RMMV [DEMO] Selling Sunlight - Wandering Merchant RPG

Hercanic

Villager
Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
19
Reaction score
14
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Grammar correction of the first post:
Where you once a librarian with golden hair as shiny as the Sun you adored?
Should be:
[Were] you once a librarian with golden hair as shiny as the Sun you adored?


O2tvoNQ.png

On your website, consider adding a black backdrop or outline to this text so it is still legible when over the image.
 
Last edited:

Marquise*

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
5,079
Reaction score
8,352
First Language
French-Canadian
May I kinda add upon the typographic visibility of your text? We kinda loose the golden A and D and "rascals like you" while reading and people with dyslexia, eye soreness or attention deficit might... errr loose you there. Might I propose you to do some black or grey lettering outline there? I admit that all subtitled movies where I have no control over the image that gets white text upon white details and neutral color upon shades made in neutral colors just loose me and makes me unhook from the ongoing action.
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Grammar correction of the first post:

Should be:
[Were] you once a librarian with golden hair as shiny as the Sun you adored?

Good catch, thanks!

On your website, consider adding a black backdrop or outline to this text so it is still legible when over the image.

May I kinda add upon the typographic visibility of your text? We kinda loose the golden A and D and "rascals like you" while reading and people with dyslexia, eye soreness or attention deficit might... errr loose you there. Might I propose you to do some black or grey lettering outline there? I admit that all subtitled movies where I have no control over the image that gets white text upon white details and neutral color upon shades made in neutral colors just loose me and makes me unhook from the ongoing action.
Reasonable advice, thanks again. Don't really have the time to mess with the website right now, but I'd like to redo the header sooner or later - also because some people didn't really understand whether the text got told BY or TO the masked character :kaosigh:
Will probably substitute everything with the picture of a cart in front of a sunset - maybe with a parallax effect for added coolness! :3
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Hello, radiant and luminous people! We’re here to announce you a big scary exciting news: we’ll launch a Kickstarter campaign for Selling Sunlight in a month! The 19th September, to be precise.

Selling Sunlight started as an one-girl diversion from a boring office job, but the scale of the project has grown as more talented people have become involved. Our Kickstarter goal would allow us to focus full-time on the game, and release it to you even sooner. It would also help us to fairly pay more awesome people to help us make the game extra pretty, strange and cheerfully gloomy.

We’re still working on the various rewards, and that’s why we need YOU: take this survey! Tell us stuff! It won’t take more than 5 minutes of your time, we swear. Help us give you something nice in exchange for your support.

We’re now squashing the last bugs of our shiny demo, which we’ll release to you all before the Kickstarter. We’ve getting so much stuff done lately!
Look at all the things we did in those past three months (click on the screens to enlarge):


  • Increased base resolution and resized all the assets accordingly. Prettiness got increased by 75%!
  • Shiny new UI.
  • Started working with Lucy, a talented freelancer who’s now taking care of all our character sprites.

  • Replaced ugly standard assets with our hand-painted world map.

  • The bartering interface now finally makes sense.
  • You can now finally buy stuff! (No selling at the moment, though. That’s very hard to program.)

Expect a link for the demo in 2-3 weeks, along with an early peek at our Kickstarter page.
Until then, may the Sun shine on your path.
 

literarygoth

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
189
Reaction score
136
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
O_O

So...freaking...PRETTY!
Going on watch list, like now!
 

Alastor01

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Messages
218
Reaction score
258
First Language
Russian
Primarily Uses
N/A
Wow, this is a piece of art! Characters, backgrounds and UI are amazing :D Good work! Keep it up
 

HIIVE

85% Authentic Human
Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
111
Reaction score
266
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Incredible work, I'm in awe. <3
The development of the main character is very interesting to see, I love the concept behind it. Very clever. Looking forward to seeing how you guys progress.
 

AmazingKazuki

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
109
Reaction score
41
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Honestly this is amazing and shows what great stuff can come out of the RPG Maker series. I am eagerly awaiting to see a demo pop up and of course the final product in it's entirety. Definitely a game that is going on my wishlist... right now!
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
shows what great stuff can come out of the RPG Maker series.
One of the best parts about the development of this game is the face people make after I tell that no, this is not Unity 8D

Thanks to everyone for the support and the nice words <3
The demo will officially go live NEXT TUESDAY! I'll post here the link as soon as possible.
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Hello, radiant and luminous people!

