Obviously, this is now out-of-date, but we'll leave it up for archival purposes.

Alternate Title: How to Faceroll My Time at Portia Alpha 1.0

When you first begin your new life in Portia, you're basically broke - and your early quests will give you next to nothing in terms of actual money. The main questline of Alpha 1.0 ends with you building a bridge to Amber Island, but in order to do that you're going to need a lot of copper, as well as the ability to craft bronze items. And to craft bronze items, you're going to need a Level 2 Workshop - which requires 1000g to upgrade, not to mention the item requirements.

That presents us with our primary problem: You are extremely limited in the amount of copper you can find outside of the mines, but accessing the mines requires 80g per visit, which can be a struggle to make in your first days in Portia.

So here's a little guide to how to get in the mines in less than a week, earn lots of gols (anyone else think that was a typo that they just stuck with?), and get that Level 2 workshop ASAP! And probably a bunch of other useful tips, tricks, and advice along the way.

Free Resource Nodes

Free resources are the bread and butter of early game survival. While following this guide, be sure that you are foraging the main resource nodes every single day!

Your primary resources in My Time at Portia are stone and wood. You can also forage for plants and kick trees for apples.

There are many nodes throughout the map, but I've found it most efficient to focus on the following areas:

  • The nodes immediately surrounding your house. Don't forget to hop over the fence facing the river and riverside wheat field; in the small space where there's some grass and a large tree, a few plans and extra stone sometimes spawn.
  • Following the town wall north (to the left of the town entrance near your home); this path leads up to another ruins site that is currently inaccessible. Little to nothing spawns in that area, so once you see the apple trees, head back.
  • Following the town wall East from your home. A few extra plants spawn around Papa Bear's house, but I usually stop once I hit the dirt road.

I've given my gathering counts in the examples below (I created a new save file just for this purpose); yours may vary slightly, but they should give you a good estimate of what you should expect to gather on the average day.

Stone and wood will appear in the same quantities every day. The nodes for these will always be in the same area, but the exact spot may vary slightly each day; this is usually far more noticable for wood than for stone. Plants (fiber plants and herbs) have a general area that they always spawn in, but which spawn, the amount that spawn, and which position exactly vary, and some days certain spots won't spawn any at all.

Resource nodes appear to be set upon waking up, not going to sleep. I have gotten different spawns just from reloading my day, so if you've gotten poor spawns you could always just reload your day.

Trees & Rocks

As of Alpha 1.0, trees, bushes, and shrubs you chop down should reappear after about 1 week. However, it does not appear that the large rocks you destroy with your pickaxe respawn, so keep that in mind.

A Note on Apples & Energy Regen

Currently, apples seem to be tricky to get and, ultimately, not worth the energy investment. You expend 2 energy per kick, and I personally seem to only get 1-2 apples out of every 10 kicks. That's 20 energy expended for maybe 20 energy regained (10 stamina recovered per apple), so you might break even or get lucky and get the fancy special apple (which restores about 24 energy or so), but I don't see it as worth the risk unless you're at the end of the day with extra stamina to burn; even then, I'd suggest killing monsters for meat instead.

Also, you'll need to collect 36 wood to fix the four gaps in your house's floors so that you can get a good night's rest every night; if you don't, you'll only recover a portion of your stamina overnight, which is very problematic! The four gaps require 3, 3, 10, and 20 wood respectively, so you could theoretically fix most of them by Day 2, and all of them by Day 3, if you are sure to collect all your free wood each day.

Your First Week

Once you've woken up from your first night sleeping in your new home, the game will mention that you didn't get a good night's sleep. This is hinting at the need to fix up your house! So, as stated above, keep that in mind as you go about collecting wood and doing the first quests!

The first thing you want to do every day, as soon as you wake up, is go out and collect all your free resources. At a minimum, you should be getting about 40 stone and 30 wood each day.

Day 2: Since you don't get to actually play Day 1, we start off at Day 2! We start off with 132 energy and instructions to visit Presley in the Commerce Guild. We've also got mail from Mei telling us about the Portia Times, something that doesn't actually seem to be part of the game yet. Instead of going directly to the guild, we're gonna collect our daily resources. Be patient and don't sprint, because you're definitely not going to have enough energy to gather everything if you do!

