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Dev Update #22

Hi,

I’m just checking in and letting everyone know that I’m still here and working on Stardew Valley! Lately I’ve been working on stuff that isn’t very interesting to share. My development flow is very fluid, I’ll jump around from working on the story to retouching old art to making music, in whatever fashion seems right to me at the time. In the end, it’ll all get done, but not necessarily in a structured way that is conducive to making satisfying monthly updates. However, I do want to keep you posted on the progress being made!

My next “big focus” is domestic life… things like upgrading your house, interacting with your spouse/family, and decorating your rooms. When that is finished, I will move on to the following relatively simple things:

  • Guidance for new players (An optional mechanic to orient players to this new world and give them a greater sense of purpose… Maybe a guidebook or journal that fills itself with information as you encounter things in the game)
  • Secrets & Little Touches (The fun stuff… things to discover, mysteries to uncover, simple things to make the natural world more alive, strange occurrences in the night… I’ve already done some of this but it’s not complete)
  • Cooking (Useful for gifts and energy boosts, but not a good way to make money. I don’t want players to feel like they have to cook everything they harvest to maximize profits.)
  • Options menu (Toggle between windowed, borderless fullscreen, traditional fullscreen w/ different resolutions, adjust sound levels, change key bindings, graphics options… maybe controller support?)

Once I’ve finished with that, all of the major content in the game will be complete! At that point, I will mostly be working on finalizing, polishing, fiddling with game variables, testing… all that vague but important stuff that turns a rough draft into a final product. I’ll be honest… there’s going to be things in the game I’m not 100% happy with (usually stuff I created a long time ago when I was less experienced) and will want to either improve or completely redo until I’m satisfied… That adds unforeseen time to the development process, but hopefully results in a better game.

Yes, there’s still a decent amount of work to do, but taking into consideration the whole development time-span I feel tantalizingly close to completion!

One other thing. I could release an early-access beta version of Stardew Valley today… but I don’t want to. That route might work for non-linear sandbox games… but not for Stardew. I can’t speak for everyone, but I wouldn’t want to read a novel with chapters missing, or visit a museum with only half-finished paintings… I want to see the finished product, that the creator of the work intended me to see. Video games are no different. Well, maybe they are a bit different… It all depends on whether you think of games as “art” or as “entertainment” or, more reasonably, as individual works falling into a spectrum between the two. Regardless, it’s very important to me that players get the full experience the first time they play Stardew Valley.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

-Ape

 

  • Filipe Hegaja

    I have big expectations about this game!

  • Tenshiamon

    Thanks for the update.. Was praying for a possible.. Maybe Christmas release, but since that wont happen take your time on polishing up the game. I can’t wait to play and enjoy the holiday’s coming up.

    • Twil50

      Same. I was expecting a Christmas release but I understand his point of view…. But I think most things could be added later in a patch after the release. No need early access. I think players would be happy to see that in a patch: “Cool he added more content!!!”. I know i would..

      Also: @CA it would be nice to talk in a blog about multiplayer if you dont mind… I dont think you talked about it yet..

      Another thing: I saw the twitch when Stardew Valley was still early.. It would be nice to show some very long gameplay sometimes. I loved every seconds of it even if it was still early! 🙂

      Just some ideas but its up to you! I cant wait to buy your game!!! ;D

  • David Acosta

    Can’t wait for a release, the game keeps sounding better and better. 😀

  • FuzzyBubbles

    So much hype! And i’m glad you’re not releasing any early access version or anything. I’d rather wait and see the final product in all of it’s glory! 😀

  • Angel9RakouCobra

    So hyped. <3 And also so happy to hear this much care is being put into an already amazing sounding game. 🙂

  • João Rafael Romero Reato

    Always checking your game man, hope you can enjoy this all the way till you finish the work. 🙂
    Thinking about a option to hunger and thirsty, or a fadigue system. Or the time will play this part, don’t know. But i wonder how the way we pick and choose our daily routines will change the final result, i say that because i love so many things, graphic design, music and even martial arts. Hope to have time to my girlfriend too. Maybe i should stop sleeping, ahuhuauhahua. just kidding
    Hope truly that you can enjoy as you work. Sometimes i wonder when i’m working, how i will make people feel good if i do not feel good. 🙂
    Hugs!

  • Richie Donahou

    Awesome! Thanks on the update – keep up the great work!

  • Michael Proctor

    I am so excited for this! Makes me so happy to see you post an update. 🙂 I’d like to say I can’t wait for the release, but obviously I’ll have to.

    I agree with you about not releasing a beta of this game. It’s different for sandbox games like minecraft to be released early. But I don’t think it would work with this. omg I just can’t wait though! lol 😉

  • Will

    Lots of respect for not taking the same path that many other game creators are resorting to these days and releasing a buggu, incomplete game (cough Starbound). I can’t wait for the release, though! I absolutely love the art.

