Feels good. Great game, mate.
This is a mini-PICO-8-edition of a much 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 will add a replayable campaign mode, a council of five races with varying technology and philosophical outlook, a military aspect, 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 on the PC version's progress, check out the website or follow the game on Twitter/Facebook.
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!
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!
Click download now to get access to the following files:
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.
I've only discovered this game for like a week, but I'm seriously hooked!
Only complaints that I have is that the icons for the planet types in the research menu tooltips are hard to tell what planet type they are. It's also generally more difficult to distinguish xeno planets from jungle planets. Maybe make the xeno planets purple to help distinguish them from jungle planets and earth-like planets?
Also, it'd be great if you had some kind of guide or wiki to keep track of what structures we can build on what types of planets, and also distinguishing which structures can be built on which planets with which upgrade.
And like other people have said, an endless mode, or maybe a sandbox mode, would be amazing for this game!
Another thing, although this is less about general game design, it makes me kinda sad that you're moving this project to 3D. You have all this beautiful pixel art and animation, so going to 3D feels like putting it to waste. But I'm not discouraging you from going to 3D if you think it makes the game better. I understand it's your game, and you're free to make it however it pleases you.
you should make a mode were it extends forever by a randomly generated thing and make the thing endless so theres no limit
This game is really fun! The graphics are lovely, gameplay is smooth, and I like how the finite space means I can play a quick game without it lasting forever. Great for a quick break.
Over time I've found many of the "feedback loops" and I'm sure there are more to be discovered. Lots of complexity despite the simple game mechanism.
Looking forward to updates and will happily buy the expanded PC version. Keep up the great work!
Hey Jakub, enjoy this game so much. I bought the Mac version - then sadly realized it will not work with Catalina :/. Are there any plans to fix this? Only 5 bucks, but still, I would love to play the real version. Glad to contribute to the development.
Hey, sorry for that. I updated the downloadable Mac app to support 64-bit, which means it should theoretically work on Catalina now - but I can't check myself, since my only Apple computer is still on Mojave. Let me know if you have any more trouble!
And your contribution is much appreciated - what helps even more than money is knowing that people enjoy the game and are looking forward to the sequel :)
Ah great! Yes, it works, thanks so much. I thought there was an extended/expanded version? But this looks the same, just opens full screen as an app. Is that correct? Is there another version I missed? Anyway looking forward to an update for sure. Really enjoy playing.
The new, expanded version is still under heavy development. You can track it's progress on Twitter (https://twitter.com/SlipwaysGame) and find out more about the plans at https://slipways.net. So I'm afraid it's not available for download or purchase yet - but I'm working on that! :)
I'm sorry if the page is somehow unclear - but this itch.io page and all the downloads on it are for the original, PICO-8 version of the game.
Pretty fun game! At first I was a bit confused on all the different planet types, but this game has proven to be quite gripping.
Is there a tech map somewhere, where one can see the upcoming technologies?
Unfortunately no, unless somebody made a fan version - you'll have to explore on your own! :) There are four tech levels, you can get 2/2/3 from the first three, and all five from the last level (if you can afford them).
looks like there is no offline demo mode for this one I tried to download all i got was a picture! LOL! It was a .png file! why even let us download it? It would have been faster if they just said no way to play offline Unless you buy the pico 8 program! What a shame :(
Im considering buying the windows version, is there an endless mode in it?
The full PC version is something I'm still very much working on, and isn't available for order yet - that one is definitely going to have an endless mode, plus gobs of other improvements.
The Windows etc. versions for download on this page are just the same as the web version, but wrapped as a standalone app for convenience.
i failed on forgiving ):
Really fun game! I wish I could cross warp paths.
Runs really smooth. No bugs. Thanks for making playable in-browser.
Lovely game! I hope the full version turns out just as charming. Also thought I should share this score:
What difficulty dude?
It would be nice to be able to save your finished games so you can look back at them later and admire how well you did
Hello, so, is the Pc version buyable here the one wich is gonna get updated like mentionned? Sorry if there are mistakes, english isnt my main tongue.
No, this page is only for the PICO-8 version, which is what you get for buying on itch.io right now.
The "big" PC version in development is not available to purchase yet - the earliest opportunity to buy it will be during crowdfunding early next year. Hope that clears it up!