We’re releasing our demo today! Click here!
Keep in mind that this is a pre-alpha release - there are bugs, everything lacks polish, and most importantly, the demo is very linear. We decided to make a short linear story so you could experience a bit of everything without getting lost: in the complete game, you will be able to move between different cities and storylines as you wish.
Think of it as "an ordinary day in the world of Selling Sunlight".

88a394b1-0823-4417-bb8e-354837f8c942.png

You can also see a preview of our
Kickstarter page here.


Mind giving it a look and telling us if everything is clear? We'd really appreciate your feedback. You can leave a comment directly on the page.​


Last but not least, we got the results of our pre-Kickstarter survey. Over 50 people answered our questions, and we got some interesting results! Thank you very much.
(Shoutout to whose who wrote "I'd like to kickstart you but I'm poor": we know that feeling. You are the best and we love you anyway).


THE RESULTS:

  • You want to name ALL THE THINGS
Duly noted! We added some Kickstarter rewards to satisfy all your name-making needs.


  • You don’t like exclusive story content
The question about giving exclusive storylines/content to backers got a 50/50 split. Ultimately, we’ve decided against it: it doesn't feel good to miss content just because you didn't have the possibility to back.


  • You really like pins and keychains
And art prints and shirts as well. Good to know! We'll investigate the possibility of selling pretty things and keep you informed.

That's all for now. Hope you'll enjoy the demo! Have a good day.


0857ea54-3a80-4a40-bf5e-4713979052ff.gif

Last news: we're learning to make GIFs.
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
KICKSTARTER UPDATE #1

Hello! Here is our first post-Kickstarter monthly update.

This month we mostly had to focus on boring post-Kickstarter stuff (bureaucracy, money, talking with contractors, planning for the future etc.), though we also found the time to start polishing the gameplay according to all the feedback we received so far.

GAMEPLAY
Between the Kickstarter and the games conventions we attended (AdventureX and the Milan Games Week), we got quite a bit of feedback on the demo to evaluate!

54ad0181af38b747fe700301b85df337_original.jpg

The bee stickers we brought at AdventureX.
Overall, players seemed to enjoy the art and the story, but found the UI, and our bartering system in particular, a bit confusing.
That's why this November we focused on:

  • Performance improvements: a few users reported lag on older devices, especially while streaming. We took the time to polish and optimize our code, hopefully improving performance for everyone.
  • UI improvements: we're adding more visual clues to the bartering system, so it will be easier to understand whether a skill fails and/or offers change. We also added some new skills, like the ability to offer goods and favors to merchants for a discount.
0baa9b02001401ba8d38e93dc7f9f21b_original.gif

We also finally put diagonal movement and new skin tones into the game.
  • Overworld map: the overworld map got some much-needed love. Now random events can trigger while you travel, and there's a primitive weather system in place.
    It's still the ugliest-looking part of our game, and we know it. Better icons and UI will come next.
bebd5b0f6c0d76abdbdb0d7755a16e8a_original.jpg

Look, it's snowing.
ART
Assets production is proceeding smoothly.
Lucy
made people sit:

2a3d31e80c02955b3e20824e1f3ed4a9_original.jpg
Meanwhile, Anita designed the remaining merchants for the Yellow and the Green cities.
Here is a sneak peek:

2845c0699a5665e5bc4c89f965d11b6a_original.jpg

She's a jeweler!
That's all folks.
Have a radiant Christmas and a luminous New Year!
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Whoops, forgot to post our monthly update. Here we are.

KICKSTARTER UPDATE #2

An anecdote: the traveling system is the first thing we ever programmed, before Selling Sunlight even had a name. And yet we keep tinkering with it, because story and gameplay intertwine in unforeseen ways.

b49ccac7cb3b7e6cb2bd2036a69db989_original.jpg

Behold, a rare screen of Selling Sunlight's proto-prototype made in Rpg Maker XP.​
GAMEPLAY
You see, a game about merchants supposedly has to have some time management mechanics - goods to deliver on time, rotating stocks, seasonal events etc. But would people living in a tidally-locked world really care about dates? Would they even perceive the passing of time in the same way as we?

