handles the time travel. I agree, in reality, time is time, events happen, flow, come to conclusions. The ability to go forward or back in time exsists in our rememberance of the past, or our concepts of the future, and embelish those thoughts in the form of writing. And mostly, the "what ifs" and "what could" happen, which would cause a paradox of events that eventually lead to another completely different timeline.

      When writing about time travel, I used a natural cavern construct capable of producing a portal for travel, little did the protagonists realize, the portal not only travelled them to new physical area, but through time as well, as they were accustomed to portal travelling, just not through time.

      In the world of sci-fi and fantasy writing, time travel is a tricky subject, always tough to keep from forming paradoxes.

      As Jeffrey Jones would say, "Bogg! This is all wrong!" (let's see someone get that trivia line.)

    5. Anders T.N
      on October 9, 2012

      "Everywhere in the universe it's this exact same moment, you're experiencing now"

      Actually. NO!

      Not the best link ever but if you don't know the basic concept of space time than you should just stop talking. Even as we speak astronauts on the space station are compared to us travelling into the future relative to our time. In theory this would be possible as long as the speed of the object compared to you (earth is used to simplify the example, but in reality it is unique for every speed) was greater than your's.

      I give you Stephen Hawking:…

    6. Weilard on October 9, 2012

      Little fan-art based on original image of main hero.

    7. Missing avatar

      Ricks (deleted) on October 9, 2012

      Maybe the whole world is an illusion and we are brains in a vat, but it still does not change that what's dead is dead. At least in matters of physical existence. If this thing we call body is crumbled into dust, there's nothing we can do about it. Maybe the soul transcends into another existence, but the physical body is still gone.
      Time travel is an invention which came from Time, which is itself only an invention. Time does not exist. Time is a construct invented by human beings to define the status of a being at one point in relation to the status of this being at another point (and which of course differs, so that there is a difference recognizable). We call this difference "time", but in fact it isn't. In our case the difference between 2 points is calculated by the position of earth/sun. This measurement will be fully useless if the earth rotates faster/slower, or gets closer/farer from the sun. Therefore it's just a construct, nothing else.
      In reality only the moment, the present, the now exists. Everywhere in the universe it's this exact same moment, you're experiencing now. Whether it's 10 p.m in Timbuktu, 10 a.m in Honolulu, or 3856 a.m. on the green alien planet in outer space, or anywhere else in the universe. It's always and only the same moment which exists.
      Beings just appear and disappear / or change into other forms of existence. Once that's done it's done. Has nothing to do with "time". Time is just made up to help us define the world we live in, to categorize things we do. But it does not exist itself, and therefore time travel cannot exist. Not even in fantasy this makes sense. That said, the existence of a ghosts makes more sense.

    8. Missing avatar

      Yaron Davidson
      on October 9, 2012

      @pid - If that wasn't clear, i didn't say "atoms" as in all there is are freely floating atoms in a vacuum with nothing occurring within and that is your brain, but as a short version of the claim that the brain, and the entire decision-make process, is made of physical constructs that behave in ways which are either deterministic or random or statistical based on their physical properties. So molecules, and electrons, included.
      The point is that unless something there behaves stochastically, in a very big way, which isn't usually the case when dealing with something large like brains, then if you put the same person, with the same brain (atoms and electrons and all), in the same situation, that person will always make the same choice.
      Or if not, then the deviation will be based on a random/stochastic/statistical occurrence. Adding stochastic, or statistical, effects into the decision process does mean the decision may be different, sure, but that doesn't add any "will" to it whatsoever.

      To have "free will", the way I think most people understand the concept, you need something else making the decisions, instead of, or in addition to, your brain, which does it work in a way that is not deterministic, not completely random/stochastic, and not based on clear strong statistical rules. That's something that so far nobody can prove we have, show we have, demonstrate we have, present any requirements for, present any indication for, etc, etc... Ergo, no free will.

