Sunnyside Discussion Thread

All other video games not related to the main farming series - Pokemon, Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia, and other indie-developed games.
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JustABeautifulGuy
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Release date
PC release: June 14th 2024
PS5 and Xbox Series X|S release: August 16th

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Welcome to the Sunnyside discussion forum! Come here to discuss the game both technical and gameplay wise and ask questions regarding the gameplay and so on.
Last edited by JustABeautifulGuy on Jun 17, 2024 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JustABeautifulGuy
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So... Sunnyside is finally out after years of waiting. This game made buzz amongst the content creators back then by having the classic farm sim formula modernized. However, the hype died down fairly quick after several delays occurred. I personally lost the enthusiasm myself.

Now it has been more than 3 years since the Kickstarter campaign, and the game finally released despite all the setbacks. I had to try the game myself and see if it really lived up to its initial hype. I've played the game for only about 8 hours now, and my short answer to that question will be somewhat no. I guess I just had really high expectations. The game sure has some really interesting and unique mechanisms and content, but I just dislike the way everything plays out. The game design feels very... amateur. Without spoilers, I can only say the pacing is a mess. It's trying to emulate the very famous open world formula by having several story quests play out at the same time, which is cool but really overwhelming to have it from the very start especially when each part of the quest feels very conflicting theme wise. My biggest issue is how I have to spend days trying to figure out where I need to find a person/specific item because the game simply won't give me any pointers. In general, I almost feel the same way I did with My Time at Portia (which I dropped very quickly). The game has the right ideas and mechanisms, but the execution is clunky. 

My first impressions:

I'll get out my biggest complaint first: the game isn't release-ready at all performance-wise. I know it's harder to optimize the games for the PC since everyone has varied specs, but « Harvest Goddess », the optimization stinks. I'm playing on the lowest settings, and the game still lags. A lot, and I'm not even exaggerating. The game runs fine until you actually enter several interiors. From what it seems, the main issue is that the interiors stay loaded, causing huge memory leaks. The developers promised to fix this up as soon as possible and find a new way to load in the interiors, but for a game, they just delayed one last time to make sure they patched up all the bugs. It's definitely not a good look. You can't even pet or pick up the extremely cute baby chickens because of some bug, such a cruel way to play with our feelings! :evil:

The mechanisms are cool, though. The game sells its uniqueness through character dialogues, which I find really cheesy, but I guess it's a nice way to inform players what this game does differently from your average farm sim. The whole watering gig is nice. You get a hose and use it to water all your crops until you run out of water. The entire farming process is more realistic with bees pollinating, you ordering seed packets, fertilizers needed only for the growth and so on but it never gets complex to annoy you or consume your time which is really nice. The whole process isn't that different but it's still a much welcomed change. You also have a huge, realistically sized town, but since you can travel using the vehicles quite early on, the exploration aspect isn't daunting at all. Well, other than the fact it takes 2s to get on and off your ride. The town feels stranded fitting for the plot as compared to the city, which you can visit and hang out at. That's about what comes to my mind for now.

And then we have the romance. It's really easy to romance someone. You just ask to hang out at places, choose an activity to do (a small cutscene) and then an event will trigger with them talking to you about what's going on in their life. It's pretty repetitive but I would say the dialogues are quite fleshed out for each of the characters.

My complaint with the romance aspect would be the options being limited to a specific gender choice. You can pretty much figure out if a person is into your gender choice or not by seeing which characters have their confess option pop out the earliest. I went to identify as a squarely masculine guy, and this one guy only took three dates to get confessed to. So far, so good until I realize only one out of my seven choices was actually into me. From what it seems like, your pool is much bigger if you love characters that are the opposite « Chicken Hugging » to you. So if you're looking for candidates with same-« Chicken Hugging » romance, your pool is heavily reduced from 12 to just 5 or 6 candidates depending on your gender choice. All that builds up just for them to say you're not their type and would like to just stay as friends. I get that it's meant to be realistic, but I hate being limited to options that I don't find attractive. 