After much mumbling and reading (we especially liked this article about winter blues) we established the people of Selling Sunlight don't have the notion of cyclic time. No repeating weeks, months or years: life for them is just a placid, never-ending afternoon.
We doubt people living in such conditions would be rigid about schedules. The time management elements will be there, but they won't be too stressful - no rigid deadlines, but a simple "the faster you can deliver the goods, the better".

With this concept in mind, we tweaked the map system to help you keep track of time and plan your journeys accordingly.
Now, instead of directly controlling the cart, you draw a path first. The cart will follow it automatically, stopping only once you reach a location or trigger a random event.

f0b06497748861fee61b51e90c3b7d81_original.gif

We're carefully enthusiastic about this new system and can't wait to get it tested. You'll get to try it in our Shiny New Demo (ETA: March 2018).

ART
Chiara painted some generic backgrounds to use during the random events, like a grassy field, a forest, a mountain etc. She also made scenario elements like trees, mushrooms and... Rocks.
Not very exciting, I know, but we need this stuff.

66de9ce80f9d38941f0841cf3b6679e2_original.jpg
Meanwhile, Anita worked on the look of the Golden Saints - priests who devoted themselves to the Sun so completely they became beings of pure light.
(In case you're wondering yes, one of them will be romanceable. Can you even smooch photons? Who knows?)

2da3218c5a9099bce93adb4b091333c3_original.jpg

Anita's initial design was very bubbly! She simplified it so it will be easier to animate.​
Lucy worked on minor NPCs. They won't have portraits nor storylines, but will simply hang around to make cities feel more lively.

af34a26ccddbca1541d81eced5bdb896_original.jpg

Folks of the Green City.​
STORY
We got the main storyline down - your Holy Pilgrimage to persuade some Very Important Priests that you are repentant and would like to get your mask off, pretty please.
What we're doing now is a rather tedious work of skeleton-building: using placeholder dialogues, we program the quests so the steps will trigger correctly and there will be no ways of breaking sequence. As you can imagine, this involves testing, testing and more testing.
After making sure a quest flows correctly, we fill its skeleton with meaty words. But for now, it's mostly bones and suffering.

 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
KICKSTARTER UPDATE #3

We're alive! Busy but alive!
Sorry for the late update; next one should arrive in the first week of the month, as usual.

ART
You may have noticed we haven't posted new screenshots in a while. That's because we were waiting for the new scanner to arrive before scanning the new backgrounds.

518ad5ff738ba18624d74c3a42bf5f34_original.jpg

Chiara has been taking photos, though. Click to follow her on Instagram, if you like!
Watercolors are a capricious medium: the resulting images are very delicate, and strong lights - like the bright, yellow one of a cheap scanner - may distort the colors or straight up delete the more delicate tones.
Thanks to your generosity, though, we were finally able to afford a professional scanner. It arrived early this February, and we immediately ran some tests:

197626725159c5d2613264e20083e247_original.png
Look at the sky! Colors are way less saturated, and everything looks more detailed and natural-looking. This is a very good starting point.
We're now in the process of rescanning every single graphical asset, adjusting the colors and putting everything in the game. This will take a while, but the final result will be prettier than ever.

EVENTS
Would you like to watch our artists paint? We've getting organized to film our painting process, and we're thinking of doing some live steams as well.
Do you think it's a good idea? Let us know in the comments!

76dee099732813c3495761cf52827959_original.jpg

Chiara built this awkward camera-holder to film herself while painting. It works. Sort of.​
GAMEPLAY&STORY
Ursula Le Guin passed away this January. She was a big influence for us, and will be dearly missed.
Go read her novels, if you haven't already. The Earthsea cycle, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed are just some of her most notable titles.

7ad2cb0bff1f2284c729c023e82cf1c0_original.jpg
Anyway, Giada finished screaming at the new map system and moved on, focusing on quest programming. The tutorial mission is now playable from start to end, and we got some basic quests working as well.
It's exciting to see the game slowly come together, becoming a real world you can explore. There isn't much to do for now, but being able to freely move from city to city without crashes already feels like a victory.
Now it's finally time to flesh this world with some words.

That's all for now. May the Sun always shine on your path!
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Hello friends!
Monthly update. Exciting stuff.

