The PC version is now available! Check it out here on itch.io!

This is the original PICO-8 edition of a larger upcoming game. It's pay-what-you-want - all money earned here will go towards the development of the full version.

The PC version adds a council of five races with varying technology and philosophical outlook, a replayable campaign mode, revamped procedurally-generated graphics, and many other features - while still keeping the swift gameplay of this preview. If you'd like to stay up-to-date with the progress, check out the Discord server or the Twitter feed.

How to play

There is an animated quickstart guide, but here is the shortest possible version:

Drag the map around using the right mouse button or the SDFE keys. Click to drop a wormhole that will become your starting point. Then click and drag to find some planets, which you can colonize with your chosen industry type. Drag from planet to planet to connect them with a slipway. Try to connect planets that make stuff with planets that need it. Buy structures by dragging them from the bottom-right corner. Research technologies from the top-left corner. Click the heart symbol to check your score.

Make the biggest, baddest, most prosperous empire possible!

Credits

The game design, coding and graphics are all by me - Jakub Wasilewski. All things audio by Gruber.

This game would not be possible without the help of my Patreon supporters, including these top-tier heroes: Tomasz Bylina, Adam Kwapiński, Thorsten Schleinzer, Marc Holmes, Grzegorz Dałek, Andreas Bretteville, Carlos Pardo. Thank you!

StatusReleased
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Rating
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(369 total ratings)
AuthorJakub Wasilewski
GenreStrategy
Made withAseprite, PICO-8
Tags4X, Economy, Mouse only, PICO-8, Pixel Art, Sci-fi, Singleplayer, Space, Space Sim, Turn-based
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
LanguagesEnglish
InputsMouse
LinksHomepage

Download

Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

PICO-8 Cartridge 49 kB
Downloadable version (Windows) 908 kB
if you pay $5 USD or more
Downloadable version (Linux) 510 kB
if you pay $5 USD or more
Downloadable version (OS X) 3 MB
if you pay $5 USD or more
PICO-8 Source Code (.p8) 112 kB
if you pay $5 USD or more

Development log

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 144 · Next page · Last page

managed to explore an entire system

I would love it if this game had an endless mode that autogenerate new sectors via a struceure and had no time limit

Fantastic game! I think it would be nice if you could use planets like gas giants or iceballs to connect other planets and transport resources.

that's what the slipgates are for.

(+1)

Any chance for an android version?

(+1)

i dont know what you put in this game but i've spent several hours just doing the same thing over and over and will probably continue to do so. i fear what will happen when i eventually buy the finished version. 

Blown away, didn't even finish a match. Exploring the game without reading the wiki was my best decision in a videogame in a long while. The fact that this is also the <3 Pico-8 is utterly fascinating. :D I am happy.

Great Game!

(+3)

Can you add an endless mode? I enjoy the game but feel it is too short!

(+4)

been playing 3 hours still haven't got over 1 star, 10/10

There isn't any sound any more

this game was good

installing with itch.io client doesnt work for me on win 10 :/

(2 edits) (+1)

with the tutorial i understood the mechanics. fun little thing.

why esdf and not wasd?

would like to see a way to delete a slipway

fax an undo button would be amazing

it would, in free play. i believe that forcing the player to decide adds a layer of strategic complexity to the game, but i am also just a game design student so im not the most researched in the topic. as a player though i enjoy having to stop and think before selecting am optio

(+2)

I just don't get this game. It honestly feels very luck dependent as if your starting area has bad planets, that just snowballs into not being able to do anything until much later, by which time any chance of a good score is gone. Is there some obvious strategy I am missing or is it just reset until I get a good start?

(+2)(-1)

Just keep playing, and if it still doesn't click, maybe the game just is not for you. 

(+2)(-1)

Also, remember, this is basically a demo. 

(1 edit)

i feel like something to keep in mind is that some of the strategic planning comes from deciding which planets to use and which to ignore, as well as when to use planets. i hope this helps

Also just because a planet is unhappy doesn’t mean you have to satisfy it.

doesn't work for me on MM+ latest onion FW / Fake08

gives error cart not found

tried changing the extension, checked gameslist.xml seems fine

have the PC game already and was really keen to try it but am at a loss here

have many other PICO 8games running all of those have .p8.png extension as well

Not sure what the acronyms you use are referring to, are those emulators, hardware?

If yes, I'm afraid I can't help much with troubleshooting - I can only test on actual PICO-8 and in-browser.

thanks for responding, I am referring to running the game on the Miyoo Mini Plus handheld emulator using the Fake-08 core (which itself is being managed by Retroarch i think)

I realized it is actually working and to get it starting properly I just need to load Retroarch and do a 'restart game'.  Then it loads to the title screen as it should.

