Welcome to the Island

Build a thriving colony one building at a time. Click to place buildings in the right locations will generate new ones. Keep placing buildings until you run out. Your goal is to reach the highest population possible on your island.


Island Maker was created during the month of February 2022 as part of Ryan's 1GAM. This game was also an entry to the Eggplant Community Jam where the theme was "Fun with Hexes". The excellent games Tiny Islands and Carcassonne inspired Island Maker's mechanics.


Dev: Ryan Kubik

Art: Steven Colling

Playtesting: Brendan McCracken, Mickey Sanchez, Eggplant Show community

Additional Design By: AlternaSports Ltd.

Chat about Island Maker on our Discord

Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(113 total ratings)
AuthorRyan Kubik
GenreStrategy, Card Game
TagsCity Builder, Hand-drawn, Relaxing
Average sessionA few minutes

Development log


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Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 48 · Next page · Last page

Decided to return back to the game. My unlocks were reset (maybe because you added new content), but I managed to unlock almost everything back (but I still have a few things not unlocked yet). As for the total score,  I got a total of 171 for all levels

Hmmm! It depends on when you played last, I think. At some point I definitely changed the save format when I introduced all the levels… but it also might just be a bug!

171 is pretty good! Nice score for a fresh save!

Thanks ^_^

Looking at the devlogs, I feel like the last time I played was before 3.0.0, because I remember having a Journal and using rock shards for lands, but I don't think I experienced unlockable interactions or merchants/pirates.


Ohhh wow! Yeah! I think that I introduced the custom levels in 3.0.0 so that might’ve totally destroyed some save files. 🙈


I think it would be so fun to see the high scores for the set levels, I may go through the comments and look at what people have gotten for those levels.


I would love if someone could post the completed journal because I have three left

Sorry for the delayed response! Here’s an image of the completed journal behind a spoiler wall: https://r-k.io/island-maker

Thank you! Was able to get dungeon with this, still trying to figure out witch hut and kraken

The witch hut is a bit tricky to stumble into by accident. It involves using the Curse.

The kraken involves shipwrecks. It’s probably best to hunt for that on the archipelago map.

I’m happy to out right tell you either one if you want!

Figured out witch hut! Only kraken is left.

Got kraken! I'm not sure how though so I would appreciate the explanation for that.

Oh shoot! It looks like I forgot to actually add that in as actual rules text in the Journal.

The Kraken will be added to your hand every five shipwrecks that are created.

(1 edit) (+1)

How does the editor mode work?

Unfortunately, the editor mode doesn’t actually work right now on Itch.io. There’s not actually any way to save or import map files, so it’s disabled.

I’m hoping to have time to make an update which actually allows editing soon though!


Okay, I started playing yesterday and had few ? marks in my jounral left with no idea what to do, but... Somehow managed to trial-and-error find witch hut and dungeon. And that was yesterday, leaving me with thing I didn't undersatnd and didn't found out.

But as of today, I've managed to complete my jounrla by sheer luck, getting Tracks in daily run and figuring out the Nest. Couldn't do that without the randomness, so it's a little con for the game. Also finally managed to solve the function of the Key and find out all the rest of sea-based question marks, while getting my personal best - 43, on Archipelago. Great game, will be waiting for more updates maybe?

Thank for you for playing Island Maker! :-)

I appreciate the feedback. I’d love to add more clues/hints about filling in the Journal.

I’d still love to come back and do another update for Island maker, but I’m not sure when I’ll have time to revisit yet.

(2 edits)

Possible glitch using bounce on a nest keeps the extra bank slot and gives you another

EDIT: This also takes effect when the nest is removed another way such as by curse or camp

SECOND EDIT: The game will end the round if you get a land based item with no space, even if this item can be traded to a merchant

Oh! Interesting! I don’t think I actually considered that case. I guess it’s fair play for now, but I’d consider that a bug.

Good find!


High score on Archipelago

Nice! That’s a great score!

can you make it centered in fullscreen

I can look into that! It’s probably a fairly easy tweak.

Don't quite understand this game. What makes me run out of buildings?

Why should I build farms when there is no home yet?

