...second game took 30 minutes or so from start to finish (yes, it was that quick).
It has a worker placement and management scheme that fits well into the Sci-Fi theme, you are a corporation tasked with mining minerals and making money. There is a bit of press your luck with dice rolling, but also strategies in place to avoid "the dice hate me" problem (re-rolls, added dice, etc.).
This sounds great. There are not enough worker placement/dice manipulation games ("dice placement" games, if you will) that give a satisfying play experience in ~30-45 min.
Troyes is fantastic, but takes about an hour (45 minutes with two if you both know what you're doing). Alien Frontiers and Kingsburg... Good luck playing those in anything under an hour. Madeira is gorgeous and lengthy; Monolith is quite quick but has really weak theme and a few things that bug me (lack of variety with the round cards, pretty straight-forward decisions).
I'm really hoping this will scratch a similar itch to all of those games (with exception of Madeira - that's an entirely different beast) and will play in 45min or less. So your report is encouraging. Hooray!
(I'm also looking forward to Artifacts, Inc., as I hope that it will fit right in with all these games and will have a fairly quick playtime! Page says 60 minutes but I'm holding out hope it can fit in 45 min or so.)