Yes, thank you very much, I really enjoy your game, i find it strangely relaxing and yet addicting, bought this version and am looking forward to see what the pc version will have in store!
Once again sorry for the mistakes if they are any.
Everything is great except for the lack of a sandbox mode. I think the difficulty could do with a bit of work too. Maybe it's just my lack of skill though. I love this game though.
Very excited to hear about your renewed effort to work on the PC version of this game! I wanted to mention that the link to your Patreon account above doesn't take me anywhere useful, just to a list of things you've supported. Are you accepting donations there? I'd also be curious what your funding needs/goals are to continue development on Slipways, in particular if you plan to hire more developers.
Thanks again for a great game! I'd love to see it reach it's fullest potential.
The Patreon is currently suspended - I had a very demanding job which didn't leave me much time for me indie pursuits. Now that I'm back to working on SlipWays full-time, I'm thinking of reactivating it - but haven't done it yet. In any case, I've removed the misleading link from the description, thanks!
Currently, the best way to support the project is to either buy this version, or wait for the Indiegogo campaign and back it then! :)
2 things I would to see are a sandbox and/or no "time limit"
Both things on the roadmap for the PC version!
Is there a place to see the roadmap by any chance?
Don't want to tie myself to specific features yet, but one will definitely be available once the crowdfunding campaign is underway and later during development.
If you're interested in the broad strokes, the first devlog post on the site (https://slipways.net/devlog/01) goes into the goals for the PC version.
Can wait for realised version could I be a tester?
This game is amazing, Is there a possibility of an android port in the future because I want to play this everywhere I go!
Glad you liked it! I'm working on the PC/Mac/Linux version first, but I'm not ruling out a mobile version in the future.
This game is amazing, but I would love to have a sandbox gamemode with no time limit, or some way to keep playing with your network after the game's done (don't know if it exists in the downloaded version; I've only played the browser version)
Thanks for the kind words!
I am working on a bigger PC version of the game - there is a link to a website in the description. This version will have an endless mode, since it's a really common request among players (though it'll be a challenge to design it properly so it doesn't get tedious).
The development was on a hiatus for a while, but I'm now back to working on Slipways full-time - leave your e-mail on the site if you'd like to be kept up to date :)
IMO the infinite mode doesn't have to be infinitely fun, it's more important that the time limit mode is fun and challenging.
My main wishes for the PC version are for better balance (no dominant strategies), and less luck (some luck is fun, but the web version has too much).
Thanks for the game. The basic mechanism is fun and original, and also a bit nostalgic.
Thank you so much for your reply! I'll be sure to check out the website! Keep making amazing games!
Addictive, and more kudos to you for making this for Pico-8!
Please, can you make a 1v1 online version?
Found this game from CoolMathGames.com, this is incredible! I'm super hyped to see a full version! I'd gladly pay for it!
This is amazing! the only thing I could ask is some kind of endless mode, it's just too addicting!
New high score:
some thing that would be much help are
drag a slipway to a transit hub as a way station
needs Peeps and food
so you need to decide and plan well if you are going to build a transit hub
could you perhaps make a unlimited turn version?
Is the PC version of this still planned, or has development on it been shelved? There's nothing on your Patreon anymore, and the Slipways Twitter hasn't shown activity for a while. Either way, I've enjoyed this game for some time. Hopefully the PC version will come, but I can hardly demand it.
One thing I have been curious about, and would like to ask, assuming the PC version doesn't come- what were the planned philosophical factions? If it's still under development, feel free to keep your secrets, though. :)
Sadly, it's not under active development right now, but I'm super-happy that people are still interested after this much of a hiatus!
Due to mostly financial reasons, I had to get a proper job as a project lead at a game company. It's a big responsibility and I have very little time and energy left for other projects, so I had to regretably put my indie life on hiatus.
However, this is all about to change! My contract is soon going to be up, and while this job was my chance to get into "proper" game development (with an actual budget and everything ;), it did not pan out as I'd hoped. This means I'm now parting ways with the company, so I will be free to pursue my own projects soon.
The plan right now is to get back to SlipWays as soon as possible - right after I pass my responsibilities at the job to new people and recharge my batteries a little, perhaps by doing a smaller project first.
The details are still in flux (the decision to quit is still fresh), but SlipWays PC is definitely the top of my priority list!