ART
In February we finally bought a professional scanner, and this week we finally finished re-scanning every single graphical asset. We now need to digitally cut, retouch and resize the improved scans before putting them in the game. It's taking more time than expected, but it's a smooth process.

2ad6a1607004648bbfec2d74ce19d9d1_original.png
Meanwhile, Chiara started working on this square. Once she paints it, Yellow Beehive (the starting city) will finally be complete. The city of Green Hamlet is also almost done, only missing its church-greenhouse.
Orange War Machine will come next: a community of fiery outcasts living in the mechanical bowels of a ruined, gargantuan tank.

Chiara also tried recording her painting process, and the results are good. We hope to put some videos online in a month or two.

GAMEPLAY
You can now invite other travelers to eat together and chitchat.
Sustaining a conversation can be tricky when you're a masked individual unable to reveal anything about yourself. By completing quests and events, though, you will obtain Stories: a special category of items that can't be bought or sold.
Offer stories during meals to unlock conversations, learn more about your friends and get new business opportunities.

7341f1b88ebcbeebe46569372262277b_original.png
This conversation system was the last minor gameplay feature we wanted to add to the game. Now we can fully focus on polish, squashing bugs and adding content.

UI
After many months, the game got a proper menu screen! It still needs graphical polish, but we're getting there.

ff658ad26cfa0bbffdcfd46573152daa_original.png
Anita is currently giving all the other menus and UI screens another pass, trying to nail the difficult equilibrium between "being very art nouveau" and "being actually readable".

DEMO
We're releasing a demo to our backers in early April - taking advantage of the situation to redo our website, bother the press and release new promotional material. If you are THE PRESS and would like a key, give us a shout!

Have a shiny weekend!
 
Last edited:

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Quick update as we fill our luggage. We're heading to London for a very busy week.

EVENTS
Is Rezzed too chaotic, costly and/or tiring for you? Come at Bonus Stage instead!
We'll be exhibiting at Loading Bar, in Dalston (London) this Sunday with our friends from Tea-Powered Games and many other cool indies. Check up the complete games lineup here.
We'll bring our old Kickstarter demo and a ton of bee stickers to distribute. We'll also be wandering at Rezzed on Friday/Saturday, so do bother us on Twitter if you wish to have a chat.

GRAPHICS
Lucy has been making assorted idle animations for all our characters. They're pretty nice.

23cf721aedb4c2188ab386d03d98224f_original.gif
We also finally finished putting all the rescanned art assets into the game. The new scanner truly makes a difference!

6c0665dd3f9e6c06c1c8242df3efc760_original.jpg

Bad Scanner (left) vs. Good Scanner (right)​
We also scanned the new locations Chiara has been working on, populated the Green city with random NPCs and started working on the light effects.
Have some screens:

5c06acc995288c614bd1e39ab8113324_original.jpg

86191292f6359b9c12adc45dc1a462e0_original.jpg
GAMEPLAY
Giada has been working on the items database. We now have a complete spreadsheet of all the items you can buy and sell in the game, complete with names, categories, prices, weights and descriptions.

88215a9297bd7d1e79c37e8507b56000_original.jpg

Game development: at least 50% of it is made of spreadsheets.
STORY
Most merchants also have a name now.
Selling Sunlight is a game about how cultures shape people, so we put a lot of effort into giving everyone a meaningful name.
Instead of using real names, we studied names from different cultures and tried to isolate what makes a name "feel" French, Japanese or Italian: recurring sounds, combinations of letters, rhythm, length. We then tried to match each of our fictional populations with the feeling we wanted to evoke.
The inhabitants of the Golden Beehive, for example, are a noble and elegant population descending from ancient warlords. To accentuate the dissonance between their bloody past and their baroque, shining present, we gave them short and harsh-sounding names full of Hs and Vs. We also gave them patronymics: a vestige of their old organizational structure based on warrior clans.
Strange-sounding names might be difficult for players to remember. That's why we also made sure to give every character a definite role (The Heiress, the Grocer, the Bard) and to always pair roles and names for easier memorization.

That's all for now! Hope to see you in London.
May the Sun always shine on your path.
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Monthly update!

