Stardew Valley creator says that he ‘doesn’t know’ if there will be another update, teases new game

Stardew Valley update

We don’t necessarily need another Stardew Valley update

This past weekend, the Stardew Valley esports competition was held via an UnsurpassableZ Twitch stream. I know! It sounds wild, but it was a ton of fun to watch, and I love how people continuously reinvent games to keep them alive for years one end. Plus, if creator Eric “Concerned Ape” Barone is cool with it, it’s cool with me. But what about another Stardew Valley update? Well, it’s complicated.

Barone is only one person after all, and has tirelessly worked on Stardew Valley for many years to make it what it is today. Truth be told he could have just launched 1.0, cleaned up a few bugs, and it would have been hailed as a classic. Instead, we’re up to update 1.5, and each iteration has added some huge concept to the game. That could be the end, though (at least for now), because Barone needs some time to work on his newest creation.

Over on Twitch, starting around 3:48:00, Barone goes on camera to enjoy the post-game hype as the scores are tallied and answers a few fan questions. Most notably, when asked about whether or not he’s toyed with more marriage candidates to the game, Barone responds:

“There’s no reason why I’m opposed to having more, I think it would be fun. If there’s ever any more marriage candidates added I have two more in mind…existing [characters]. There’s enough NPC marriage candidates that exist.”

But he also is quick to note:

“I’m not saying there’s going to be another Stardew Valley update, I don’t even know at this point, I’m focused on my next game.”

Look at that one-two punch! Interestingly, Barone says that the next project “is another pixel art game with a top-down perspective,” but will “not [be] a farming game.”

Take your time!

Stardew Valley update 2

I transcribed the entire Q&A below if you’re interested!

What types of failure did you experience making the game?

Barone: “There was like….for example…I created a version of the mines that was totally different…I ended up scrapping the entire thing and redoing the mines to the ones that are in the game today. That’s what happens when you make games…it ends up not being fun, and you have to scrap months of work…completely down the drain. So there’s a lot of back and forth, it’s not always a straight trajectory up.

What was going through your mind when success wasn’t guaranteed?

Stardew was never about making money really, I just wanted to make this game, I wanted to share my art with the world, and be appreciated for what I do. And I’ve always had a really strong drive to succeed, and see my ideas and visions come to life. So I just really wanted to find success. It could mean the number of downloads, or how much money you make, or seeing your personal vision come to life. If you’re happy with the thing you made, there’s something to say for that. I made Stardew Valley for myself, because I’ve always been a huge Harvest Moon fan and I wanted to see a new Harvest Moon for the PC that went beyond what Harvest Moon did.”

Do you have any farmers in your life? Where did the inspiration come from?

“The inspiration was mostly drawn from Harvest Moon, but I grew up in a semi-rural area, my mom always did some gardening, grew tomatoes and stuff like that, and we did have chickens for a while. I guess I have some experience with it.”

Are there any secrets in any capacity in Stardew Valley that people still don’t know about

“There is one, that I don’t think anyone will figure it out, it’s a secret message…I guess…it’s not even relevant anymore…it was secretly revealing something that’s not even true anymore. I don’t know if anyone has found it because it’s extremely…obscure to find it.”

Do you have any favorite mods?

“I’ve actually never played with any mods. At this point I’d just say all the mods are my favorite, I just like that people like the game enough to mod it. Stardew Valley is one of the top games on Nexus Mods…so that’s pretty cool. There’s a very large and active modding scene.”

Is this your quarantine hair?

“I haven’t cut them since quarantine but also I’ve had long hair at various points in my life, it’s not something completely new to me. There’s a cycle, it gets so long that I end up cutting it, and I don’t want to get a haircut again…I’m at the peak of my cycle here.”

How do you spend your free time?

“I’ve been working on my next game, that’s mostly what I’ve been doing. I may announce it fairly soon, what it is, no one knows at this point. It’s another kind of pixel art game…kind of a top-down perspective similar to Stardew Valley, in some ways it’s similar…but it’s not a farming game.”

What’s your favorite skill out of the five in Stardew?

“Either mining or fishing probably. I see a lot of people in the chat asking if there’s a connection to Witchbrook: no. There’s misinformation, I’m not working on it. [My game] isn’t a magic school game. Hopefully when I announce my next game it’ll dispel those rumors a bit.”

Was the game a coding nightmare?

“Um, well, I wouldn’t say so, no. I think everyone I wanted to do…I guess the mines I mentioned earlier were procedurally generated and it ended up being a mess. It’s quite difficult to make a procedurally generated compelling world…I made the decision to cut it and do something else.”

What do you think of the mod that lets you marry the non-married people?

“Honestly, I would love to have almost everyone be marriageable. It’s a ton of work, that’s the main reason I haven’t added more people. To have someone become a marriage candidate that means I have to add a lot of dialogue and at least two more events. And those events take a lot of time. It may seem like it’s not that big of a deal but they take a huge amount of time. You have to make the spouse room…there’s just a lot to it. There’s no reason why I’m opposed to having more, I think it would be fun. If there’s ever any more marriage candidates added I have two more in mind…existing [characters]. There’s enough NPC marriage candidates that exist. I’m not saying there’s going to be another Stardew Valley update, I don’t even know at this point, I’m focused on my next game.”

Chris Carter
EIC, Reviews Director - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!