Very cool game. I'm digging the pixel art as well. You have any intentions of posting any of the low-def art assets for sale?
the problem I have with the game is that I can't cancel anything as far as I understand it.
Yeah, could really use deconstruction, though in this games case I think it would be better if that cost money rather than returning resources/money. Should be able to deconstruct planetary constructs as well as slipstreams.
Can you use colorful icons for needed resources and monochromatic icons for supplied resources?
Our brains are wired to pay attention to the bright and colorful. Supplied resources need no attention as they are already supplied. However, needed resources need attention, therefore, I suggest to display their icons in color.
Colorful resource icons would then guide one's attention towards "needed" (missing inputs) and "wasted" (unused outputs). Monochromatic resource icons would guide one's attention away from "supplied" (supplied inputs) and "used" (used outputs).
This would allow players to scan the map more quickly and see what can be done.
I think the current system makes more sense, but I think I see what you mean. Currently greyed out means not there, needed or in use, and colored means there, currently using or waiting to ship. Its a bit tougher to see exactly what you need early on, especially if you aren't familiar with the resources involved.
A few of my favorite starts, and then my best finish.
This next one was excellent. Everyone happy, bomb income...
Best score yet, and a glimpse of the web of gates and the last minute void generators that helped seal up the happiness! I truly believe this game doesn't need a longer clock, it needs a received goods cap!!!
Wow dout.. Impressive for sure!
I agree, the game timer doesn't need to be any longer, though it would be cool.
Also... Gotta agree with just about everything here. I found that starting near a mechanized, earth like jungle worked better than the robot scavenging to harvest water planets for food, which is pretty solid as well. Getting the happiness boost is big but some combos are better for $, and early income is king.
While I have a host of wins on tough and challenging that are above 10K at this point, I would love this game to get an update! Again correct on challenging being more fun. I saw a good score on challenging so I started giving it a try. My initial efforts on challenging didn't work out as well as tough, but now that I have an better idea of what does what, the extra $ early on makes it much better.
This was yesterday.
Massive trade networks have been a staple of my gameplay for a while, choosing how to interconnect it has been grand. Infragates rarely help as much as a well crafted highway. I've gotten all the way on tech as well, it appears it is not needed to get a better score if the RNG is on your side for the no red planets scheme . Stars are great for this, but the late game replicator is perfect for doing this exact thing! Collapsing stars to feed tourism planets is the BEST.
Here's the problem. Some planets or tech will soak up more than they need to output and don't offer more money beyond the planet that is sending it over getting an income increase.
This looks like it might be making more money, but late game the supply of most things, especially robots, food, people, they go to zero permanently because big blue planets soak them before they can help grow the system. Maybe it's the slipgates, but if the system was properly capped, this game would be much more playable. Here's the hard one to swallow:
That one was also today. This next one was when I learned about the problem.
Try playing a few games without ever connecting a slipgate to a slipgate, or an infragate to an infragate. I bet your scores go up!
matjamesj gave some good advice below, but I'll add a few points (read his post).
The game is heavily luck-based early on - restart if you run out of money, and start wasting turns. Challenging is actually more fun than tough because of this; you're more likely to luck into a game with some chance of getting a decent score.
Of course start near a cluster, but also try to avoid starting near the edge of the map. Stars that are at the edge of the map have fewer places to expand from, and hence are less valuable.
Early on, you want income as fast as possible, so that you don't waste turns sitting around unable to do anything. Gold and blue planets make a lot of money at this stage of the game, and it's okay to get a red planet or two as long as it helps you get gold and blue planets.
Mid game focus on expanding, getting gold and blue planets when convenient. Avoid getting new red planets, and fix the ones from the early game. Get a couple of well-stocked research stations.
By late game, you should have more money than you can spend. Focus on happiness, since it multiplies your score. Get trade hubs and tourism planets, and make as many of your planets gold and blue as you can. Do absolutely anything to fix every single red planet before the end of the game.
Slipways and infratech are good in some situations, but don't overuse them. If you connect a slipway to a slipway, you're probably screwing up. Similarly, don't overuse farms - 3 turns is a very high cost to get food to a planet.
Red planets hurt your happiness for your entire empire. This affects the $ production of all your planets, and has a huge effect on your final score. Consequently, they're not horrible as long as your empire is tiny, but quickly become a major liability as you expand.