You start each game with a fixed number of buildings. If you place buildings in particular ways, they will generate more buildings.

The Journal will give information and hints about how to place your buildings effectively. A lot of the gameplay comes from trying to discover new buildings and situations to place them in.

Your goal is to get as high a population as possible by placing houses.


Hello, I wanna say that your game is awesome, but idk how to get the items arount the "treasure".(expect the curse).

But great tutorial levels.

I just want an item that gives you recepies.

Thanks for reading.

I’m glad you enjoyed playing! :-)

A way to get hints for missing items is a great idea. I’ll have to think about how to add something like that.

Thanks for listening to my feedback. I will wait till it's ready


this game is great could use a tutorail and especailly some music

How do we install? There isn't a link

(1 edit)

Island Maker is web playable only! There should be nothing to install.

I think I did great

I got a better score lol

Awesome! Thanks for playing. :-)

how did you get schools of fish?

How did you get the broken metal ship on the top left corner?


Pretty fun, Enjoyed what i've played so far.
Highest score i've gotten so far, although pretty sure if i'd optimised it a bit i could've egged out even more pop. 


I think this is the highest score I’ve ever seen haha. It is really nice to see some of the later game mechanics put to good use. Well done!

Thanks for playing. :-)

Great game, ty! 😁
Couldn't figure out how to enter a seed to play from the comments, but did pretty decent on a daily I tried 😊

Thank you! That looks like a solid run! :-)

Oh no, I think I removed the seed input field in this latest build and forgot to put it back in. 🙈

I'm thinking the seed input field is still missing! Any chance it might be added back in? Or am I just completely missing it lol


Ah, I haven’t done an update in a little while now.

I’ll definitely put this on the list for when I’m able to work on another one though.

woohoo finally got the hang of it

Heyyy! Great job! That’s a solid score. :-)

your art was used in a mobile game ad


Ah, this is art is actually done by Steven Colling and he has asset packs on Itch.io that I used. So, not super surprising to see them in other games!

Hello! This game has been undownloaded in my library for a fair bit and I decided now would be a good time to try it out, as it looks excellent, but my download page says nothing is currently available for download. Do you know why this might be, or do you think I should reach out to itch.io directly instead?

Hm, I’m not actually sure where the downloadable version is! It shouldn’t be a thing, but I think I might’ve not marked a build correctly.

Island Maker is only web playable right now!

Oh man, my bad, I completely misread the web playable version as a preview screenshot somehow. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, already enjoying my first game!


My personal High score so far! 

Great little game, I haven't unlocked all of the objects yet, but still fun!

Nice! That’s a solid score. Thanks for playing. :-)


Great update! The new "tutorial" levels are very fun and are good at guiding players towards discovering certain interactions organically. The rules listed in the journal are extremely useful, both as a reference and a guide to things you haven't tried yet.

The randomly generated islands still feel a bit too chaotic most of the time, but it's more than made up by the powerful new effects of the different buildings. Overall, besides the random island generation, everything else about the game is a definite improvement. Great work, love it!

I’m very glad to hear the levels and rules have been working well. Those are the big new features in this latest update (which you probably already know, since you already commented on the launch post haha).

I was really worried about trying to get those things right without being super overbearing and ruining all the discoveries.

I very much agree on the randomly generated islands. Now that I’ve made some levels myself, I think I have a much better idea for how to improve that generation in the future. Currently, it is very naive.

In a new update, I’d like to start trying to recreate the good parts of these constructed levels.


Came back for the update. You weren't exaggerating when you said in the devlog that we need to unlearn few things 😅. Love the evolution of the camp and rock seed. I still have 6 things to unlock in the new version, but i think i will enjoy trying to discover them

Hehe, it was tough to try and balance making new stuff feel right and not totally ruin the old version of the game! Hopefully I struck the right balance!

The camp change is my favorite of the old buildings, I think. :-)

Glad you’re enjoying hunting down the new unlocks too! Good luck!


The journal is populating itself! 😢 single tear. I did clear cache, refreshed, and it auto filled again. One-shot-challenge, my beloved

By filling itself do you mean that you filled the journal yourself previously and now you cannot clear it?

Island Maker uses local storage to save your journal data. You could clear that out for this site to clear the journal out.

