An Advance in Time

by realitybend

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Historical Sci-fi GameLit Male Lead Ruling Class Strategy Strong Lead Virtual Reality

In the year 2050, nanotech was invented that allowed humanity to do what it does best: ignore reality. Jason was a project manager at Razor, Inc. where those simulations were crafted and improved every day.  

That is, until an accident with a power outage and a poorly-coded backup protocol saw his consciousness transferred to a server and his body in a coma for the foreseeable future. 

With the corporate vultures circling around what they see as a new piece of company software, Jason finds himself in one of the simulations he used to design.

If you enjoy kingdom-building, strategy, technological progression and big challenges, you’ll likely enjoy An Advance In Time.

Remember to follow the story by clicking the bookmark icon and add the story to your favorites list!  

Reader comments:

“It’s like those incremental games, but much much more entertaining. I can’t wait to see where this goes, and can’t wait for the next update!” - Reddit user

“Solid prose and an interesting start... I’m always a sucker for industrialization, so I think I’ll be watching this.” - Reddit user

“The story is just the type of story I love reading.” -RoyalRoad reviewer  

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[A WINNER of the Royal Road Writathon challenge]

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1 - Beginnings ago
Chapter 2 - A Slight Problem ago
Chapter 3 - No Time to Waste ago
Chapter 4 - A New Home ago
Chapter 5 - Picking Up Speed ago
Chapter 6 - Water and Wood ago
Chapter 7 - Pointy Sticks ago
Chapter 8 - Iron is Surprisingly Hard ago
Chapter 9 - The Flames of Fear ago
Chapter 10 - A Grim Message ago
Chapter 11 - Finally Some Guns? ago
Chapter 12 - Preparing for War ago
Chapter 13 - Call of Courage ago
Chapter 14 - Success From Failure ago
Chapter 15 - Ready to Fight ago
Chapter 16 - For Our Lives ago
Chapter 17 - Aftermath ago
Chapter 18 - A Good Trade ago
Chapter 19 - Intrigue ago
Chapter 20 - Money Matters ago
Chapter 21 - Foreign Affairs ago
Chapter 22 - Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees ago
Chapter 23 - The Man Who Would Be King ago
Chapter 24 - Moving Pieces ago
Chapter 25 - Once More Unto The Breach ago
Chapter 26 - Night of War ago
Chapter 27 - Light ‘em Up ago
Chapter 28 - A Kingdom Is Born ago
Chapter 29 - Writing Home ago
Chapter 30 - The Ambassador’s Reception ago
Chapter 31 - Unwelcome Discovery ago
Chapter 32 - Symptoms of a Bigger Problem ago
Chapter 33 - Lack of Intelligence ago
Chapter 34 - The Royal Ball, Part 1 ago
Chapter 35 - The Royal Ball, Part 2 ago
Chapter 36 - The Royal Ball, Part 3 ago
Chapter 37 - A New Throne ago

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  • Overall Score

Decent story, but I see trouble ahead.

Reviewed at: Chapter 33 - Lack of Intelligence

It's a good read as far as has been written, but I'm concerned that the 'bad guys' have too much stacked on their side. The public reception seems to be too accepting of the line the company is feeding them. With something this big, you'd think there's be the usual obsessive experts going over every frame of the footage to analyse for their own theories. A petition was mentioned, but nothing much seems to have come from it. His wife hasn't been as active as she could have been on the outside and it seems odd that none of the programmers are having doubts or letting things slip. The whole "Whoops we killed/not-killed a bloke" seems to have had remarkably little impact on the company's bottom line, too.

I think the problem I have is that some things are working out as they are because they need to for the plot. If it's too blatant then it's just not as much fun to read.

Also a major part of the premise was how AI technology was not up to snuff and how useful it would be to have the creativity of a digital human to analyse. But then almost immediately it turns out that the AI are all plenty creative after all.

The characters are pretty well written, although the NPCs are more interesting than the protagonist who is a basic generic nice guy.

  • Overall Score

This story is grammatically well done and has few if any errors. It’s plot is decent and makes coherent narrative sense. The problem comes done purely to pacing. The plot contrivance of having the ai turned against him (despite a contract) makes this entire story feel frantic in a way that is unenjoyable. The madcap dash of escalation leaves any victory feeling hollow and pyrrhic at best and pointless at worst. In its current state I wouldn’t recommend reading it. 