That said once is loads it shows a mouse cursor but no way to control the mouse cursor using the miyoo dpad or buttons.  Usually one can remap the inputs in retroarch but it doesn't give any way to remap mouse.

I realize you didn't build this game with this handheld console/emulator in mind so not expecting you to give a solution.  In fact big thanks for making these great games!

I am sure there are other ppl than I who would also love to run your game on it.  Having slipways running on such a pocketable device would be awesome. So in case anyone else knows how to get the mouse controls working for slipways on a MYM+ let us know! :)

Still having fun enjoying this game :D

(+1)

awesome, game putting the steam release on my wishlist. my best score on challenging so far:

(+1)

 now it is reasonable to buy the game

(1 edit) (+2)

man this game is good to play, its a stress relief once i understand how the game works. i just hope that there'll be an endless mode of this game.. but since forgiving is done i still have another challenges to be completed :D but still this game makes me replay a billion of times that my friend told me to "move on, this is 2023"

(-2)

(+2)

i'd pay a lot for the pico-8 version to be made endless. 

Its not that the PC version is bad by any means, but this version's graphics are in my opinion more aesthetic, a good breakoff from traditional 3D graphics.

Reminds me of MOO1 and the barebones simplicity is an aspect which I feel isn't kept 100% in the PC version.

(+3)

can you please add endless mode to the pico8 version

(+2)

very dificult even on the easiest mode still very fun

It's not that hard after you really do understand their "how to play" methods

(+2)(-1)

This is such a great game. Would it be possible to sandbox play after the time runs out? I've gotten four star runs with unexplored planetoids, and it's a tiny bit unsatisfying for my completist soul.

(+1)

The PICO-8 version of the game is not getting any new development, sorry.

You can take a look at its bigger brother, which includes many new ways to play (including an endless mode for when you want to colonize *everything*): https://store.steampowered.com/app/1264280/Slipways/

(+1)(-1)

The other Slipways look cool, but I don't think that there are any other forain empires, foragin trade, or battle mechanics. I may be wrong (nad correct me if I am) but if I'm right that may be a cool update or mod.

the star is op

(+3)

I got a 4 Star run on Forgiving, with 8 or 9 Rich planets, 15 or 16 Prosperous planets and 3 Green planets. My best run by far.

Jakub, are you no longer accepting patreon supporters? I assume with Slipways doing so well you have less time but I’d still love to support you and get access to past patreon-only goodness! :-)

Unfortunately, the Patreon creator page is no longer active. Slipways is indeed 99% of my creative output right now and it's treating me well financially, but the flipside is that I have much less time and energy left for other projects. This might change in the future once the project is complete (soon!). Thanks for your support either way!

Can I call this a 3X game? eXplore, eXpand, eXchange?

(+1)

The official version is eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXhale ;)

lololol

(+2)

Highest score is 9806 on Forgiving. Not great, but it's the products of a double-digit number of runs, which is a lot for a small free game on Itch. Love this game, I'm glad it got a AAA release

good game

(+1)

i want a sandbox mode pls 

Amazing game! I know that full-fledged PC version is out (already on my wishlist), but I believe I found a small bug - when you connect an Ascension Gate with a star first and then connect the same Ascension Gate to a source of people, the people won't be converted into happiness. The "Wants More" of the Gate will only show the star resource.

Gates that first receive people and then star resource do not have this problem - their "Wants More" correctly shows both people and star resource.

(+1)

That's just how energy works - and that's true even in the updated PC version. If you use it to replace a need, that needs gets replaced completely - only more energy will be accepted, not the original resource. So, not a bug - but maybe a little counterintuitive.

Have fun with both versions of the game! :)

Why is the cartridge download a png file?

(+1)

That's how cartridges work on PICO-8! (the PNG contains all the data necessary to run the game, as well as the picture)

Holy crap. Now THAT'S clever. That's outstanding.

(1 edit) (+2)

Super-fun game! It's also extremely cool to see an open-source game achieve commercial success.

I learned of this game's existence through an announcement of the PC version on GOG's RSS feed. However, this page does not mention anywhere that the PC version will also be released on GOG; rather, it points exclusively to Steam. It might be helpful to include a link to the GOG page somewhere, since some people prefer GOG to Steam.

(+2)

The game will be available on Steam, Epic, GOG and itch.io. I'm a little behind on my announcements, what with all the open beta excitement, but I will be updating all of the information sprinkled in various places soon :)

wow this is incredibly short
barely enough time to expand further 
aside from that this is really good 

can i increase the year limit? beyond 3425

(+1)

Not in this version. The upcoming PC version (coming June 3rd!) has an sandbox-like endless mode where you can play as long as you wish :)

(+2)


Another absurd run. If I did the math correctly, I think my score was 36,846. Also, this was my first time where I managed to use void synthesizers to get one more Earth and get a bot-->food to prosperous to get a slight boost months before the end.