      A) doesn't reduce the need and usefulness of free will as a social, moral, and legal construct. Insults and cordiality are also not physical constructs, but we're fine with deciding that we do want rules for politeness and laws to deal with defamation, and such, and having ideas and behavior that consider them.
      B) Really isn't relevant, since this is a game which doesn't take place in the real world, so whether free will does, or does not, exist in reality has no bearing on whether it exists in the game and how it behaves there.
      C) Really isn't relevant even if the game does take place in a universe where free will doesn't exist, since "mess with free will" in the description in any case can refer to things affected by A above, so for example if they started working a lot earlier then preventing Chernobyl from exploding - yes, preventing Hitler from being elected - no (though since they do try to avert wars they can do something else to prevent WWII, or maybe decide to maybe pick the least of two evils and interfere with the free will of the populace if they can't figure out a better way)

      @Godewijn - Philosophers can give us insights on what the possible effects could be of having, or not having, free will, on how we should treat it, and so on. But they don't have too much to say on whether it exists or not, that one is out of the purview of philosophy.
      And speaking of philosophy, at this point most of the current philosophers who deal with the issue and who claim there is free will, give somewhat watered-down versions of it, that seem like hand-waving with the "you could have chosen differently if you were a different person" attitude that ignores the fact that the "if you were a different person" bit still means that the same person you actually was at the exact time of the decision would have always made the same choice.

      If always faced with the same situation you'd make the same decision (barring stochastic effects) then this isn't what most people think of as free will even if this is how some philosophers use it so.

    9. Wim Jansen
      on October 9, 2012

      Hmm.. interesting.
      I do not agree with the idea that there can be no physical free will because in the exact same situation you'll "always" make the exact same decision. At the quantum level thee is a randomness that only resolves after inspection, so there actually cannot be "the exact same situation".
      One interpretation of the multiverse theory is that each such inspection spawns another universe, which means time travel/viewing into the future will only give you one possibilities of many....
      This may turn out to be very fun!

    10. Missing avatar

      Yaron Davidson
      on October 9, 2012

      @Loot Drop - No, trying to explore such concepts doesn't get you any credit, it just gets you complaints from anyone who doesn't agree with any conclusions you may reach. ;-)

      @Rick - Not sure about you, but personally I've been traveling in time for my entire life, and barring some seriously unexpected catastrophe I will keep on doing so. Sure, so far I've only moved forward in time, in various speeds, but since you had the problem with the entire "back and forth" range, I assume cutting half of it off would be enough of a counter-example...

      And so far the physics we know doesn't completely bar the possibility of moving back in time. Plenty of theories on what it could means, handling paradoxes, and the like, but the claim of outright impossibility isn't there yet.

      And that is while still ignoring that fact that this game doesn't take place in our real world, so can play by different rules if it wants to, as long as they make enough internal-sense not to ruin the story. If they have clear and consistent rules on how it should behave, and make sure that everything happening in the game obeys the rules, then the story is internally consistent and it's fine. (to clarify, no need to spell out the rules for us, they just need to make sure they don't have anything in the game that is impossible according to other things happening in the game. Decent world-building and all that)

    11. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on October 9, 2012

      About Free Will: You cannot dismiss it so easily. I'd check up on a lot of philosophers first. The fact that it's all atoms isn't enough to conclude free will doesn't exist.
      In fact, it cannot even be proven that we're not all brains in a vat and the whole world is an illusion (the way we perceive it).

      Anyway, I like the combination of Sci Fi and Fantasy so far, and I do not have a problem with Time Travel.

    12. Missing avatar

      pid on October 9, 2012

      @yaron: I don't want to get into strange (and useless) discussions, but the brain is not just atoms. There are things (electrical charges) which are far too dynamic while atoms/molecule are more static in nature. So a brain and the decisions made don't just depend on neural pathways but also on something as intangible as the electron flow at a specified moment and the information it represents. Furthermore, not two objects can occupy the same space at the same time and there is the Pauli exclusion principle and the Heisenberg principle. In the end you can't reduce free will to such a static and materialistic view. That's why SCIENCE doesn't exclude it (yet). This does obviously not mean that there is free will, either. Just sayin' buddy :)

    13. Loot Drop Creator on October 9, 2012

      Such a fascinating discussion and passionate responses! Working on update stuff right now, but this is really thoughtful and appreciated argument and discourse!

    14. Missing avatar

      Ricks (deleted) on October 9, 2012

      The explanation makes some sense. But not enough. That which lays below the earth remains there, no matter how you want to travel back and forth in this existence. In fact only the moment exists and nothing else. Time travel is never logical nor from a philosophical point of view possible. It's not something you can rewind like a movie, unless it's a dream (it works in dreams) or a ... yeah, a projection, as mentioned. If it's a projection, then any time travel will never be a journey back to the "real" past, instead it can only end up getting lost in parallel universes, chaos and confusion :p

    15. Loot Drop Creator on October 9, 2012

      Thanks for the comments! There has been a concept in various time travel stories of time "healing" around minor disruptive events, or each event causing a split into two universes of possibility, two delta streams, then on the large scale could be considered a projection of probabilities. The deeper story goes into what their theories are about that...