My day 2 hoard: 43 stone, 38 wood, 4 plant fiber, 11 herb, 6 caterpillar
  • Once we've gathered our goods, let's head to the Commerce Guild, where we're given a quest to make a simple axe and a pickaxe. We'll need 13 each of stone and wood. Make the tools, and report back to Presley.
  • Now we have to make a stone furnace, which requires 10 wood and a stone stool (10 stone). Go assemble that, place it in your property, and head back to Presley.
  • He'll give you your builder's permit; we just need to find Gale and get his stamp of approval first, and you'll be prompted to name your workshop. After this, you chat with Gale again and he will give you the quest "Meet the Shop Owners." Go ahead and go around the town and meet as many of the shop owners as you have time for that day. Most of them will give you some free items. If you see Paulie, be sure to greet him right away, as he'll give you 3 hardwood, which we need for our first sword! Sure, you could beat up on all those poor innocent monsters with your fists all day, but using the sword is far more practical and efficient.
  • Most homes and shops close at 20:00 (9pm). You can introduce yourself to a few other residents wandering the town past this time, but be sure to head back before midnight (24:00).
  • Use any wood you have left to fix the patches in your home. I had 15 wood left at the end of day 2, so I fixed the two small gaps requiring 3 wood each.

Day 3: Since I fixed 2 of the gaps, I started today with 192 energy. Sweet! Now let's go gather some resources. We still don't have a lot of energy, so we're not going to use the axe or pickaxe yet. If you've gotten the Meet the Shop Owners quest, go ahead and greet Sophie on your way back from foraging near the wheat fields; she'll be in the large open field with all the chickens and ducks.

My day 3 hoard: 40 stone, 36 wood, 4 plant fiber, 7 herb, 6 caterpillar
  • Since I completed my permit in the first day, Qiwa was outside of my doors on day 3 with his quest. You might not finish everything in one day, so expect him the day after whichever day you complete your permit. Since this requires a copper bar to complete, and I only have until day 10 to hand it over, I'll be breaking open some rocks until I have 6 copper ore - 3 for his fishing rod, and 3 for mine. I'll also chop down a tree or two so I have extra wood. Until you get your bronze axe, which won't be for awhile, the only way to collect cocoons is to kick (non apple) trees, which will also sometimes net you some rubber fruit. Save those rubber fruit for later!
  • If you haven't finished your builder's permit yet, do so today, and try to finish meeting all the shopkeepers today.
  • If you're like me, you've forgotten or missed the note telling you to show Presley your registration until you completed "Meet the Shop Owners" and go looking for instructions to report back to Gale, which aren't there (the quest auto-completes once you meet everyone, there's no reward aside from the freebies from the shopkeeps). So go do that! Presley will tell you a bit about how things work, try to give you a job he saved for you, Higgins will barge in and steal it, Presley will let him, and Arlo will literally kick the front door in with a job for you from the Civil Corps. This job is to build a bridge to Amber Island, and is the main thing you'll be working towards for the rest of your Alpha 1.0 experience!
  • Head back home. With your leftover wood, complete what you can of the following things, in this order of importance: fix the gaps in your house, craft a storage box, craft a practice sword. If you broke open some rocks and have enough copper for a copper bar, start smelting that, but only refuel it with 3 wood for now.
    • After fixing up my house, I was 5 wood short for a storage box and out of energy, so I just made the sword. I also didn't have enough copper to start on smelting a bar, so we'll do that tomorrow.

Day 4: Commissions! You could unlock your first commissions by day 3 if you get everything done quickly, but you probably won't be able to actually complete any of the commissions available in Alpha 1.0 yet, except perhaps crafting stone bricks. You cannot cancel commissions in this build so don't accept commissions unless you're sure you can craft the items! And don't accept copper commissions until you've got money to go into the mines! For now, the only commission you should accept is for stone bricks if it pops up. So, let's go gather our resources then pop by the guild for a look at the notice board. Since we fixed our house up, we've got full stamina today - finally!

My day 4 hoard: 41 stone, 56 wood, 5 plant fiber, 3 herb, 2 caterpillar, 13 meat, 6 worn fur, 3 fur
  • I cut down a couple trees and killed some llamas and sea urchins on my way back towards the house from foraging along the city wall, hence the extra wood, meat, and furs, and used up all my energy. I should have broke open some more rocks for copper, but oh well.
  • All of my guild commission options today were copper, so I did not take any commissions. I've already got a stack of 99 stone on top of the 41 from today's gathering, so while checking for commissions I sold that stack of 99 in the guild shop. So now I've got 119g!
  • I crafted a storage container so I can finally store all of my extra stuff, then went to bed.