Don't sweat early research too much. You'll have things to do even if you only have the range-extension tech (which you should always get). In this game, I built 2 research stations, each getting 3 metal. The first research station I built after I got mining bots, and the second station I got after I got slipgates (I needed to use a slipgate to get a person to where I had 3 extra metal available).
Trade hubs are amazing; they help you get gold and blue planets by soaking up extra resources, and they contribute directly toward your happiness.
I also like the tech that lets you change gas giants into stars. Among other uses, the special resource they produce can get you an extra pip of happiness from a maxed-out trade hub.
The last level techs usually come too late to make a difference, in this game I didn't use them at all.
Here is some explanation for the advice above.
The fundamental resource in the game is turns (also called months), and your job is to use your turns as efficiently as possible.
Early on, you can only pray that you get such a nice setup that your income will quickly outstrip your desire to spend money, otherwise you'll find yourself sitting around for many months waiting for your next annual paycheck (this kills the score).
By the midgame, you should have a decent income established, and many places to expand to, so you should expand.
By the late game, your empire will fill most of the board, and the remaining places to expand will be unappealing. However, you'll have technologies like infratech and trade hubs that enable you to develop your existing empire more completely. You should take advantage of these technologies to make your people as happy as possible before the end of the game.
Here's my best score on tough:
This game is incredibly addictive! I really enjoy it. Great work!
hey could you maby add a option for a longer amount of time per round?
Really cool game! My best result on high difficulty so far
Highest I've gotten, been playing a bunch. The pictures to follow are not from this instance.
Would love some more tips! The intent of this post is to see what my game is missing while simultaneously providing tips for others who might be having issue getting this far:
-First things first, play tough. Don't keep going with a galaxy that is failing, that restart button is right there next to music off, make it a quick thing you do. Once you get the hang of making combos out of certain types of planets, you'll find most all of the generated galaxies you come across (with a good opening area) can be connected in such a way that 90% of planets end up at least happy. Happy is good, because if your average happiness goes down it will tank your income.
-For starters, even though green goo goes with a food processor to make algae, which is essential, the processor is not a great place to get that algae from until much later, on when it produces two algae from one goo and you can ship that second algae somewhere else. This is a big part - if you can't make a system that is properly supported very early on you will never have the happiness, money, or tech needed. I see complaints about the game not going on for longer - you have to get the planetary network going quickly, not just happy planets making money, but tech too. Lots of it. mattjamesj mentions a "ruin - ocean - hive" thing that took me way too long to understand. I was breeding goo on the ocean to feed my people, terrible. Get robots to harvest that algae for you! ruin-ocean-hive is really Remnant - Ocean - Earth-like, and the planets need to turn into Scavenge - Algae - Hiveworld. This may not be the case, but I find that the RNG for the planet generator is more forgiving near where the screen is set when the game starts with regards to having this combo.
-Be sparing with your surveys! $3 doesn’t seem like much when you have $100.
-Connection order matters. That early Scavenge - Algae - Hiveworld triangle can be put together in different orders, which results in substantially more or less money your first few turns. I like to algae then hive, then connect them, then scout a bit before the next year happens. Time is precious. There are loads of places where this can matter oh so much. Clicking that year forward button for the $ is not worth it if you could already afford things that would benefit you. It’s easy to put money into something that will cost you and then lose track of how much in game time is passing, plus what kinds of opportunity costs you are losing out on. For a similar reason, when I find a nice-looking candidate planet of the R-O-E starting three from the first two or three scouts’ satellites, I colonize it right away so that I can search around that area. If you see a good combo, stop surveying the universe, build up first to get dat $. Often the first R-O-E combo has a planet in the way, then its restart time. Sometimes you get lucky, I've been happy to find that R-O-E combo occurring in a way that makes a figure eight pattern, in a set of five or more, so everything just connects right up, very nicely. Be careful of your order though! Spend that algae on tech? Oh no! You won't have it for that remnant even though they look like they should be boosting each other for the right amount of commodities. Bringing in outside material remedies the situation. Xenofoods can help in this example.
-Goods/gadgets are huuuuge. Every colony, aka planet that exports humans, doesn't start off wanting them, but they will, once satisfied with algae, and maybe (ocean) minerals or (xeno) chips. Don't you love chips? The cash benefit is big.
