Timeline is a minimalistic management game simulating a network economy through space and time. It has been developed  with Unity for the GMTK game jam 2021. The theme of the jam was "joined together". Its gameplay rely on joining different kind of worker, ressources and locations together in a big economic network to produce more and more advanced techonologies. It proposes to illustrate how any product is the result of the joint labor of a multitude of people.


How to play

  • Drag the round anchor at the end of a wire on an empty place in the timeline to build a new location.
  • Drag the round anchor at the end of a wire on an existing location to link two locations and create a new ressource.
  • The anchor that has been placed can  be removed or moved only if no location depends on it.
  • The wire has limited size and the number of anchor that can be linked to a location is limited so be careful to not be stucked. If you are stucked, remove the last anchors you placed to unlock the situation.
  • Put the mouse cursor over a location to display the ressources the location produce and the ressources it can convert.


Inspiration

This game is inspired by the  woolen coat example written by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations :

The woolen-coat, for example… is the produce of the joint labor of a great multitude of workmen. The shepherd, the sorter of the wool, the wool-comber or carder, the dyer, the scribbler, the spinner, the weaver, the fuller, the dresser, with many others, must all join their different arts in order to complete even this homely production. How many merchants and carriers, besides, must have been employed in transporting the materials from some of those workmen to others who often live in a very distant part of the country! How much commerce and navigation in particular, how many ship-builders, sailors, sail-makers, rope-makers, must have been employed in order to bring together the different drugs made use of by the dyer, which often come from the remotest corners of the world! What a variety of labor too is necessary in order to produce the tools of the meanest of those workmen! To say nothing of such complicated machines as the ship of the sailor, the mill of the fuller, or even the loom of the weaver, let us consider only what a variety of labor is requisite in order to form that very simple machine, the shears with which the shepherd clips the wool. The miner, the builder of the furnace for smelting the ore, the feller of the timber, the burner of the charcoal to be made use of in the smeltinghouse, the brick-maker, the brick-layer, the workmen who attend the furnace, the mill-wright, the forger, the smith, must all of them join their different arts in order to produce them. 


Download

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TimelineWindows.zip 22 MB

Development log

Comments

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Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 42 · Next page · Last page

why can you turn kids in to laborers that's slavery 

(3 edits) (+3)

very cool game, though a little frustrated when you did something wrong and have to destroy several buildings to keep working. Some wires can be dragged far away but some can only drag a little, and the rule is a little confusing which can be dragged more. Sometimes you forgot how to get something and have to move back to see it.. it really takes sometime to scroll back lol.

Here is a full list of rules for the game and hopefully it will be helpful for people who get lost:


build seed get tree

tree produce seed

tree convert kid/laborer/robot to wood


build kid get field

field produce food x 3

field convert kid to laborer, robot to food


build wood get cottage

cottage convert food to kid, electricity to student


build laborer /robot get mine

mine produce stone

mine convert kid to coal, laborer to iron, robot to icon


build food/cow get pasture

pasture produce cow x 3, manure

pasture convert food to cow, kid to laborer


build stone get template

template convert food to food, kid to apprentice


build apprentice get workshop

workshop convert wood to paper, cow to food, iron to pipe


build paper get school

school convert laborer to engineer, student to scholar

build engineer get factory

factory convert coal to electricity,oil to fuel, manure to fertilizer, iron to robot, kit to laborer


build electricity get electricity pole

electricity pole produce electricity x 2

build scholar get institute

institute convert laborer to astronaut,student to scientist


build scientist get research center

research center convert fuel to rocket

electricity to robot


build pipe get pump

pump convert electricity to oil


build rocket to space rocket

space rocket convert astronaut to space man


win!

(+2)

Interesting game.I would describe it as a puzzle game, rather than 'minimalistic management game simulating a network economy through space and time'.

It is a lot of fun to try and figure out, where to place what in which order. And i feel that is the main premise of the game :)

Stuck on figuring out how to build a factory

(+10)

sure do love turning kids into coal

(+2)

minor miner

i really dig those minors

(+1)

HAHAH you seem to have replace the E in Miner with O on accident....On accident right

(+1)

Wait What You turn kids to coal i should call the police

(throws a child into the incinerator)

(+1)

dont call the cops (throws you into incinerator)

tôi đã bị bí khi than và giấy không làm gì được

(+1)

Love it!