This is a good reminder to add a clear progress button to a future version though!

Hi everyone, I really really love this game, I only found it two days ago but I'm totally addicted and have played it many times.

I tried to write down the rules for myself as I went along (actually discovering the rules by myself was big part of the charm).

But I cannot seem to find the last object in the journal no matter what I do :(

I have created this account only because I was really hoping to get some help on finding the object if anyone could give me a hint that would be awesome! 

(1 edit)

I’m glad you’ve enjoyed playing Island Maker! :-)

The final object in the Journal is a weird one! It comes from getting a particular object that you’ve already found onto a forest tile.

I can give you a more explicit hint, or just the answer if you’d like!


This game is incredible fun!

Thank you! I’m glad you had enjoyed it. :-)

(7 edits) (+2)

This is a really cool and fun game! Here's my best run so far:

40 population

The seed was ZV4937TX, if anyone's interested in trying for an even higher score.

I really enjoyed the challenge of placing houses and farms, which compete for building space on plains, as well as leaving space for their supporting buildings. The art is also really great. However, I think there are a couple of areas where the game could be improved:

Learning The Game

The lack of a tutorial definitely made learning difficult. I see below that you're working on a tutorial, but it would be nice to have the short building descriptions appear when you hover over a building in the queue, bank, and journal, not just for the very next building you can build. That could help with remembering what every building does without having to have the building be the next one you want to build. 

Also, I still don't how to get that spiky hut shown in 5igOp's image...

Building Balance

I feel like some resources are way less usable than others. In particular:

  • Nests/Tracks: The extra bank slot is really useful, but I think it's strange that whether you can access an extra bank slot (or more) is random. I feel like each run should always have exactly one track so that you can always unlock this "powerup" in a run. Or perhaps not having a track should be a "hard mode" option?
  • Fish: Fish are pretty much useless in 90% of my runs. It seems like they always either aren't in the map, or spawn in a location where you can't place any ships to harvest them. Improving the random generation to place fish in actually usable locations would be great, although that sounds difficult. Maybe instead ships could be stackable? Or maybe lighthouses should generate a placeable fish resource with one or two fish?

Finally, it would be make this cool game even better if there were some music/sfx. Thanks for making this game (and reading my suggestions)!


Thank you so much for all of this thoughtful feedback!

I really agree with everything you’ve posted here. It is very reassuring to see you identifying a lot of the issues I’ve been thinking of as the biggest problems. :-)

The spiky hut is a weird object. You don’t actually place it, but you can generate it on the board in a couple uncommon ways. I like mysterious objects like this. I’d definitely like more hints about how to find them in a future update though!

Also, I just barely eked out a higher score on that seed. You did really well on this one.


The best I've gotten is 25! Wow, I didnt think 40 was possible. Speaking of eggs: I still haven't figured out how they're useful, I thought perhaps they just use up a space? 

Re: fish, there's usually no fish or just one, there's usually way more boats than fish (especially since the fish are usually tucked away so 3 boats can't access it. It would be nice if fish were more plentiful to make the ships feel more useful. 

Do the witch huts do anything? It seems like they don't because they're the final object but it would be fun if somehow they gave out curses. 

Thanks for this fun game!

25 is a pretty good run! Especially depending on the luck you get with the map. 40 was a very good map.

There’s not any animation, so it’s very easy to miss, but placing down a nest is what gives you an additional bank slot.

On the boat front, they do have another use besides just fishing! But, I still agree big time. The way water and fish generates in the current version of the game is very underwhelming.

Witch huts should actually give you a curse (the skull spell) when you create them. :-)

Thanks for playing! Glad you’re having fun!

What do you mean by "bank slot"?  

The square above the map labeled “Bank:” lets you click on it to store your current item there temporarily. This can be handy if you want to place a turnip before a farm or something like that.

You can only store one item at a time by default. However, for each nest you place, you get an additional “bank slot” or square you can store an item in.

This is visually appealing, but I have no idea how to play it. Am I completely missing a tutorial or explanation somewhere in the game itself? I don't see anything here on the itch page. Thanks! 

I have been working a little bit on a short tutorial, but currently nothing like that exists!

