My Time at Portia is the latest release from prolific publisher Team17 and Chinese Developer Panthea Games. It features gameplay that draws inspiration from Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. In fact, calling this a 3D Stardew Valley wouldn’t be unfair. It’s a compliment if you know my feelings about that game. You’ll be taking over your father’s abandoned workshop and working to restore it to glory and make a name for yourself in the town of Portia. At the beginning of the game, it’ll feel like there’s a lot going on. This guide will hopefully allow you to focus your time in the beginning!
Get used to time
Like the aforementioned games, time is a factor in Portia. From morning to night, the clock will be ticking and it’ll impact the world around you. You obviously won’t be able to enter some buildings too early or too late. On the weekend some services will be shuttered. If you stay up too late you’ll collapse and be penalized. Getting used to how much time you have will really help you plan your days. I always started with some gathering nearby home, then try to get my business in town around 10 am before focusing on my task for the day until around 10 pm where I stay near home. That isn’t perfect but you definitely need to come up with your own plan to structure your days. At 3 am you will collapse on the spot. Do not let this happen.
Consider your Spending
Portia’s currency Gols aren’t the easiest to come by at the beginning. It’s important to plan your spending while you play. For example, to enter the abandoned dungeon and go mining it’ll first cost you 80 gols for a week pass. After this first time, it’ll cost 200. Without this, you’ll lock yourself out of key resources like copper and tin ore. You’ll also need upgraded kits to upgrade your gear to mine better materials. These aren’t overly expensive but they’re worth buying early on. The final important early use of gols is to expand your inventory. It costs 400 first time, second time 600 and I assume it’ll keep increasing. It’s worth it. How do you earn gols though?
Don’t be a Spanner, be a Planner
Gols are primarily earned through completing contracts that you accept at the town hall. There will always be a choice available and you should really plan how you’re going to approach them. Don’t accept a contract if you know it’ll take you the full amount of time given. Take an easy contract and complete it in a day or two while also working towards the harder contracts. Sometimes contracts will be for items that you have never owned or heard of. Head to your work station and it’ll show you not just what you need to create an item but where to get. Bronze ingots will be an obvious one. Shell necklaces or stone stools not so obvious. Planning ahead and having a good knowledge of how to get/create certain items will be a big advantage.
It’s like Dark Souls…
JK. Not actually JK though. There is one aspect of gameplay big thing that Portia and FromSoftware‘s epic series share: stamina management. Not that you’ll spend a lot of time in Portia grappling with huge grotesque beasts in order to cure an evil curse. You might later on, who knows (doubt it). But you do have a stamina bar and keeping an eye on it is very important. It determines exactly what you’ll be spending your time doing. Chopping down a tree? Stamina cost. Mining? Stamina cost. Gathering? Stamina cost. If you know you’ll be spending a day down the mine don’t waste stamina gathering stone en route.
Skill tree manipulation
There is experience in Portia. You gain it for the vast majority of actions that you’ll take. Mine, get XP. Chop, XP. Complete missions, obviously XP. Every time you level up you have the chance to spend a skill point. Some of the later skills are handy but choosing the right skills early on will give you a big advantage. For example, all of the exp boosts are brilliant to get right away. Some skills give you the chance to get double materials from harvesting. Again these are very helpful early on.
Learn the Land
Get used to the town and the people! Make sure to go around, chat to everyone. Try and get a grasp of their personalities and what sets them apart. Just have a chat whenever you pass by anyone and you’ll get a bit of handy knowledge for the future. It also helps when you get quests involving certain people. Being able to find them quickly will be a great help. Knowing where each building is and what is in it is great too. Once you start gathering interesting items, such as data discs, knowing to head straight to the research center will be a big boon in your quest. This is true for vendors as well. Each will have unique stocks and can save you a lot of time hunting for some items.
This isn’t Animal Crossing. Making your house a hoarder’s paradise will actually be a great benefit to the gameplay! Household items like sofas, clocks, fans and, er, phone booths will be really useful. They might make your house look like a bad episode of Storage Wars but they’ll turn your character into a force to be reckoned with when they give you health and stamina boosts.