(+3)

Really makes you think about things differently. Very Cool

Minimalistic.
(+4)

I don't think I've ever been so impressed with a browser game! I love that there's not a manual and you just slowly progress and discover how to make new things. I played two rounds and saved it to play again another time. The replay value is 10/10

(+1)

A fun and confusing game

(+2)

Hi, i'm stuck with the loading screen at 0%, how do I fix this? Do I need to download or disable anything? I'm playing on chrome. Tried playing on Safari but then it got stuck at 90% instead. I use a mac Monterrey ver 12.0.1

(+1)

Really cool concept and nice minimalist graphics/sounds. I had to start over several times to figure it out. Well done!

(+6)

This is a really cool game, though the limited range of all the components makes it way more tedious than it needs to be

(+2)

great game! thank you for the experience

(+1)

did anyone get to space then relize you have to start over lmao 

(+1)

this game is really interesting

(+1)

NICE!

(+11)

Child Labor is fun!

(+1)

it doesnt even start, just stays on an infinite loading screen, i have tried everything

how do you make a factory?

(+7)

What a cool little game !!

It entertain me for a couple of hours !

Too bad there is no manual or tuto, because it's incomprehensible without a walktrought ...

For some who understand nothing (If I have that when I beginning it would be more understandable ..)

result convert with
kid Food cottage
student kid Elec + cottage
laborer kid field, workshop
apprentice kid temple
scolar student School
spaceman astronaut
enginer laborer School
scientist student institute
astronaut laborer institute
paper wood workshop
(+1)

Thank you for taking the time to write up a table!  It's folks like You that made the '90s/Y2k Internet so awesome!
Share & Share alike!  Good Hunting.

(+1)

Cool concept love the game but mike the a manuale please.

(5 edits) (+8)

Recipies:

1. With Seed and two Kids, pull the Seed node as far to the right as possible to plant a Tree. Use one Kid to get Wood from Tree. Build Cottage immediately to the right of the Tree. Use the remaining Kid to Plow Field just to the left of the Tree. The Field give three Food. 

2. Take Seed from the Tree and pant it as far to the right as possible. Keep repeating this till you get 5 or 6 spans to the right. Completing the first level took me 9 or 10 Trees, each planted as far right to the right as possible.

3. Use three Food to get three Kids from the first Cottage. Use two Kids, each time, to repeat step 1 all the way to 5 or 6 Trees. The unit of Field, Tree and Cottage stuck together has to be repeatd.

4. The third Kid from first Tree is used in the Field to produce a Laborer.

5. Pull the Laborer to the right of second Cottage to build a Mine.

6. Use the Stone from the Mine to build a Temple to the right of the third Cottage.

7. Use the spare Kid from second Cottage to get Apprentice from the Temple.

8. The spare kid is used in the successive buildings to create the next "upgrade." Use the space between the trees to create one building. More than two buildings are needed in places around 4th and 5th Tree. Place those buildings wisely as you will need to eventually move towards left side to fit Electric Poles.

9. When you get electricity from Factory the Electric Poles will provide two nodes. Spread Electrification towards both sides. 

10. Cottage + Electricity = Student

11. Student + School = Scholar

Be careful with the placement of the School as it is a large building. 

12. Laborer + School = Engineer who can build a Factory. 

13. The general progression is a timeline of the Kid from different types of labor like farming, carpentry, mining and masonry. The Kid can become Apprentice, then follow the path of Student-Scholar-Scientist. Kids "grow up to become" a Laborer at Workshops and Factories. The roles of Engineer and Astronaut are also a part of the timeline. Ultimately the timeline and progression leads to one becoming a Spaceman a Space Explorer.

14. The biggest challenge is after building the Institute to get Iron from a Mine to a Workshop in order to produce a Pipe. The Pipe makes an Oil Pump which has to be electrified. The Oil then has to be turned into Fuel in a close by Factory. The Fuel is sent to the Space Station. This requires the Factory to be close to the Space Station. So for all of this, build a second set of School, Temple, Workshop, Factory and Mine on the far right hand side around the 8th, 9th and 10th Trees. Then move left towards the Space Station at the 5th Tree so that the Factory is close enough to it around the 6th one.