-As much as I'm stressing the importance of efficient systems, you would be surprised at what the costs or revenues of planets can be if you aren't going and checking on your planets between making connections. Typically, everything is best not red, at green or better, but if you can get something to upgrade to orange or blue, it’s always worth doing, even if that means making something like a forgeworld to make goods/gadgets for two planets even though that forgeworld doesn't get supplied anything at all... Unhappy planets aren't always a big revenue liability, though they add up quick. The other side is also true, if through leaving a few planets unhappy you get to building orange "prosperous" or blue "rich" planets you can easily be making well over a hundred coin per turn in the early game. Watch your happiness if you go this route! It works in small doses.
-For early tech choices, spacefolding first, or drillbots if there's cause, because excavate is better than mine for mineral worlds if there's a source of robots. Anyway, both of those first, then upgrading xenofoods with slipgates next, though which to do first depends on the situation. I see others who say no to gates, but the slipgates have led to some of my best games. They are crucial for getting really long-distance connections and around strange corners.
Besides turning the corner, There’s another hiveworld, and a colony, just off to the left. Getting 3 goods from this forgeworld means I can supply all three. Bots mine the minerals, and minerals and bots make the goods. Later, I only need to ship in one more from somewhere else get the third (or fourth?) good.
Here's what that looks like.Next for my pro-slipgates examples, let's follow the money.
There’s big bank in tourism:
The earth-like is making $10, the jungle is -$1. Then, +$3 to the earth-like once it starts shipping, while the jungle will still be losing money.
No need to supply the forgeworld, but bring the goods over…
The forgeworld is unhappily making $1, the jungle is making $6, the earth-like is now up to $15. It looks like $2 were sent to each planet, but there's more to it, as happiness influences income.
Now we link the other one up:
The jungles are making $6 each, the unhappy forgeworld is generating $4, and the remnant is making $20 now! 4 planets making $12, to $22, to $30. The final state of this corner of the galaxy is in the late game tech section.
Doubling up on slipgates works too! I've made some totally odd daisy chains that absolutely help get goods moving to the right places in a tight group of planets where it looks like an infragate would be the only solution. Best example is getting minerals to two different forgeworlds so one makes chips and the other makes goods/bots. That triangle alone is one thing, then it needs to be oriented in such a way so that the slipways don’t cross on the way out. Wow that was a bunch of pictures.
This section was about tech, right?
I've tried and failed repeatedly with geoharvesting (money from planets) and less so with replication (turn planets into forgeworlds). While I’ve never done trade league, I'm about to, right after I write this. For later tech, I go towards the star creation. Seems like a later game version of geoharvesting but for wildcard commodities.
Here's those tourism jungles supplied with solar power, in case you wanted to see that too:Sadly, it doesn’t work as the sole source of goods for anything when the planet in question initially needs two goods. Meaning no double solar power. I like helping the tourism worlds with solar after supplying people and goods, not sure if it’s an improvement over sending more goods or people, but it should be! Would really like more info on what’s worked for others in late game tech.
- Finally, labs, labs, labs. You won't get a decent system made without them. Building research stations early on is a big deal. You always need people for them, so those planets that export humans need to be kept extra productive. Making sure that those tech satellites get more than one than one of the same types of non-human input is a much bigger deal. The first good, and it can be anything not human, is worth a +1, the next two are worth +2 each for a max of +5. Getting three extra goods to a research station is tougher than you might think. An ocean set to breed can make a lot of goo, and that goo can go to different food processors and each of those processors can make a separate connection to the lab. Upgrade xenofoods and those processors can provide elsewhere. I’m curious how extensively the people who can get 5 star on tough use food processors.
Jakub great game, thank you for this, love the baking game too btw. Hopefully this thesis of sorts on your game is enough to show my appreciation. My girlfriend got a 480 point cake on level 1 or 2 somehow, my best scores are in the 500s. Anyway, slipways. Very interested in a more robust pc version with galaxy settings and lots more end game stats. Maybe the wormhole can ship $ for goods? :-) For the wimps out there, instead of infinite time, I would prefer infinite money, but still show the income level. The simplicity of this game is part of the charm. An undo button seems sad, how about just highlighting the planets you’ll get from a survey before you let go? Or, only charge for the survey if there is a potential planet getting scanned. Otherwise, there should be hidden things to find. Thanks again.
I've got to say, this is a good game, but the fact your time is limited has disueded my prefrence. I would love an endless version, since this is quite dull without it.