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Haunted Chocolatier provides us a take a look at ConcernedApe’s evolving type


They develop up so quick

Stardew Valley is one in every of my most-played video games of all time, so after I heard a number of years in the past that its creator, Eric Barone — or because the followers know him, ConcernedApe — was engaged on a brand new venture, I used to be over the moon. Now that we’ve had an official preview of the sport, that anticipation has elevated tenfold. After listening to concerning the hell he went by to create his first recreation, a feat he achieved all on his personal, I used to be pleasantly stunned to listen to he was able to go one other spherical with Haunted Chocolatier.

Stardew itself is clearly an incredible recreation, however one of many issues I discover most fascinating concerning the buzz surrounding it’s this mythos that followers have hooked up to Barone. That is probably as a result of he’s carried out fairly a number of issues to endear us to him.

For one, creating the artwork, music, code, and every thing else you may think about for one recreation is insanely spectacular, and one thing just a few have managed to do themselves. I prefer to suppose that this alone bolstered him a number of respect.

Walking outside the bakery in Haunted Chocolatier

Then in Jason Schreier’s e book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes happenings in varied video games’ improvement, he devoted a complete chapter to how Stardew Valley was made. This gave the already cult-like following that Stardew had a better perception into the eagerness that Barone introduced to each facet of the sport’s creation, and it simply snowballed from there.

After Stardew blew up, I wouldn’t be stunned if Barone let it get to his head, which is one thing that may occur to spotlighted creators within the video games business.

However from every thing I’ve seen, he’s remained tremendous humble and cares that points with the sport are taken care of. On a couple of event, he’s been identified to repair a bug {that a} fan has introduced as much as him on Twitter inside two hours (which is partly as a result of he’s a one-man improvement workforce, however it’s superb that he does all of it the identical).

An invitation from Lily

One thing else that I believe is exclusive concerning the scenario Barone is in is that his socials aren’t some faceless advertising account that’s utterly indifferent from improvement — as a substitute, he can inform us firsthand the way it’s going, what he did to repair a bug, and so forth. This stage of one-on-one interplay isn’t one thing many builders can obtain. If he’s only one man, we will speak to the artists, the composers, the programmers, and the director suddenly.

He may see what the neighborhood is speaking about, and what adjustments they could need, and implement them himself with out all of the pink tape. I guess, too, that as a result of he pays such shut consideration to how Stardew Valley is acquired and talked about, he’ll have a great sense of easy methods to make Haunted Chocolatier much more refined than Stardew proper off the bat.

Recipes for a chocolate bar and simple truffle in Haunted Chocolatier

So personally, I’m actually rooting for Barone. He looks like a genuinely form one who needs to make video games as a result of he loves them. For those who want any extra convincing, simply go check out how healthful the Stardew Valley subreddit is. All of that is mainly simply to say that whereas I’m tremendous excited to get a complete new recreation from Barone, I’m equally as excited to see how his improvement abilities have improved over the previous decade or so.

From a side-by-side comparability of screenshots from Stardew Valley versus Haunted Chocolatier, we will already see a distinction in how polished the visuals are, not to mention the way it will really feel to play. One thing else I believe is cool is how we will nonetheless see Barone’s type, even with a complete new recreation. After all Haunted Chocolatier seems to be fairly completely different from Stardew (I for one am very to see a extra city setting), however by all the new bells and whistles, we will see the basic elements of Barone’s signature type.

It’s acquainted, but novel on the identical time.

New NPCs meeting at a bar

Stardew is already a recreation that has an intricate set of mechanics and programs, they usually work so properly collectively that gamers can benefit from the expertise for tons of of hours. From the seems to be of it, Haunted Chocolatier has loads of staples from Stardew‘s design that we love, like gift-giving and foraging, for instance, so I can think about that the implementation of latest mechanics on prime of what already works will solely heighten the expertise.

So most of the decisions builders make in huge franchises that make us go, “why would they maintain implementing this identical terrible design alternative yr after yr,” is actually because there are method too many cooks within the kitchen.

Barone’s severing of ties with writer Chucklefish tells us that he’s not keen to compromise on what he needs for the sport, which solely provides me hope that he’s devoted to creating the sport as enjoyable as doable, with out another ulterior motives.

A fire lookout tower in Haunted Chocolatier

As a result of creating video games is such a collaborative expertise, that is such a uncommon alternative to proceed seeing one man’s influence on the video games business. Watching the trailer for Haunted Chocolatier feels so nostalgic and but so refreshing on the identical time, and the cynic in me wonders if one thing like this is able to be doable at a studio of any first rate dimension.

Stardew Valley will ceaselessly be a traditional, however there’s one thing refined about Haunted Chocolatier that I discover intriguing. It has type, it has ambiance, and it feels prefer it has a newfound maturity. Barone knocked it out of the park with a lighter, extra healthful really feel, so his tackle the darker, haunted aesthetic is one I stay up for.

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