My Time at Portia looks like a relaxing Stardew Valley sort of game

My Time at Portia

My Time At Portia [official site] is a post-apocalyptic RPG. But if this is what the world looks like after an apocalypse then (WARNING: HOT TAKE INCOMING) maybe Donald Trump is the best thing that could’ve happened to us. It’s absolutely gorgeous, full of colour and wacky characters, like bears in blue and gold dressing gowns.

The premise is that you arrive in Portia and start with a basic workshop, and it’s your goal to grow your business from there. You’ll explore the town and surrounding areas, talk to NPCs (all of whom have routines and backstories), cut down trees, craft items and fight monsters. It looks like a mix between Harvest Moon, Minecraft, and Stardew Valley, which are a few of my favourite things. It’s playable right now via a free alpha build that you can download here (it’s worming its way onto my PC as I type this).

Here’s how developers Pathea Games describe it:

“The goal of the game is to make the workshop as big as possible. Players can gather materials from an open world. Cut down tree, pick up herbs, mine in ruins, even plant your own garden. There are vast areas for the player to explore around Portia. Deserts, islands, reefs, highlands, marshlands, and more! Each area bringing their own unique items and monsters.

“We want to enrich the world with other NPCs that have their unique behaviors. Characters will go to school, do their jobs, workout, and have fun. They also have unique stories for the player to experience. The player will be able to get into relationships with other characters, be them friendships or romances. Romances can end in marriages.”

And here’s a shiny trailer:

The alpha build went live last week and the developers are clearly listening to the community, because they’ve just published a blog based on player feedback that outlines some future changes.

“We’re now much more confident in our approach to the gameplay than before. We’ve already moved on to the next build, which is due later this month, still free. In the next several postings over the next few weeks leading up to the release, I’ll be addressing what we’re working on.”

The final release is due in October. If, like me, you want to keep an eye on progress then it’s worth checking into the game’s itch.io’s page occasionally. It also has a Steam page.

Like what you see?

(Annoyingly, I have that stupid Nelly ‘Hey Porsche’ song stuck in my head now…)

21 Comments

  1. peterako1989 says:

    It took me a bit to realise it was not your literal time, but the game’s title.

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    The premise is that you arrive in Portia

    I bet lots of guys have arrived in Portia.

    (sorry…)

    • frightlever says:

      Ellen might disagree with you.

      So this is by the guys who did Planet Explorers? That game, as far as I can see from the Steam Discussions, is still far from perfect so hopefully this doesn’t signal that development has finished for PE. That said, I played so much of PE when it was in alpha that I haven’t even looked at it since it released on Steam. Beautiful game world with a… quirky UI.

      Based on the fun I had with PE I’m definitely trying the alpha demo for MTaP.

      (Okay, did some digging – like a journalist might do – Portia is considered a limited scope side project for Pathea, and PE is still being developed, but I get the impression they’re basically papering over the cracks at this stage.)

      • frightlever says:

        You can play an older build demo of PE from here:

        link to store.steampowered.com

        I doubt I’d recommend buying the game unless you pick it up in a sale. Their ambition for it was ridiculous so I’m not really surprised that they ultimately failed, but certainly worth trying the demo for free.

  3. LUrabbi says:

    “Romances can end in marriages.”

    Well, that’s an unintentionally depressing phrase.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Only if your perspective is that 100% of romances *should* end in marriage…

      …frankly, I find THAT more dispiriting.

      • bob22 says:

        *Whoosh*

        “Romances can end in marriages” implies that the romance ends when the marriage begins, which is what’s depressing.

        • snv says:

          Actually it says almost nothing, since “can” is such a weak word:
          A given romance might end in a marriage, or it might not. Or it might end in multiple marriages!
          All in that quote, without even touching that ambiguity of “end”

  4. Danarchist says:

    I played through the available content and loved that to pieces. I am really looking forward to the full game. It’s like stardew valley minus about half the busy work. It is however a very simple game. If you are the type of person that craves challenge in video games that you cannot bear in life, this might not be the title for you :)
    But hey, free demo, about 500mb, try for yourself!

  5. DeadlyAccurate says:

    I gave it about 30 minutes. I like it, but I’d rather wait for the release. It’s quite charming and stylish.

  6. TotallyUseless says:

    looks like a Korean MMO married with Harvest Moon. A 3D farming game is good tho!

    And why the heck is there a Tuktuk (tricycle cab) there? Are the developers Malaysians/Indonesians?

    • mitthrawnuruodo says:

      I have seen those in India as well. Many more than in Malaysia. They can be from anywhere in South / South-East Asia actually.

      Edit : Apparently they are “located in Memphis, USA and Chongqing, China.”

      • syndrome says:

        Wait, you’re telling me that a couple of guys from Memphis are copying/imitating already established ideas, then do the fundraising in the USA, then they outsource the actual work to some guys from Chongqing because they’re cheaper? No! I believe they are great game designers, born to be creating games.