The gist is:

  • You have cards/locations in the top bar/deck
  • Placing locations in the correct position (next to certain things, usually) they can generate more cards and add them to your deck
  • Your score is your “population”
  • You get 1 population for each house that you place

So, your goals are experiment to learn what all the cards do. Then, optimize their placements to get the highest population you can.

(26 edits) (+1)

HOR6620H should let you one-shot the whole journal. (I had another seed that I just-missed on, and lost it on clipboard.) p.s. I don't mind spam of similar seeds

here's 1 run. got sloppy with village optimizing in the end. good replay, it's a tricky sequence. oh that's a mine and quarry behind both |\ mountains on right side. hint for advanced mechanics: the churches on the top left came last

eta: EXSONGY5 also. messier, more reliant on chance
eta: IK9QJW1S easy mode
AEA0R6KT fishtopia
JATI5PPG the beautiful land of the dead
RYXNQU77 a Mess
1EHR1MWP "by the skin of my teeth"
SXTEQB9S the mountains of lies

eta: not quite sorted -

A4GIVQYP ...ZW431SBH ...N66K5OI5 ...DW5W0H34 8Z6ZF2VQ

prime example of what *should* work: Q0OLQ26W 3x I got mines to regenerate with double mountains. every single time it produced all quarries, no lighthouses. the map, by contrast, appears to be a bust because it typically won't produce quarries.

this one's fascinating: OGK8UGNY should work, yet this or that falls short by one. call it 'mine later'

likewise this should work, but again. one way or another, one short. we'll say this is 'ignore the fish'. 6PTLCL36

another arbitrary output bust. sadface. MHOKR5AW

busts (as far as I know) -

UK3RNL3K like this should not be a bust and yet it is x.x
PK0ARN6Q no inn
17B6THFI no quarries
8QZ11RT0 dollar short
P06FZ6KY should work but quarries and dungeons are random
X2MI3HWY just nope
1545NU1C quarry busts (so far)

and finally, definitely gets, at least once

0IA8L4DG one fish
9QM6ZQTK a molehill
5XO0XN0Z death comes in 3's
DX7IK83C lack of house/boats
IOAAGI1G mt. just-right
KMXI3GX3 last inn
RJ8QKMPR that one church
BU1O0NYD unfinished business
TLKTT1N7 withered on the vine
A4Z9EZS6 this should work?
YVBBJH5S hotel california
ZYHJKGSM try, try, try again
E57AT98V (the last turnip) of lost mountain

YNZQYQUS surplus

1AFV8V4E 5 mine run
ND0JP7HQ one wave easy
F3VCQ0LV beginner easy
7ZKS8W3G intermediate mode plus high score 
NUDDFY4G minimalism
4N4SQH02 death, not fish

If anyone else is interested in pursuing, at minimum:

  • 🐾 tracks
  • 🐟 open fish
  • ⛰️⛰️ at least one pair of open mountains, more likely 2 pair

plus about 3 other conditions 🏞️ 🥕 🌳 that are building-savers. mostly, open tiles around resources

re: my quest to one-shot the journal. LFU9XOV2 is a seed which should work. Beautifully, even, it's got a high ceiling for population. But the quarries no matter what I do always yield the exact same outcome. Since I need both outcomes, that nixes the whole thing in the bud. (Let me know if you managed both.)

If those yields are set into the seed, and not conditional to placement, a venture like mine is all chance and no strategy. I've had the same problem with the Wood camps. Is there a pre-generated list of outcomes? I.e. I can replay forever and set the first building on any eligible tile, and it will always give me a windmill, or always give me a seed (mountain).

That's not a lot of fun if you want to do a challenge run like this. You could randomize for ages and then have to pre-test the board like I am, instead of glancing at it and dm'ing your friend for a race. Y'know?

Ah that is frustrating! Let me explain how the seeding works in case it helps your quest.

The seed you enter seeds the game’s internal random number generator. This means every time the game picks a random number over the entire course of the game, it is pulled from that initial seeding.

This makes the maps generate the same way each time. But, this also means that the same sequence of moves will also return the exact same results each time.