Day 5: Spelunking! Since I sold that stack of stone, I've got enough money to head into the mines. We won't have enough stamina to last long, and since we want to get as much copper as possible on our first trip down, I've decided to not do any gathering today. I checked the guild for commissions, and accepted a copper commission (6 copper pipes) since I'll be getting tons of copper today - a stone brick commission was available, but copper ones are more profitable. And then I went and spent all day in the abandoned ruins!

My 1st day in the ruins hoard:  119 copper, 14 sand, 22 tin, 6 power stones, 5 old parts, 20 stone
  • While in the ruins, I wanted to focus on getting copper, but I also wanted to try and get a couple power stones and maybe some old parts as well. So I found the biggest copper deposit (brown stone - I had a HUGE one load in this visit!) and scanned that area, digging any out that I could reach that were in the copper field. If one turned out to be a couple clicks into regular stone, I still grabbed it, but I've got a really grasp on how many clicks are needed to get a certain distance in the game after all my time playing. The average is approximately 1m per break, and you don't have to fully dig out the item to pick it up, just walk into it.
  • You need 5 old parts for your Level 2 Workshop upgrade, so be sure to save those, but any more than 5 you should sell since they're worth 5g apiece and you'll be finding a lot of them. Do not sell your power stones, sand, copper, or tin, however.
  • Once back home, I made another furnace, refueled both completely, and topped them both off with copper. Bronze pipes are one of my favorite money makers in late Alpha 1.0 gameplay, but we can't make those without a Level 2 Workbench, and we're gonna need bronze for that bridge, so we're storing the tin for that purpose. I'm keeping my copper stack in my inventory, however, so I can top my furnaces off whenever I see they've processed any to maximize productivity.

Day 6: You know the drill - time to get gathering!

My day 6 hoard: 37 stone, 61+ wood, 6 herb, 3 caterpillar, 8 plant fiber, 2 cocoon, 4 rubber fruit, 5 meat
  • I cut down some trees and some of those thorny, bushy, flowery plants, hence extra wood and plant fibers, but I forgot to tally the wood up until after I refilled my furnaces. I also only just remembered that I have to kick trees to get cocoons pre-bronze axe, so I did that. I also killed a couple snails for meat with the remainder of my day's energy.
  • Crafted: 1 fishing pole (for Qiwa's quest, reward: 10 caterpillars, which are bait for fishing; you could also do some fishing with the rod before turning in the quest, if you wanted, but I didn't bother this time around), 7 copper pipes, grill (3 copper pipes + 10 wood), roasted meat x2 (requires 8 meat per to cook on grill, I already had some stored).
  • Topped off copper bars every time I was near the house, and before bed. Be sure to refuel the furnaces before going to bed!

Day 7: Town meeting day! You'll get a letter in the mail from town hall saying that there's a meeting at 7pm. These meetings don't carry over if you miss them, so be sure to watch the time carefully and go to them! I ignored them completely in my first playthrough and, thus, have no idea what I missed. We'll just have to find out together! Until then, let's do some gathering, turn in a commission, and make some money!

My day 7 hoard: 38 stone, 34 wood, 5 plant fiber, 6 herb, 4 caterpillar, 2 cocoons, 1 rubber fruit, 4 meat, 3 worn fur, 2 fur.
  • Crafted 2 more copper pipes so I could turn in my first commission. Sweet! Reward: 360g and 30 sweet, sweet satisfaction points (coming for you, Higgins!) Accepted another copper commission (10 copper bars, 230g reward when turned in). Now that we've turned in our first commission, we've plenty of money for our next dive into the ruins!
  • Kicked some trees, murdered some innocent llamas.
  • Crafted: skiver (1 copper plate + 10 wood), 4 fiber cloth, beginner's fishing rod (for myself). Will make work cloth (5 fiber cloth; from what I crafted today plus the 2 I'd saved from meeting Carol in the "Meet the Shop Owners" quest) once the skiver has processed the fiber cloth, then 1 leather to make the hiking pants. The work shirt and hiking pants will both give you an extra 50 stamina and 20 defense points each, so get them as soon as possible!
  • If you're short on worn fur or fur for making the fiber cloth or leather, kill some llamas. If you're short on plant fiber, chop down those thorny, flowery bushes that have health bars. If you can't seem to get rubber fruit (or cocoons for the fishing rod), just keep kicking trees.
  • At day 7's fireside meeting, Gale talked about panda-bat sightings, the news that they've found a builder to build the bridge to Amber Island (that's you) to which Higgens vocally complains (even if you haven't gotten that far in the questline yet, it'll go the same way), and working on collecting funds to get builders to craft dee-dee transport machines; lastly, he introduces you to the town (sort of). Amusingly, Gust can be found falling asleep in the crowd at any fireside meeting ever.

