Had a good time playing this! Great art!
The Paper Pilot
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So to be perfectly blunt, I was initially put off by the looks of the game - the basic thumbnail, the default Unity buttons, the slightly blurry default Unity text (I’d recommend switching to TextMesh Pro), and a generally uninspired interface with a lot of dead space, and a couple issues with text going outside its containers. Sorry, I know this is a bit harsh but first impressions make a big difference so its important to get it right.
That all said, I do really like the whole premise of eras being levels, and progressing through them. I think this could be a pretty strong game, if the interface is improved. In addition to what I said above, some QoL features could go a long way - how much currency am I making per second? What goal do I have to hit to move to the next era? etc.
The balancing also isn’t perfect. It’s a bit slow (especially since the goal for each era is unknown), and the beginning of each era is identical, which gets stale.
Fun game! This feels like a pretty standard modern incremental game, with inspiration for certain mechanics from things like AD NG+3 and Distance Incremental. You can tell its a Mr Red Shark game. Decent balancing, although a bit too linear/whack-a-mole and idle for my tastes. I wish I could’ve seen a bit more pushing the envelope / experimentation, since game jams are a perfect setting for that. But overall you did a great job :)
I will, however, critique that the theme was not really incorporated into the mechanics at all. The main currency could have been called whatever, and the game would’ve worked equally well.
Love the art in this game! It’s very pretty, and a decent amount of fun. I enjoyed the progress bars everywhere, for upgrade affordability.
Balancing wise, I’m unsure why the future is so much stronger than the past. Especially since they give out their rewards more frequently - I’d expect the slower one to give enough that its spare time/second would be higher, to make up for its low frequency.
The game gets a bit stale about half way through. Spare time is a bit of a closed loop, game design wise. The only thing it’s used for, apart from increasing its own gain, is buying the upgrade to increase energy capacity. But ultimately those unlocks aren’t very expensive and you’ll have enough to afford every age around midgame.
I’d have loved to see some way to increase energy gain through any way besides dying. A lot of the end game was just spent waiting for energy to increase so I could go to every single age, which was the only thing I could see that could potentially progress the game, if there was any more to see. I was a bit disappointed when nothing happened after unlocking the last one - a simple “You win / the game is over” screen would’ve been nice.
To be honest, I think this game is obnoxiously slow and doesn’t have any interesting gameplay - just wait, and buy the upgrades sequentially when they become affordable. Then wait more - a lot more.
I’m also concerned with its relevance to the theme. While the currencies are called milliseconds and seconds, mechanically they’re not really attached to real life time, and could have been called any noun and worked equally well.
Interesting game! I like that its 3D. It’s fairly basic mechanically, but I enjoyed it. It was satisfying whenever I could make a specific tier in 1 crank + removal, so I could just buy all the parts without disassembling and assembling the clock. Especially as I improve the tools and more and more of it is automated. Fun - I absolutely love time being the currency, but only accumulating it with the weight and the clock. Mechanic advantage FTW! :)
I will say, as you get along the pacing gets a bit grind-y, which I’m not a huge fan of. Sure you get more time per cycle, but you need more and more cycles per upgrade.
This game looks great, and has some very satisfying clicks when placing pieces. Although, I’m not really getting a strong sense of progression / incremental vibe from it. Sure it has passive income through monkeys, but those just reward me for not playing the game :/
So… I kinda don’t see a clear goal? Once I’ve made a couple watches, I think I’ve seen everything. There’s only a couple configurations for the gears, and the special orders are just time limited versions that you just can’t do unless you buy a bunch of parts… but why? I literally just don’t see any reason to make a watch, let alone a special order.
This game has a good amount of content, and I love the “polynomial growth, but with a time limit” concept - reminds me of “fighting time” from the last jam. Unfortunately, I think this game is too slow and linear. I’m just pressing buttons in the order I’m told to, with no amount of choice. The order of upgrades is very nearly entirely enforced, due to the time limit making it so I can’t even decide to idle towards the next goal. This applies through probably the first 3 factories. Technically the city tab is non-linear, but from my experience it doesn’t make enough of a difference to impact the actual gameplay in the factory tab.
So I like the amount of content, I think there’s just too long of a wait between seeing it - especially needing to do multiple factories before getting enough to buy something new in the city tab. After the factory tab gets mostly automated, my time is just spent occasionally checking if it needs me to reset the loop, or buy a factory upgrade. Frankly, it’s boring, especially doing it for as long as the game expects me to.
Wow! This has a ton of content, and I love the groundhog life style gameplay - especially with the whole ! Super fun, and I love the care that has been put into everything. Also love to see a narrative in an incremental game, which is especially impressive to see in a game jam entry.
I will say, sometimes it felt a bit annoying to re-run through the stage 1 part due to a new upgrade or strategy. Also not being able to see previously set auto buy limits was a bit cumbersome. I’d almost rather some sort of screen where I can just say “start all automation from the start, here are the maxes, now simulate everything and show me the final results” (or at least simulate it at a much faster speed).
An incremental with a lose state! Love to see it :) And oh boy do those sandstorms come in harsh!
Honestly, really like this survival incremental game. Like a minimal, desert themed “frostpunk”. Like the 4X style research tree, and in general the mechanics are just really fun and work well together. I like that there is a solid base that is built upon, and can continue to be built upon.
Definitely one of the stronger games this jam! Although, I will admit I don’t think it will receive as good of a score for relating to “time” as the other entries. While time is involved - time passes, and things like building and expeditions take a certain amount of days to complete - it’s not as thematically based around time as some other entries.