Some of the buildings, like camps, have a small random pool of options to pull from. If you place a camp at the same point in your sequence of moves it will always return the same value. If the camp is the first object you place that makes a random choice in your run it will always return the same thing. If you play a mine first (which also makes a random choice) and THEN play a camp you might get a different outcome.

Adding the placement location to the random choice in addition to the seed is an interesting thought though! I’ll have to see if there’s some way to work that in…

I’ve been thinking about doing another update soon where I remove a lot of this randomness though (after the initial generation). Might make it a new mode!


Niiiice! That’s a great score!

What does the dungeon do?

The dungeon should give you a church when you place it. Placing it in proximity to mountains will give you some curses though.


What does the nest interact with?


The nest is an odd one right now! It gives you an additional bank slot. :-)


Thank you for reporting this! Did the game get stuck like this without you being able to use that last inn?

i stopped to take the screenshot, and had to make a log in so the game got reset, so not sure if i could have placed it


Gotcha! Thanks for this update even still! I’m going to try to replicate and fix it. :-)

if it helps i'm using Firefox 99.0.1 build (64-bit)
windows 10 corporate

(2 edits)

Same issue--I am trying to recreate it to figure out what makes it happen

Update: If you place a windmill immediately before boats, the boat becomes undefined

Thank you for the help on this issue (and thanks for playing), I think I’ve resolved it now! :-)


Same thing happened to two of my boats, the text [undefined-undefined]appeared and I couldn't place them. Using Mac and playing on safari browser

Neat game btw :)

(1 edit)

Edit: I think I finally tracked this down actually! I wrote a short devlog about the bug: https://rmkubik.itch.io/island-maker/devlog/386701/fixed-undefined-undefined-bug

Thank you for helping debug and for checking the game out. :-)

I’m still trying to get to the bottom of this bug! Do you happen to remember what you placed right before you had the undefined show up? The boat? A windmill?

I think this bug is fixed now! I posted an update in the devlog about it. Thanks for the report. :-)



Personal best! Population: 23!

Nice! That’s a pretty great score!


remembered the game so decided to give it a quick play. Only got 13 in the daily XD either it is a bad seed or I am forgetting how to play XD

Hahah, welcome back! 13 isn’t too shabby after a month away!


I finally completed the journal 😅🥳 thanks to the dev tip, otherwise I would've been completely in the dark

Congratulations! 🎉🎉🎉

I am still missing the last item in the journal even after many many tries. Any tips 😅?

Also, is there a reason why the rocky seed not in the journal?

Yeah, it’s a weird item! I’m sorry about it! The last one is related to houses and forests.

Ah, the rocky seed not being there is an oversight! I’ll go and add that in. :-)

I think that last journal item isn't loading. I think I've gotten it a couple of times, but it only says 'undefined' and a blank. Yes, I regularly get the witch's hut and have revived it, too, same with the forester.

Also, the way the game distributes mountains makes them too late to be used by any quarries or mines. I think a few adjustments, like ensuring at least some of the fish are next to open water, would make this super addicting. Love hexagon maps, this one's very replayable.

Ah, thanks for that bug report! I’ll have to check it out. :-)

Yeah, the map generation is VERY simple right now. Some little tweaks like that to ensure playability of a given seed is a good idea.

As a fellow gamedev, I forgot to ask you the most important question 😅: which game engine did you use?


Haha, this is a React app. :-)

Awesome 👌

Has anyone figured out what the last symbol on the bottom row is and how to unlock it?

That one is pretty tricky to find on accident! It’s not a very common thing you’d do.

I can give hints (or just tell you) if you want, but I’ll wait to hear back.


My concise, incomplete, guide: 

Place farm next to turnip.

Place quarry next to mountain.

Place mine next to mountain

Place house on top of house

Place lighthouse next to water

Place ship next to lighthouse or fish

Place church (and inn) next to houses

Whenever you place a house, make sure you have two spots next to it (for both inn and church)

Each time you make a correct placement you get more stuff which will prolong the game and help you get to more advanced things

This looks good! You’ve got a lot of the rules down. :-)

Another tip:

DON'T place ships on waves; it makes them capsize.


Managed to get a better score in this seed 🥳

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