Are you ready to start a new life in a charming post-apocalyptic land? My Time at Portia, coming to Xbox One on April 15, gives you the opportunity to do just that. Fulfill commissions, grow crops, raise animals and befriend the quirky inhabitants of the enchanting town of Portia. We wanted to take the time to have a chat with Zhi Xu, director of My Time at Portia, about this adorable game and get some more details, and they were kind enough to oblige!
ID@Xbox: Thank you for talking to us today! We love to get to know the people behind the studios, can you tell us a little bit about the Pathea team?
Zhi Xu: Sure! We are a young creative team, founded in 2010 and based in Chongqing, China. Our debut game was platformer called Drains. Then in 2012, we created a Kickstarter campaign for our second game, Planet Explorers. The campaign was a success, the funding really helped us get the game started but we were also inspired and encouraged a lot because we knew that we had a community out there who cared about the game. After we finished the game in 2016, we moved onto My Time at Portia.
Our goal is to develop fun games for people all around the world.
ID: We’re excited to see My Time at Portia come to Xbox – to start, perhaps you could answer a burning question we have in the ID@Xbox office… how do you pronounce ‘Portia’?
Xu: You can pronounce it as either por-sha or por-tee-ah. Both are fine, but we prefer it as Por-tee-ah. We chose this name after the main character in “The Merchant of Venice”, which is the favorite play of our Producer, Zifei Wu. Portia in “The Merchant of Venice” is a strong, kind and brave woman, a woman full of positive energy. We wanted our game to be full of positive energy as well. We also chose the name for the game because the world of My Time at Portia centers around the port, which forms part of the word Portia!
ID: Thanks for clearing that up! Its plain to see that there are several influences at play in the game. The team has mentioned the likes of Studio Ghibli’s “Castle in the Sky” and referenced Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley in the past. Can you tell us more about the world of Portia and what makes it so unique?
Xu: We always wanted to make a relaxing game, that can be played and understood by people all over the world, so we looked up some similar works for reference, such as works from Studio Ghibli. That’s how we decided our art style.
As well as creating a relaxing game, we wanted to be able to tell a story that was universally understood so we chose the post-apocalyptic background as we believed this would be easy to understand, as it’s been mentioned in so many works. This aspect of the game was inspired by the animation Future Boy Conan.
ID: There’s a whole host of quirky characters and creatures in My Time at Portia; who are your favorites and why?
Xu: We love all the characters and creatures in My Time at Portia. If we had to choose one, the we’d pick QQ pig, since 2019 is the year of the pig.
ID: We want to be friends with Pinky, the bright pink cat, is that a good choice? Can we make friends?
Xu: Of course, you can be friends with Pinky, as long as you keep feeding her what she wants. You can even keep her in your house as one of your family. For dog people, we have another character called Scraps who you can befriend instead.
If you don’t want to choose between them and you have enough food, then you can even get both to live with you!
As well as Pinky and Scraps, we have QQ the pig. You can also be friends with QQ, but you cannot keep QQ at home unless you marry his owner, Gust.
ID: There’s such a huge choice of activities in the game, from crafting and farming, to relic hunting and dungeon diving. As complete newbies in Portia, do you have any recommendations on what might set us up for success? Any tips or tricks you can share?
Xu: We would love players to experience the game for themselves but here are three tips to get you started that we’d recommend:
- Cut as many trees as possible. because you’ll need a lot of wood to craft all different kinds of items.
- Mine as much as possible. Copper and stone are two materials that you’ll need the most when you take part in the commissions and the main story.
- Craft at least 5 furnaces. This will allow you to produce multiple items at the same time.
Once you follow these tips, then you’ll find the game quite easy to start and we wish you all the best with your new life during your time in Portia!
Thanks to Zhi Xu from Pathea Games for taking the time to talk to us about the team and My Time at Portia. Stay tuned to this channel for more developer interviews and independent game news.
My Time at Portia is available to pre-order via the Microsoft store and if you do so before the game releases on Xbox One April 15, you’ll get the ‘Housewarming Gift Set’ for free. Click here for pre-order details.