Day 8 and so on!

And look at us - in just one in-game week, we've gone from nothing to well on our way to getting rich and stomping all over Higgins' ridiculous first place ranking! We've still got a ton of work to do, but now you've got the formula for getting it all done!
  • Gather free resources every day. I stopped after about 14-20 days, because I got bored of it and had way too many stacks of stone even with my 2 storage containers; after that, I usually only went around gathering the wood immediately surrounding my house, and sometimes plant fiber plants.
  • At some point, spend the 250g to buy the upgrade kit, and craft 3 bronze bars, and upgrade your axe. You'll want to upgrade your sword and pickaxe, too (axe-sword-pickaxe is the best order, in my not-so-humble opinion), but start with the axe so that you can start chopping down larger trees and collecting hardwood. You'll need 30 hardwood saved up to upgrade to the Level 2 Workshop.
  • Spend some days' energy slaying creatures, especially llamas, sea urchins, and snails; turn all their meat into roasted meat, and save that and any apples you might happen to be tempted to kick down for when you go spelunking. Also, try sparring with the townsfolk! If you win, you'll get a bit of money, and sometimes an item. If you get a baguette, they restore some stamina; basically, hoard all your stamina regen items for in the ruins.
  • Don't go into the ruins multiple days in a row, but when you do go, make a whole day out of it. Don't bother gathering or doing anything else but what you have to on days you plan to go mining. Concentrate on copper above all else when mining, but don't forget to look for relics while you're digging anyway; you're going to need plenty of power stones, and you're going to want to sell extra old parts for a bit of cash. Spend the days you're not mining out fighting creatures. You can fish, too, but it's not a viable money maker at this point in the game, and the cooked fish items don't really restore enough stamina to bother - mostly because fighting monsters will help raise your level, increasing your damage, defense, and, most importantly, max stamina.
  • Keep pumping out copper bars and fulfilling copper commissions from them. You'll also be getting a lot of tin; at this point, you should have at least 3 furnaces. I recommend keeping 1 of them working on copper bars, 1 working on bronze bars, and 1 empty in case you want to fill a glass or stone brick commission.
  • Once you've saved up 1000g from your commissions, as well as 5 old parts and 30 hardwood, go ahead and upgrade your workshop.
  • Once you've upgraded your workshop, cease copper bar production, except for as needed for commissions, and go hard on bronze barsand turn them all into bronze pipesSell those directly to the commerce guild shop, and you'll really start raking in some money. Keep an eye on your copper and tin (just keep a stack with you at all times so you can constantly top off your furnaces) and head into the mines as often as needed so that you never run out of copper or tin. In between mining days, murder innocent meat-giving creatures so you have some roasted meat to feast upon while you're mining.
  • When you're ready to build the bridge, the biggest thing you're going to need are 30 bronze bars to make 10 bronze plates with, so if you want to craft some bronze bars once in awhile and start saving up while getting rich off the bronze pipes, have at it. Don't forget you need to place two wooden bridge heads, so save up 50 hardwood and 12 copper bars for those 6 copper pipes.
  • Finally: sell extra stacks, or extra crafted goods. Personally, I find it hard to keep enough wood in stock for constantly fueling my furnaces, so I hoard up on wood and don't craft items to sell that require it. Stacks of stone you can turn into stone stools; you'll get 3g extra per stool than you would for selling just 10 stone. If you've got enough plant fiber, craft work clothes and hiking pants to sell for profit, or just sell the raw materials by themselves, though that's far less profitable.

If you followed this guide, got rich, and got to the tier 3 workshop, let me know how quickly you did it!
Also, if you've any other tips or tricks for us, be sure to leave it in the comments below!
Thank for reading! (Or, y'know, skimming. Or whatever. It all counts.)