This challenge made the game really wrothwhile :D

15. The Rocket is finally built when the Fuel is provided to the Space Station. Use the Space Station's Robots wisely. The Astronaut from the Institute can travel a very long distance, like 5 Tree spans or something like that. The Cows weren't needed. When you get to the next planet as a Spaceman Explorer, a Space Pod can be built which lets you play the whole game again with Electrification already available from the Pod.


This game gets 5 mallets out of 5 chisels and a skirret for bonous.

I spent 10 or 12 hours trying to find a way to solve this puzzle. Hope you all enjoy this beautiful game =)

(+1)

I finally made an account on itch just to be able to comment for this game. Incredibly brilliant game for a simple and clean concept. Highly recommend this puzzle game for all to play and enjoy. ^_^

The artwork, music and game mechanics are very nice and pleasing :)

The update of "Food in Temple gives Food" istead of "Kid" makes the game more challenging.

Took me 20 or more tries to finally get to space colonization. 

When the "Rocket" launches the background can fade to twilight sky with clouds, dark space with stars, back to twilight and then to ground. This will indicate that next level is loading.

To extend this game new challenges and buildings may be included in successive planets, e.g. "Cartagropher" from "School" or "Institute" who can then become "Navigator" to create a "Map" of the cosmos. Then go to different planets, mine different elements, get cleaner energy, etc. Possibilities are endless, ENDLESS!!!

Thank you for making this cool game.

Cheers ;)

(+1)

It took me a while to work out how to do everything, but afterward it was very enjoyable to try and puzzle out all the combos which were possible as well as how to do things within a certain space. I found myself quite entertained by the whole concept. The little designs were wonderful and I wholeheartedly recommend.

(+2)

Great idea, but I can't figure out how to get further than the cow pasture. Also small side note, "ressources" is spelled "resources".

(+2)

can you add an undo button because i have to restart the game every time i make a mistake

(+1)

You don't need to do that. If you unattach the line you made, it'll revert back. You can actually wind back by unattaching stuff, all the way to the start.

wait really

Yup! 

When I got so far ahead I struggled to undo my work. At a few points it wouldn't let me remove the things I wanted to, just because everything was so interconnected.

Yeah, sometimes unwinding stuff can get confusing

(+1)

I loved playing! Is there an end or an Easter Egg after so many landings? I played through 8 landings but saw nothing. I would love to see a ver.2. Perhaps more difficult progression, like starting with 15 kids is critical to end game. Just shooting ideas. If you would rather not I would love to tinker with it.

(+6)

moral of the story:child labour is the key to successful progress and space flight

(+2)

Hi i'm stuck on screen loading,How can i fix this?

Thank you for reporting the problem! Can I ask which browser you were using when it happens? I tested in chrome and firefox and it starts normally.

(1 edit) (+1)

I just fixed it now after  reinstalling the game many times , Sorry for bothering. I think it had to do with the webgl

Thanks

(+8)

Did a speedrun of this game: 

(+1)

Love the game. There's only one thing I can say that makes this game a little hard to try and map out, the text.If there was an option to change the text to something easier to read this game would be perfect

(+1)

make it a download so 

we can mod it

(+1)

pls make download version

(+1)

Awesome! Any chance of a downloadable version? :)

(+1)

good game

(+1)

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS GAME, AGHHHHH SO GOOD,

after I beat it twice, I built a planet entirely out of cows


-ps can you please add a download or something, I like to keep gems like this on my hardrive

how do you play ive been stuck for 2 hours its 1:16 am pls i just wanna play :(

laborer to mine to stone stone to everyting

(+1)

I very enjoyed the game, it was very relaxing. The minimalistic artstyle was very good implemented and the lack of UI also adds to the feeling. The only thing I would change is the lenght of the game, I only got to the socond stage, I have no cloue if that was the last one. And I didin`t get what the game has to do with time lines, exept that it may seem like one.

(+1)

Was hoping for causality between multiple timelines. Still, good concept and great execution. The drag-and-drop and scrolling UI is great, and great hover tooltips, though I personally didn't like the inefficiency of the UX. The same could be done and played much faster as a text-based puzzle much like any idle games out there. Didn't finish the game due to lack of patience.

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