I’m a pretty big fan of Stardew Valley. I picked it up about three weeks ago, and already have just over twenty hours in it, which I think it a fair amount for a guy who’s not much of a PC gamer. It would probably be even higher were it not for another little title that Rebel has forbidden me to talk about outside of approved channels. An indie game in the vein of Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley has gained a pretty big following since its release in late February. The game features a nice mix of relaxing gameplay, good characters, humour, and simplicity with the ability to go fairly in-depth for those who want to. I’ve personally gotten so into the game that I’ve created an income statement to track my funds, and from what I’ve heard that’s far from the nerdiest thing people have done to keep track of their games.
Though it was only recently released, Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone, better known as ConcernedApe, is still hard at work on the game. In an update on May 1, Barone announced version 1.1, which contains localizations, co-operative multiplayer, and console ports, among other updates. Co-op and console ports are probably the two biggest pieces of news here, and each is probably more of an update to existing mechanics than new gameplay elements. Stardew Valley already relies heavily on social interactions between townsfolk, culminating in the ability to get married and have your spouse work your farm alongside you. Multiplayer is simply the next step in the game’s ongoing evolution. The game is already on its way to console as well. Though only on PC at this point, Stardew Valley features full controller support, beyond just mouse and keyboard. I tried it a bit with an Xbox One controller, and while it was a bit clunky, I don’t think it was any more so than a game like Minecraft. It is at its heart a PC game, and once you get over the large amount of items you can carry and movement of the cursor, it actually plays pretty well with a gamepad.
In addition to the large updates, 1.1 will contain some smaller additions as well. On top of new goods and farm buildings available, a new suite of social interactions are being added. These include new marriage candidates, and more events for all NPCs, both those that can and cannot be married. It will also include the ability to move buildings so you can update your farm without worrying about earlier choices you made, and better mining and combat. Though quite fun, I feel that combat is one of the weakest parts of the game at this point, and of all of the smaller updates, this is probably the one I’m most looking forward to.
Version 1.1 of Stardew Valley currently has no release date and is subject to change. Barone mainly wanted to tell the community about it to showcase multiplayer, porting, and localization. However, despite working on the game by himself, Barone has turned over much of the bigger aspects of the update to Stardew Valley publisher, Chucklefish. They will be working on the more technical aspects like porting and localization, as well as the technical parts of multiplayer. Barone hopes this will allow for 1.1 to release sooner than if he were to do all the work himself, while allowing him to keep artistic control over the game.
Have you been playing Stardew Valley? What part of version 1.1 excites you the most?
Tell us in the comments below, or on our subreddit!