My Time At Sandrock is the sequel to the highly successful life-simulation game, My Time At Portia. Developed by Pathea, My Time At Sandrock was originally considered as a DLC for the first game. But the avid fan support on Kickstarter allowed it to develop into a sequel instead.
My Time At Sandrock has an Early Access release date of May 26th 2022 on Steam and Epic Games. (Unfortunately for console players, you’ll need to wait until 2023 for its release). And just like any Early Access version of any game, Pathea will continue to add regular updates from new features, missions, character dialogue etc.
If you’ve played My Time At Portia, you can expect the same wonderful life sim mechanics that were in the original game but with some added upgrades. From farming, crafting, combat, relationship building and all those wonderful life-sim mechanics. As the developers write “This is not a simple reskin and rewrite of Portia with new NPCs.”
Before the game comes out next month let’s get into everything we know, and everything that’s changed from My Time At Portia.
The Mining Town Of Sandrock
Amongst the Alliance of Free Cities lies the rugged mining town of Sandrock. Just like My Time at Portia, the game takes place in a wholesome post-apocalyptic world. A world where humans have successfully restarted civilization after, long ago, nearly destroying themselves through greed, unbridled technology, and warfare.
Sandrock is a city-state located in the Eufaula Desert. It was founded beside Martle’s Oasis on top of an ancient metropolis. At first, the city attracted many prospectors interested in an extensive supply of relics hidden beneath the desert, but, as time went on, the oasis dried up, leaving the city unable to sustain a large population. Many people left, leaving the place in its vagarious state found today.
Unlike the somewhat developed town of Portia, Sandrock is a town struggling on the brink of ruin. When you first arrive shops are run down, buildings are empty and there’s an exodus of people ready to leave. It’s up to you to help unite the townsfolk and rebuild Sandrock into a city of prosperity.
The Sandrock Biosphere
Unlike the fertile and resource dense lands of Portia, Sandrock is a barren desert wasteland that’s beautiful in its own way. But of course, the nature of its biosphere will run your builder into challenges that they haven’t faced before.
One of the main differences is that water and wood are at a premium in Sandrock. What with it being a desert and all. The only source of water is from Martle’s Oasis and what little trees were in the area were harvested by the original settlers long ago. This gives the game a much different feel as you’ll be required to utilise alternative resources which could lend you to building things that are more sandstone or rock-based.
What resource Sandrock does have is its richness in relics. And the developers have promised a beautiful open world for you to explore, gather materials and build your homestead. There will be hills, canyons, salt plains and breathtaking ruins for you to explore in My Time At Sandrock. New environmental weather will also play a part and the dev diaries show that sandstorms are to be expected.
The My Time At Sandrock Story
The story is one of the features that Pathea is focusing on for the sequel. “We wanted to have the overall story arc be more satisfying, but also with more focus on each individual NPC.”
Chronologically, this game takes place around the same time as My Time at Portia. So if you’ve played the previous game, you’ll be able to see certain events that influenced Portia’s development from a new perspective.
Following up on the story writing, My Time At Sandrock also promises to deliver more complex character personalities with intricate backstories. “We’ve written a new AI system for this game so that the characters will behave more “alive” than in My Time at Portia” say the developers.
Almost all of them will have character-specific questlines and have much more dialogue. And each romanceable character will have unique personalised quests for each. The relationships are, once again, more than just something extra to do in the game; they’re tied together with the overall game loop. If you have a good relationship with a specific character, you’ll unlock perks such as new missions, stat boosts, cheaper goods, or a more willing hand to help out when you need it.
There will also be some characters from the original My Time At Portia game that will be coming over to Sandrock. Do you remember that handsome young engineer? Mint is the familiar face that will be there to give you a helping hand at Sandrock. And it’s already been teased that Ginger and her family will be visiting Sandrock during your stay there.
We’ll probably go into a whole separate article that features all the new characters and romanceable ones for My Time At Sandrock!
The desert biome of Sandrock will attract different types of monsters than Portia. There’s a huge variety of creatures with much more sophisticated AI. Meaning that their actions will be more varied than in the previous game. They’ll work in mobs, change their behaviour based on the time of day etc.
The creature design in My Time At Sandrock looks wonderfully whimsical as well. Most of the animals look suited to living in a desert type-environment. That half-cactus creature fits very well, but I’m not sure about that fire-breathing chicken…
There are of course new mounts and pets that are more suited to the sand. So goodbye lamas and hello camels and yaks!
The battle system in My Time At Sandrock is getting an upgrade from the fairly simplistic button mashing of My Time At Portia. There is more depth in the types of enemies that we highlighted earlier, but also in terms of gameplay, skill development and dungeons.
The revamped combat system will allow players to quickly shift between melee combat and 3rd person shooting mechanics.
Interestingly My Time At Sandrock is not only introducing multiplayer, but their multiplayer will have a completely different storyline than that of the single-player experience. “We’re going to have a dedicated single-player RPG and a special mode where friends or strangers can play together.”
The multiplayer storyline will take place before the events of the single-player storyline. As a kind of prequel to the main storyline. “You can view it as an alternative compressed timeline that chronicles what happens before the player arrives in Sandrock. You’ll meet some familiar friends in their younger years as well as new locals.”
The features of the multiplayer mode will be focused on cooperation. You’ll be able to donate resources to other players and share a goal to build something. As well as go on adventures together where you can heal your injured friend.
The multiplayer mode is still in early development and for now, you’ll be matched with 4 other players for this mode.