        Chongqing: “Please sir, give us some food on the table, we’ll do your biddings, we can make games for you”

        Memphis: “Oooh, I get to design a game (and do nothing in general), you got it! Money is everywhere where I live, and everybody does game design anyway, somehow it’s a prosperous industry.”

        Chongqing: “Whoopie, no more copper mining for us! You’ll even get a tuktuk for free!”

        Memphis: “Ok, nice, it’ll be a multicultural and exotic game. Let’s copy Stardew Valley but… (drum roll) … in 3D! And multiplayer, and make it a space game with ships that can be sold before we finish it. And microtransactions. But it’s a paid game… WAIT! Set monocle to 70 euroes. That’s fine. No you haven’t copied Harvest Moon enough. Stop, it looks like Minecraft too much, don’t want Microsoft on my tail.”

        Chongqing: “Uh oh you’re making this feel like a copper mine all over again..”

        Memphis: “What’s that?! I can’t hear you over the sound of how proliferating game designer I am. I can’t make agreements anymore, I’m preparing a press conference.”

        Chongqing: “Nothing sir, nothing, here’s a tuktuk in hopes you feed us in time. And some crappy animations.”

        Memphis: “Balloon scene: make it so the boy appears as if he wants to grab her ass… Yesss, that’s it.”

        People: “Oohh what a lovely game! Too bad we’re oblivious to what’s actually going on behind the stage.”

        • lordcooper says:

          You’re a bit insane.

          • syndrome says:

            Thank you.

            “The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.”

            Y’know, more often than not, sheer truth sounds like insanity with too much salt in it. There are people in this world who are aware of the murky waters like noone else. And whaddya know, they’re typically discriminated by the society, because other, thick-skinned people, generally want to live in a happy happy bubble.

            Even Nazi people, if you think about it — those who personally commited terrible attrocities — imagined their lives as if there was a great, benevolent, purpose to them, full of joy.

            Someone has to highlight the already existing dark tones in everything, especially if one can smell it from afar. Memphis and Chongqing are equally far away from me, but some things can’t fool me. I, at least, have the balls to say it out loud.

            I’ve seen too much about the world and have endured too much bullshit that crept out of it, I have evolved into a perceptron for human motivations, and got better at projecting such motivations into the future. I know how simple people truly are.

            Games are created with various goals in mind. Rarely it is too feel proud about it. Rarely it is so you can feel good about a holy mission that was bestowed upon you, without a single word. Rarely it’s an art. Rarely it has anything to do with values or proper emotions, and it should, otherwise your coherence washes away like expensive cocaine on a jacuzzi. TRY IT! I don’t know anyone who had actually found true happiness doing it. It just sounds “successful”, although it’s a childish dream of doing whatever was wrong, forbidden, or unreachable in the past. A naive fixation of success, until one “achieves” it. It’s designed that way, so the climb feels awesome, until you reach the top.

            No, it is more likely that these people simply manipulate the crowd, tinker the buyer’s perception, while they do nothing new, and aren’t commited to anything in particular, something almost everybody already does, and then they get away with it (and earn loads of money in the process, for basically nothing). It’ll also be full of bugs, many of which will never get sorted. The game will be abandoned after it turns to be not-so-profitable after a while. It is shit! And I’m not talking about its genre or the way its presented. It will have clunky control, it will have disproportionate art, too many glitches and invisible walls. Crafting will be shit, making friends will be shit.

            Too many people are in it for the money alone, and you can see it with your eyes if you look very closely. They will cut the corners, they will do everything as cheaply as possible, they will copy others a lot, they will play on hype, they will play on human emotions, much before there is anything tangible that can be properly evaluated. They are poor in values. That’s how this industry is full of disappointments.

            It’s simple: THERE IS NO PRODUCT, OTHER THAN DISAPPOINTMENT, because they play with people’s wants.

            They stick your wants all over it, and you’re like “I want it, this is what I like” and no, you really wanted something else, and just fell for the marketing.

          • Premium User Badge

            Nauallis says:

            tl;dr: cocaine jacuzzi

    • bob22 says:

      Do you have to be from an Asian country to include a Tuk-Tuk in your game?

      Also: I know a guy that owns a tut-tuk and he’s English (shock horror). I’ve even seen them in London (faints).

    • jonahcutter says:

      Maybe because they’re kinda cool?

  7. Premium User Badge

    nitwit says:

    I want to play this, but I think I’ll wait for the full release. I can’t stand playing unfinished games.

    Also, why the h*ck do I love farming games so much…?

  8. khalilravanna says:

    It looks fantastic. Though, I have to say I kind of hate the character models. They looks really blah and uninspired like Jimmy Neutron or something. Especially contrasted with the rather fantastic and whimsical environments and all the other models shown in the trailer.

  9. Sc0r says:

    I reaaaall loved Planet Explorers. This one looks, even with the more comic-like theme, more matured gamedevelopment wise from what I can judge from that short trailer.