Joe Thomas
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This is a refreshing take on the "stuck in a game world" trope, particularly in avoiding the RPG/fantasy tropes by making it a city builder. The initial introduction to the story is very effective at setting limits on the character and his interactions with the new world, as well as giving him goals to achieve. It is also a pleasant surprise to find a story in which the ending is not immediately given away since the read does not know if the MC will ever be able to leave the game and it is set up with two equally likely possibilities.

The style of the story is excellent, swapping between reality and the game at perfect intervals. Pacing is perfect, mixing tense combats and quandaries with (slightly lacking) emotional scenes, character growth and invention. Grammar and spelling is excellent and the author avoids the most common mistakes that people on this website make so often. Perhaps a little more could be done in fleshing out the real world and the impact it has on the MC's family and friends and coworkers, rather than focusing on the moustache-twirling villain.

Here we come to a serious flaw in the story - the antagonist. Unfortunately the antagonist is such a ham villain with completly opaque motivations. She seems to have a huge grudge against the MC for no reason. 

Spoiler: Spoiler

There just doesn't appear to be any good reason for the antagonists treatment of the MC and they come off as a cliche villain.

Overall, though, an excellent read as long as you can suspend your disbelief at the idiocy of the villain.

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I'm a sucker for the kingdom-building and technological/economics "uplift" genre, so that already would have made me love the story. But add into that virtual reality, artificial consciousness, and corporate wrangling, and you've got me hooked!

Great start! I'm looking forwards to how it continues!

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An excellent blend of two disparate genres

Reviewed at: Chapter 17 - Aftermath

Do you enjoy hard sci-fi, with tales of corporate espionage, greed, and cutting-edge technology changing a world reflecting our own? Do you enjoy uplift stories where a well-read protagonist takes a less-than-stellar situation and gives life and joy to the people?

Congratulations, this story has both at the same time. Alongside this are characters with human flaws that you *don't* just want to shake until they gain some ethics and/or personality, some reasonable antagonists, and a pleasant pacing that allows for some depth into the science without getting bogged down.

Take a read and enjoy.

Violent Nexus
  • Overall Score

If you are into kingdom building with realism but don't like the often unessesary details that authors tend to add in them. Then this is for you, The authors seems to find a way to highlight every important event that is happening in the chapters. So you wont need to feel bored at any moment, not only that but he incorporates a great amount of real-world realism. And does so in a manner that is highly entertaining. A lot of the characters, despite being 'AI' feel very real to the reader and seem like they have lives of their own. So the character building is good as of now.  For now this is a 5/5 in my opinion ,since I've been searching for something like this for a while, Glad someone could write it.

Spoiler: Spoiler


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The story is about a future after the invention of Nanotechnology. It follows Jason Last Name Forgotten after an accident at his workplace, where his body was rendered unresponsive and his mind downloaded to a virtual reality server hosted by his company.

It has so far proved to be pretty fun compared to most novels featuring the kingdom building genre, and i am excited to follow it as it gains traction. The characters ironically feel like real people, despite many being AI, and the writing is great. The only flaw i can nitpick while staying within the bounds of reason is a minor detail: Jason appoints his underlings too soon after meeting them. 

I really like the details, like the mars colony, and would like more chapters from the perspective of the villagers, maybe the war speech from their perspective... hint hint.

That said, if you like kingdom building or "uplift" novels, its a fun read ;)



  • Overall Score

kingdom building = immediate 5 stars

Reviewed at: Chapter 1 - Beginnings

I am liking everything so far. The pacing seems a little fast though. There are alot of time where it speeds through things I would have like to be there for. Over all though it handles everything really well. I don't often care about the real world in VR stories, but this one has me interested. Keep up the good work!

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Great and entretaining with some small issues

Reviewed at: Chapter 34 - The Royal Ball, Part 1

I am enjoying this story a lot, it is really easy to inmerse yourself in it and also really easy to get into.

The characters are great and i hope we get more depth to them in the future!

I will start with my main problems with the story,

Spoiler: Spoiler


Spoiler: Spoiler



The kingdom building itself is great, i would wish for the perspective of normal citizens on how they feel about the changes to be able to have a better grasp at whats happening :D but otherwise it has been really entretaining.

Finally, i hope in the future we could see more of the intelligence gathering/spy part of the story since its starting to become relevant.

TL:DR Great story, fun for people looking for Kingdom Building

  • Overall Score

Up to chapter 34. Really enjoyed everything so far. Thanks for the effort. Hope to see this continue. Stay safe.