Last but not least, I hate the lack of cohesiveness in the game's entire theme. The juxtaposition between the main story and the game is weird. The game itself feels very grounded and realistic until you open up the main story and see how heavy it goes on fantasy and RPG elements. I would very much prefer to focus on bringing the town alive by simply helping out at the farm rather than the whole "save the town from an impeding calamity" thing they have going on. This aspect is what made me feel this game was definitely a passion project from a small dev team. Not a bad thing that they were doing what they love to see in video games but it's definitely a random artistic choice for this game atleast.

Overall, the game is enjoyable, just clunky in many areas. I would rate it 7/10 personally as of now. It's such a shame since it had a lot of potential. I wish the developers had done a better job at guiding us, at least initially. I know it's too late to change the game design, so I'm just going to hope this game sells well enough for them to try making a sequel for this game that will execute their ideas right again (very unlikely given the mixed reviews and how the devs already seem very burnt out). Pathea Games pretty much did that with My Time at Sandrock fixing My Time At Portia and MtAS became one of my favorite games ever in this genre. I hope this game has a great future ahead but for now, let me clock in some more hours and enjoy this game to the fullest!
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JustABeautifulGuy wrote: Jun 16, 2024 4:36 pm Welcome to the Sandrock discussion forum! Come here to discuss the game both technical and gameplay wise and ask questions regarding the gameplay and so on.
I think you made a wee little boo-boo, Guy. :)

I tried the demo once but it crashed when I finished customizing my character in the start-up. I didn't want to restart. The demo had a major overhaul sometime after that but I have yet to go back. I do have to get back in there and try it again.
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Kikki wrote: Jun 16, 2024 6:13 pm
JustABeautifulGuy wrote: Jun 16, 2024 4:36 pm Welcome to the Sandrock discussion forum! Come here to discuss the game both technical and gameplay wise and ask questions regarding the gameplay and so on.
I think you made a wee little boo-boo, Guy. :)

I tried the demo once but it crashed when I finished customizing my character in the start-up. I didn't want to restart. The demo had a major overhaul sometime after that but I have yet to go back. I do have to get back in there and try it again.
:lol: Oops my bad lol. Thanks for pointing it out. Guess my Sandrock craze isn’t still over despite all these new releases.

As for the game, I’d really recommend for you to give it a proper try but… just not right now. I’d wait until everything is ironed out and there are more updates. My poor laptop is going through the trenches just to run this game smoothly. :lol:

If anyone in here does want to try this game as soon as possible, I’d honestly first suggest trying the demo first and check if it runs well. If not, then look if you can get it for the current gen consoles since the devs are confident in the game running smoothly on the consoles.
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Yes, I was referring to the demo :)

SunnySide is not yet verified for Steam Deck, either. The controller system is very inconsistent on it and it would add, er...un-fun-ness. I COULD try it on my laptop, but I haven't done so yet and am not sure if I want to, as I find playing on laptop physically painful.

I will most likely be getting a 'free' key. (Well, I paid for it three years ago via an add-on through backerkit, it seems, though I don't clearly remember doing so. It feels free, lol.) Depends on if they're willing to swap my Switch key for a Steam key, now that they will not be doing a Switch port of their game.
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I guess it’s worth a try, hope you get the Steam key in exchange!

They said they were working to optimize the game on the Steam Deck as soon as possible so atleast that’s some good news. Don’t know how long the wait will be.
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I wish fewer indie devs would sign up with a publisher. I get that there are a lot of benefits...but there are some huge negatives, too. They lose a lot of control of their game. The publisher sometimes forces the game ahead too fast and makes it be released before it's ready. Plus, maybe some would WANT this, but the publisher kind of takes over. Right now on the Steam page, the people replying to all the comments/reviews is not the developer, but the publisher. They say things like 'our developer' when talking to people about relaying criticism and suggestions, as if SunnySide was THEIR game that they hired a developer to make.

I don't know, but I hate seeing it. It's like the game becomes the property of the publisher more than the developer and I just find that so awful. The publisher had NOTHING to do with making the game, they most likely just provided some marketing. Maybe some money? I don't know how often a publisher contributes financially.