      Something that tries to explore existential and ontological questions, free will, time travel, right and wrong and more gets a little credit for going there, yah? :)

    16. Missing avatar

      Yaron Davidson
      on October 9, 2012

      @Vestin - Free will - They're not talking about a physical free will, but about a social construct. We don't have free will, it's all the same atoms in the brain. Faced with the exact same situation you'll "always" make the exact same decision, you never "could have chosen differently" unless something in the situation was also different, so no physical free will. But just because free will doesn't have a physical existence doesn't mean it's not useful as a tool.
      Offer me a million dollars for my car, or threaten to kill all my family and friends if I don't give you my car, and if I believe you then you'll get my car. No real free will there, there's no way I could choose to keep my car in either scenario. But most of us do want to live in a society where the first way is a legitimate way to affect my decision, and the second isn't. So we call the first giving me an option to choose by my free will, and the second coercion, even though both, and pretty much anything else to which I'd agree, are technically coercion. We consider free will from a moral, social, and legal points, even if it doesn't really exist.

      About the time travel thing, mostly I get the feeling you may miss some of the point of fantasy, or non-hard-science-fiction. The game's universe doesn't have to work like our universe. Usually it rather explicitly doesn't.
      If you still want to try and stick to the same rules (and ignore, well, magic and such, because those are so realistic, yes?), the only thing preventing some technological way of "seeing" the future is the existence of many stochastic events. The further you go, the more stochastic events, and while these are overwhelmingly minor over time they can change things. So, well, you don't have any theoretical problem with seeing the future, as long as you accept the limitation that the future you see is one that depends on nothing non-deterministic happening. What you see won't be what really happens, due to effects of stochastic events, but it could be close. What you see also won't be happening if you allow time-travel into your current past, since that will be non-deterministic and change your original observation point. Also, as long as you accept that the observation point is from before the observation was made, there shouldn't be a problem with time-travel modifying things, since what you saw was the future assuming you hadn't seen the results, but since you saw them your actions change and so the final future change. This can be done fairly reasonably even if you do want to keep hard-sf and be as close as possible to real physics.
      Except that, well, again, this is a science-fiction/fantasy game right here, so insisting on playing by real rules on this regard, while waving on others, seems odd to me. The game universe, as the universe in any decent story, has to be self-consistent, and play by the rules it set up. But there's absolutely no requirement for its rules to be identical to ours.

      @Jurie - Albion was very good.

    17. Missing avatar

      Royce E on October 9, 2012

      I think the story is fine. It also presents a lot of possibilities. It of course requires some suspension of disbelieve as most things do (talking to some people above me :P) It reminds me of "The Dead Past" by Isaac Asimov more than anything.

    18. Missing avatar

      Ricks (deleted) on October 9, 2012

      @Vestin: actually I agree with you :(

    19. Armin Wolff on October 9, 2012

      Actually, the blend of fantasy and SF is one of two main reasons why the "Dark Savant" trilogy never made it into my list of favorite RPGs :-) For me personally, the mix in these games never worked and the story never really "got" me. What I didn't like about those was also the underlying RPG "ruleset", where player characters and NPCs always seemed to play by completely different rules...
      @Jurie Horneman: A pity there was never another "Albion" game. That one was so refreshingly different, it still brings back fond memories :-)
      Well.. need to start to advertise this project to some friends. 1.7m is still some way to go :-P

    20. Missing avatar

      cordell melgaard on October 9, 2012

      Keep it coming, sounded better each day.

    21. Missing avatar

      GoodKnight on October 9, 2012

      Wow! Sounds really interesting!

    22. Daniel M
      on October 9, 2012

      It is still unclear to me if we can completely customize the main character or not. Sure we can pick the class, skills, etc.., but it seems to me that the player is forced to play as James Connelly and with his background. Is this correct?

    23. Merin
      on October 9, 2012

      I like it!

    24. Cainoor on October 9, 2012

      Sound really good! :-)

    25. Patrick Reding on October 9, 2012

      "Shaker" would be a good name for the game, if not the series.