Best game ever, Jakub!

outrage!

(2 edits)

I also have noticed that sometimes science needs less points to achieve, but did not understand what does it depend on. 

(+4)

Techs have resource icons on the left - if you have a lab researching that resource, you get a discount.

I guess i found bug. Synthetizers sometimes don't work
see screenshot https://itch.io/post/3004039

Synthesizers can only supply a missing need (people don't want fake synthesized versions of the things they're already getting ;). So, doesn't look like a bug this time around, at least doesn't look so from the screenshot - but I understand it's a bit confusing since this is not explained ingame.

(1 edit)

Oh I see, thanks for explonation! 

Synthesizers are definitely weird. I made one and connected it to an organics lab (which didn't work.) Then I connected it to an organics-requiring planet. The synthesizer showed it was producing organics, but it was supplying them to the lab instead of the planet.

Synthesizers are not broken, they always work. It's just that they cannot give something to a planet that already receives that material. For instance, if a Bot--> food world receives one bot, one organic, and exports three food, synthesizers won't work, because the resources it desires are already being provided, but it wants more.

Example of it working is a hive world that receives nothing. Plug in a synthesizer, and it receives food. If they worked the other way, they would be ridiculously overpowered, was a really balanced build.

(+1)

Score is so large, it created an integer-overflow. Forgiving difficulty.

(+1)

Well done :) PICO-8 integers top out at 32767, so without special tricks that's the highest score it'll display. Looks like yours was 33001.
Will be harder in the PC version, we'll top out at 2 billion there ;)

(+2)

Love the game, man! Hope that didn't come off wrong, I wasn't complaining about the integer overflow. I cannot wait until I have a real PC to download steam and get the real version!

(1 edit)

O_o I don't believe. It would be nice to see video replay..

(+2)

I didn't record it or anything, but I have a few tips and tricks if you'd like.

I always start in the center of the map, and look around for Remnant, a planet you can use bots --> food (Ocean, Earth), and another Earth (humans). I then look for a xeno planet to supply the bot planet with organics. From then on, the main strategy is not wasting a single month.

Where most of the points come from is what I like to call Forge Cycles. With these, you need to construct a trail of slipgates that connects two mineral planets (bot mining), four forge planets, (Replication is huge), one making tech and three making bots. Leave an open slipgate to split into two seperate labs to get a huge +10 science boost. Another option is also including an ice planet, not a gas giant. In that strategy, you'll have more happiness but only a +5 science boost. One forge cycle gives roughly a 200 economy boost, and you can usually find 2-3 forge cycle opportunities per map. Never waste a single mineral planet, nor a gas giant! (I'll explain in a second.)

A science boost trick is always using food/organics, besides science from forge cycles. In the years waiting for the technology and money you need for forge cycles, you find pairs of Earths + forests/ocean. If multiple appear close together, you cannot take two resources from the same planet, but with the building that makes organics into food, you can. If you take three of those from the same planet, you can lead them all into one lab.

When you are approaching the end and you have used all of the mineral planets, begin turning every gas giant and, if there is one extra mineral planet, that too, into stars. Run each star into two ascension gates. Maybe you won't get all of them before time runs out, but grab as many as you can.

Lastly, the science you want is Space folding, bot mining (I forgot the name), slipgates, replication, autoassemblers, Infraspace/Starbirth (get both, order doesn't matter, though,) time compression, and then go from there, trying to get ascension gates at some point.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope this helps! 

(1 edit)

I start the same, but try to get many population and then convert in to ascension gates. And i was wondered to see that you have only 1040.

Your "forge cycle" is very interesting have to try it.

Big thank for your tips.

I guess i have to waste some weeks to fulfil this strategy. lol


p.s. I think it would not work in tough mode

(1 edit) (+1)

practice :)

minimal population

     

synthetizers bug ruined my record

(1 edit)

Another great run! Real score was 33,631, if I did the math right. At this point for me, it is definitely RNG on the planets, and yet I still play. I love the game, Jakub!


It's scandalous! Try to break my record on "tough" https://itch.io/post/2292605 :)

(1 edit)


my best for now if somebody cares ))

(+1)

I got a higher score than usual using a slightly tweaked version of your strategy.


Instead of connecting a hive, hive/ocean, remnant, and xeno together as you described, I find it way easier to connect a hive, ocean/hive, and remnant together. 


I don't know if I'm dumb or what, but every time I try the four planet way, I always mess up with how to connect the planets

Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 144 · Next page · Last page