This was a nice game! I like the story, and going further and further back in time. I was initially very rushed, and wished the cutscenes would pause the timer (or that manual pausing was implemented), but very quickly I got to the ~1000x slower speed limit, and it became a non-issue.
It was a bit slow at times, and nothing I could do sped anything up. It said buying the auto-buyers would potentially speed them up, but I literally would buy 100 with no perceptible difference. Made it really annoying in the last 2 sections, just needing to wait because I need so many items, and they are generated at a set speed.
I like the idea a lot, although I think there was some missed potential with making how quickly you can perform the speedruns being more than just a binary win/fail system. A bit click heavy at times - while I think it makes sense to require fast, active play to simulate performing a speedrun, I don’t think clicking as fast as you can is a great way to do that. Overall, a good enjoyable game - it has a good amount of content for a jam game, but I’d love to see more that further explore the premise!
Fantastic game! Definitely the most fun of the ones I’ve played thus far! Tons of content, that’s very well balanced, with awesome time altering mechanics. Love your art style you’ve continued to improve, moving to images but keeping the nostalgic @ sign for the player - a lovely nod to your previous game, CLEANSED, and rogue!
I’d honestly love to see even more content in this game! It’s a really solid foundation.
Interesting interpretation of the theme to refer to “doing hard time”.
There’s a couple bits that I think could use explanation, like that stardust are “*” symbols, since by color coding it looks like the “!” symbols could be stardust. And it seems a location is “finished” once you touch each “!” symbol and collect each “*”, but I’m not sure if that’s correct. Also some of the “!” symbols indicate they did something, like the one that improves dexterity, but can still be collected multiple times. What about the ones that seem more like flavor text - did they actually do something that was just a bit unclear?
From what I can tell, I can kill a cop by moving into it when it’s not actively searching for me - this would be useful to tell the player. Also it made a pretty easy strat where you make the cop path to you while you’re next to a teleporter, then go into it, and back through once the cop is there. Insta-kill.
Also, very cool making a rogue-like system!
Very interesting game! I think the automation system is very interesting. Not sure how Robin was able to make a loop though - you can’t have two hourglasses start each other, because you have to be in recording mode so making one start the other must also reset the other.
I think the game could use some way of explaining mechanics to the player, and maybe having some sort of overall goal to work towards. It’s also a bit click heavy for my tastes, but that’s more of a personal preference.
Love the art. Good job!
Thanks! It’s been probably a decade and a half since the last time I had to write a “stream of consciousness”, but I think it came out fairly well given the time constraints. It was honestly a bit of a nice break from the actual coding parts of the project haha.
Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it! This is a bit more narratively driven than other incrementals (although due to time constraints the story isn’t great haha). You were on the right track though: the develop action was the way to advance!
Thanks! Cultist simulator was a big inspiration when designing the game. There was originally a school mechanic that would’ve gotten numbers a bit bigger and more like an incremental game, but it got cut due to time restraints.
I’m not a big fan of time walls and stuff, so I don’t think I would’ve ever implemented something that makes it an idle game. To be honest, I think the incremental games genre has moved away from that a bit, which frankly I’m glad to see as I enjoy the more active incrementals more myself.
I appreciate the feedback about there being a clear optimal strategy. I totally agree with you there. With more time for development I would’ve liked to implement more actions and resources that would ideally have forced the player to make sacrifices in order to be productive on the game. Plus with more random events the player would’ve needed to adapt to change more.
Thanks for playing!
It was definitely a learning experience haha. The whole thing is really just a vulkan renderer, basically. Supporting opengl would mean rewriting the whole thing.
Fortunately, I’ve already rewritten sands of time in a more balanced and fun way, although without the flashy background, as part of a larger project called Kronos. It isn’t public yet but you can see previews of it on my discord server.
Oh, wow I really thought it was "bare" when used in that sense. I looked it up and it definitely would be "bear" not "bare". Thank you for the correction. I'm not sure I'll be making a new build of this game any time soon, but I'll correct that for if/ when that happens.
If your computer is using intel integrated graphics, then the drivers you need should be the ones here: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005629/graphics.html
If that still isn't working, DM me the error message and I can look into it. Sorry for the difficulties!
that error message means your graphics drivers are out of date. This program uses vulkan, which is fairly new. You should be able to run the program if you download the latest drivers for your graphics card
Someone on reddit suggested vsync and I've added it to my list of things to add to the engine itself. Serializing data to save/load state is also in the pipeline, the engine is just very WIP at the moment.
The high GPU usage is probably for the background, and disabling special effects should make that go down tremendously. The background is actually a slightly modified version of this shader on a flat plane, and if you read through what the shader is doing I think its understandable why it'd use the GPU as much as it does. I'd made the decision to use it because I thought it looked nice and the game still ran at many hundreds of FPS, but I added the toggle to disable it in case lower end PCs couldn't get to a reasonable framerate with it on.
Thank you for playing the game :)
This is using a custom engine I made and uses several features preventing it from being ported to the browser. Most likely any issues you're having can be fixed by updating your graphics drivers, but if that doesn't work feel free to contact me with the error message you're receiving :)
I'm enjoying this program but a couple UI/X decisions seem a little weird to me, as others have pointed out. What's really bothering me is I like having detailed to-do items and since everything is all uppercase and single-line, I can't view my entire items without individually double clicking the task to put it on edit mode, and then using the arrow keys to slowly scroll the text so I can read it.