April has been a slow month; Bonus Stage has been a wonderful, but time-consuming experience, and we returned home with a devastating post-conference flu that knocked out the team for a whole week.
Nevertheless, we managed to make some progress:

ART
Chiara finished the Greenhouse, the last location of the Green City.
We imagined the greenhouse like a long corridor full of plants. Chiara painted all the layers on different sheets of paper, which will scroll together to give an illusion of depth. It's the first time we experiment with parallax effects! Can't wait to put all the pieces together.

f1b565d7550cad612b61baba1f39fb96_original.jpg
Anita made some turnarounds. You won't see those in the game, but Lucy is using them as a guideline to make the character sprites:

681f224b8c87c3d76dd972f16ff00f97_original.jpg

STORY
We reviewed together where the main storyline was going, and finally fixed a minor, long-standing issue that was bugging us: the two main concepts— you being a merchant, and the pilgrimage to obtain the Sun's pardon— weren't quite meshing together.
The solution?
The pilgrimage is still there, but you're not simply going to plead the Sun.
You are going to barter with the Sun to get your face back.



May the Sun always shine on your path!
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Hello!
Latest news:

ART
Chiara has been working on a brand new location, the Orange War Machine. This city has been built inside a gargantuan, abandoned war tank.

6f29c9748e27c5259c265a2a2f2e118c_original.jpg

"But wasn't this supposed to be a game without VIOLENCE?" asked Chiara's mom, all worried.

She finished the splash screen and is now working on the single locations inside the tank. Here is a sneak peek:

0fc9ff776c15cfd3a4396c385f82a50a_original.jpg
Anita has been working on the generic NPCs inhabiting this place. They are distant cousins of the Green City citizens, but look rougher, tougher and prouder.

21edfd0cc4a6453f84146f4ddf350254_original.jpg

GAMEPLAY

We're proud to announce that you can finally sell goods in Selling Sunlight. It only took us two years of development.
Thanks to our new shiny selling screen, you will be able to select multiple items and sell them in bulk.

b592866d598b09039dc339fe3abb5467_original.gif

Giada is getting a much-needed holiday in July, so our next devlog will arrive a week later than usual. We apologize for the delay.

Enjoy the summer, and may the Sun NOT shine on your path! It's so hot. Please send us ice cream.
 

Bricabrac

The Storyteller
Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
218
First Language
Italian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
We're back from holidays! Have a late update!

ART
Only one background left, and the Orange City will be done! All the backgrounds painted so far has been scanned, cut and put into the game. Now we only need to add the light effects.

e552ce8407d6268493b4ca3b309d49f1_original.gif

Before and after​
Chiara took a pause from the Orange City to focus on our new title screen.
Do you like it?

e754081868b09c073f8f33c92c61eee1_original.jpg
Meanwhile, Anita has been working on a new character. She's a wanderer, an archaeologist, and has a secret...

f051aa7d49aa5383221bfe2520808fcb_original.jpg
STORY
It's always so difficult to talk about the writing without telling too much.
Giada wrote some words. Are they good words? HOPEFULLY SO. What are they about? WE CAN'T SAY. But we can give you some cryptic spoilers, perhaps. tell you she wrote about light bulbs, a broken sceptre, a talking tree, and a king lurking behind mirrors.
Also, bees.

42fc3e03aca36c84ae32e0c486ca6543_original.jpg

TITLE DROP​
#LOVEINDIES WEEK
Our delicious friends at Failbetter Games organized the #loveindies week, an occasion to spread the word about your favourite indie games!

6ad1aa8b7787341aadb7e84cf6709321_original.gif
We invite you to rate, review and recommend your favourite indie games, and to check the #loveindies hashtag on Twitter to discover new stuff to play <3

Until next time!
We'll post our next update around in the middle of August.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

you know, some days you get resentful that game dev is even considered a "fun job" and other days it's like, welp, time to roll up my sleeves and code these molotov cocktails
If you suck at playing trumpets, that is probably why.
Been sick with a stomach virus for seven days now. Not going to work tomorrow because I'm still contagious according to my doctor.
Much as I love my job, I really hate playing "office politics". It would be nice if I didn't have to pretend to be someone else all day long.
I wanna get back into showing off Battlers and other assets I create again. But i'm always haunted by the "It's not good/realistic enough" voices that keep me from doing so.

Maybe I should get back to it, I did enjoy showing off whatever I came up with!

Forum statistics

Threads
115,958
Messages
1,094,382
Members
151,221
Latest member
yayayaayayay
Top