    26. Missing avatar

      Vestin on October 9, 2012

      Wow. I was really excited to see where this game was going... but after reading this post, I can no longer consciously support this project as a Philosophy major. I'm sorry, people - you either get clairvoyance or free will, you can't have both. Moreover - the ability to go back in time means that even without free will a single timeline is impossible to establish, unless there is some god that enforces a stable look (ruling out almost any semblance of contingency in the process).
      I'd LOVE some good ol' deeper thought put into the underlying ontology... Then again - I belong to a fringe target group, so you might as well ignore me ;P.

    27. Missing avatar

      Joshua Abbott on October 9, 2012

      This sounds great!

    28. Jurie Horneman
      on October 9, 2012

      @Armin Wolff: Thanks for the name check, I was co-designer and lead programmer on Albion! Which was released in English by the way, not just in German. Anyway, off-topic. Go Brenda and Tom!

    29. Bofferbrauer on October 9, 2012

      @Odd Ball
      Felpurr Priest? Odd combination if you ask me. Then again, I went with Dracon Bishop and Dwarven Monk, so I might count as Odd as well ;)

      @Armin Wolff:
      The Late Wizardry Series (parts VI-8) also had much Sci-fi in their Games, particulary the 2 last ones. And they where superbly integrated and blended well with the more Fantasy-like parts of the games

      Any chance to get the same Voice actors as in Wizardry 8/Jagged Alliance 2? They did a marvellous Job back then imo

    30. Armin Wolff on October 9, 2012

      This story starts to sound absolutely intriguing!
      I'm usually very sceptical about the mixing of fantasy and SF genres in games (so far, imho, it has been done right once, in an obscure german game named "Albion" back in 1996), but this exposition really has me hooked.
      Now I really hope you can get enough media hype running to make the 1.9m stretch goal, so we get to see the whole thing... All the best luck with that! :-)

    31. Alexandre Devilliers on October 9, 2012

      Wow, I hope both games get funded!!!! :)
      The story feels amazing (reminds me a little bit of the Chrono Trigger story in a way, time travel, prevent war...).

    32. William C Crawford on October 9, 2012

      This description makes me way more excited about the game. You need to get this up *high* on the description page to attract people.

    33. pclabtech on October 9, 2012

      Very nice dialog! At least the storyline is a good indication of what to expect for Lore... but for some reason I now can't get out of my head the song...

      In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may try....

    34. Jonas Salonen on October 9, 2012

      Yeah, that story is quite exciting!

    35. Missing avatar

      alefu on October 9, 2012

      Just to clarify: Is this the description of your company or the history of the game? Both would be nice! :-)

    36. Ber on October 9, 2012

      Fantastic prologue and story concept. It got me off the fence and backing!

    37. Barry Pitcher on October 9, 2012

      I'll be honest. I am with quite a few people in thinking that this project has not been managed as well as it could have been and probably was started sooner than it should have, however.....

      That is probably the best prologue to a game I have seen in quite some time. The more details like that get revealed the better for everyone.

    38. Łukasz Hajnc on October 9, 2012

      Since long time Im wheiting for good old-style Sci-Fi RPG. It promises to be amazing game. cool concept. :-)

    39. Missing avatar

      David Holmin on October 9, 2012

      Intriguing! Very old school story in the way it builds around a grand concept, and makes it seem anything might await the player. Makes me think of things like The Longest Journey or Outcast. Looking forward to the gameplay/combat update, which might make me up my pledge if I like it. :)

    40. Loot Drop Creator on October 9, 2012

      The story is the game! It carries very heavily into it, yes.

    41. Trond Solberg on October 9, 2012

      I really like where this is going! I love sci-fi!

    42. ET3D on October 9, 2012

      Sounds cool. I'm still waiting to hear whether this story carries heavily into the game, once the character is marooned. Does the story build towards a conclusion regarding the disappearing galaxy? If not, that would be disappointing.

    43. OddBall on October 9, 2012

      The plot thickens, lets keep at it people!

      I want to be playing a party that consists of a Gnome Mage, Human Valkyrie, Hobbit Thief and a Fellpuur Priest :)!

    44. Jay on October 9, 2012

      James Connelly also looks bad ass.

    45. Jay on October 9, 2012

      Wow! Super deep and I love it. This story will be amazing & I cannot wait to experience it.