Perhaps SunnySide's developer is wonderful; I don't know anything about them. But SunnySide doesn't feel ready for release, yet it's been released, and I wonder if that's the publisher's doing. (I suppose the team could have run out of money and it's not the publisher's fault, I don't know, but I can't help but wonder after the many times I've seen a publisher or investors or others outside the dev team push a game forward too quickly.)
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I honestly think Sunnyside didn't need a publisher at all. I know their Kickstarter funds were pretty low as compared to other farm sims and they probably needed a publisher to give them extra funds but I don't think they really benefitted that much on their end from this deal. The marketing is basically non-existent and all the publisher did was simply push the devs to release the game early when it was clearly unprepared.

Now as a result, the game has mixed reviews and it's ruining the games visibility on Steam as per one of their devs own words in their Discord server. And it's not like the game wasn't ready at all content wise, they just needed some more time to optimize the performance and implement the very last stretch goal: the multiplayer. Now with all this very much avoidable hate they got, it definitely ruined the devs' morale as well as publics perception on the devs and will make them less likely to work on more upcoming projects.

Still, one can justify indie games with low funds looking out for publishers to get some extra funds but I don't get why games such as Coral Island with extremely successful Kickstarter campaigns make a deal with publishers giving them all the rights to market and publish game however and whenever they like. Coral Island was pushed to release early as well and the next 1.1 update releasing sometime this summer seems like what was actually promised to be in the 1.0 release. It would be just an additional 6 months wait for the game to be complete so why push to release a game in that state and potentially ruin publics perception that would hinder the sales? I simply don't get it. All these publishers have the same issue of pushing indie devs releasing the game right before it's actually done.
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I won a Steam key for this game from a streamer who was doing a giveaway, so I figured I give this one a try. I played for nine hours and did not enjoy it at all throughout my entire playthrough. I generally don't mind criticizing a game, but I feel horrible knowing the developers undoubtedly put a lot of love into it, so I'm going to be nice as possible.

This game has some really good ideas and content but a really poor way of introducing them. I felt extremely overwhelmed by how complex everything is right off the bat. The complex farming on top of a complex combat system on top of a complex crafting technology on top of a complex socializing aspect on top of a complex map on top of a complex cooking system. This game feels exactly like this sentence: too much is going on for my mind to comprehend. This is probably just a personal thing but I don't like this at all. I've played complex games such as Trio of Towns but I've never felt this overwhelmed.

Not to mention the amount of frequent bugs that clearly should've been fixed during the QA tests. And « Harvest Goddess », don't even get me started on the poor performance. I am dropping this game for now but I'll most likely pick it up again when I'm really feeling the farm sim drought.
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Meowie wrote: Jun 21, 2024 5:16 pm I felt extremely overwhelmed by how complex everything is right off the bat. The complex farming on top of a complex combat system on top of a complex crafting technology on top of a complex socializing aspect on top of a complex map on top of a complex cooking system. This game feels exactly like this sentence: too much is going on for my mind to comprehend. This is probably just a personal thing but I don't like this at all. I've played complex games such as Trio of Towns but I've never felt this overwhelmed.
This...actually gets me more revved up to play, lol. Cool :) I never found Trio complex, it was pretty much perfect. Just enough to keep my attention! If it had to err one way or another, I'd have preferred it to be more complex rather than less, so if SunnySide is on the 'more' side, for me that sounds awesome. Though if you're hit with the full complexity right from the start, it might make it hard to get going in the beginning. I suspect I'd appreciate the complexity more and more as time went on, though.

Well, we will see, because the SunnySide folks kindly sent me a Steam key after I contacted them about the Switch version I'd purchased 3 years ago via Backerkit. So I do indeed own the full game on Steam, now. I can try it on my laptop since I'm betting it doesn't run well on Steam Deck. I'm not sure that I will very soon, as I'm having more than usual problems with my muscles right now and playing on laptop exacerbates them. Just typing this is making my neck clench up, lol.

Btw: HUH. I didn't know that reviews didn't 'count' on Steam if the product was activated by key! That doesn't make any sense to me. I PAID for that key. It was not a gift or a trial. Why shouldn't my review count? But only games purchased directly on Steam get to count. (As evidenced by the star on the top right corner of each review. An empty star if the game was activated by key or sent as a gift, and a full/shaded star if it was purchased directly.

Never noticed that before, but it immediately annoyed me when I did. I paid for the game the same as everyone else! Oh well, will still leave a review (you can see them, they just don't count in the game's score) at some point, though I don't know when I'll get around to playing.

Have to stop now.
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