    • Illerhas

      Hey now, don’t be dissing Starbound. I have not encountered game breaking bugs even day of release, I was one of those people that bought the game within an half an hour of them launching the store. and the nightly builds are really fun to see how much the game has changed. ANYROAD! I am super stoked for Stardew Valley, I heard about it through Chucklefish, and have been waiting for what seems like an eternity (though it has been like a year). I Love the Harvest Moon games, but they are always lacking a little something. SV looks amazing, and i can’t wait to play online with my best friend.

      • Will

        True, I haven’t encountered any game breaking bugs either, but it does get tedious after a while and lots of promised features haven’t been implemented yet. It’s been well over half a year since the last update. Starbound isn’t as bad as other games I’m also referring to. For beta releases it’s fine to have bugs, after all, that’s why it’s in beta. Even for full releases, it’s acceptable to have bugs, as long as they’re minor and addressed soon after.
        However, it seems like many games these days, from AAA titles with huge budgets such as Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs no less, are releasing games prematurely to get them out faster and profit faster. I’m sure I don’t need to say anything more about Unity, a perfect example of this. That’s why I respect the creator Stardew Valley for taking his time to perfect his game to make sure that we as the players get to experience the game to its fullest without major bugs or missing features.

        • Anomnomynous

          They are working on a new stable build with the improvements and features they have been working on.

        • Michael Baker

          I’d suggest giving the nightly builds a shot, I’m certainly enjoying myself on them.

          While there are bugs (generally minor) and certain things aren’t fully implemented, they show a lot of change between the current and next version. Lots of new contents, a propper quest system is being added, a better tutorial, an UPGADABLE matter manipulator (on it’s own seperate hotbar) and a rebalance is currently happening in the nightlies (It’s rahter exciting)

          But I’m totally on the boat with you in the case of stardew.

  • Tabitha Hooper

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’d rather wait for the finished project (or a product ready for testing) than an alpha or beta test.

    Also, for the new player orientation, are you considering an in-game guide or a separate pdf file for the game? I’m just curious.

    • Zael

      Didn’t he already answer that question of yours in the post? Would be a bit too much hassle to create an out of game dynamically updated pdf instruction file…

      • Tabitha Hooper

        Whoops. The sin of skimming.

        I disagree that it would be too much of a hassle to do the latter though. the information is being kept somewhere. I imagine, for organizations sake, that it would be easier in fact to keep tutorial-type information in a central location.

  • Gwyneth Kuan

    All I want for Christmas is this Game!!!!!_(:з」∠)_

    • Drew Pierce

      I agree, I just wish that they had a pre-order so that I could get the game as soon as it’s released

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t mind if cooking was more of a profit than raw ingredients, because cooking is a time + energy investment. You’re trading time and energy that day in exchange for increased profit. If your character wants to be a professional cook, why not? =) Plenty of ways to make a livingin Stardew Valley.

    Also, I agree with not making Stardew Early Access. You’re making the right call here.

    But I assume the game won’t be done this year?

  • Can you add some Oriental elements? e.g building/crop/npc … 😀

    • I second that, although nothing TOO prominent. That’d alter the feel of the game.

  • Amanda

    Yay! I’m glad you’re going to add a little to family life. Also glad you are not going to shove cooking down our throat like another game I know. xD

    I look forward to the finished product. This really seems like its going to itch all the spots Harvest Moon or Rune Factory miss scratching. =P

  • Been checking in every day, thank you so much for the update!
    The journal that fills itself sounds fantastic! & Thank you for not making cooking mandatory for profits.
    I get goosebumps every time I read your updates. Please go ahead and take more time to polish up the game. I intend to take it slow and enjoy my time savoring every moment as I discover new features of the Stardew Valley once it’s released. :’)

  • MR POOP

    RITO PLS

  • Eisbrecher

    Really looking forward to release! Glad to hear about not needing to cook everything for money. As much as I love Harvest Moon one of the biggest flaws is the money aspect, it’s WAY too easy to make money and very little to spend it on, which leaves me feeling that there is little point playing the game.

  • BoogtehWoog

    Woo! Can’t wait.

  • TheWierd

    Excellent, I would so like a gameplay trailer of the current build!
    Looking forward to the release 😀

  • csabijooo .

    i just got 1 question will this work on xp ?

    • I’m no expert on the abilities of Windows XP, but if you play other similarly-complex Steam games (in case you didn’t know, it’s a Steam game) on it, chances are you can run Stardew Valley on it.

  • supernick

    Looking forward to it. Any ETA at this stage?

  • Jopi

    Controller support would be amazing there is nothing more fun tot just dit back and relax with a game!

    • Ferrettomato

      I couldn’t agree more.

  • Chris

    Im no expert but i think i can say that you made a great decision in waiting for the game to be 100% complete before releasing, it would take away from the fun of the game having to stop because the content just isnt there.

  • Shaun Kennedy

    To expand upon your guidebook idea a bit, one feature I love in games are “expandable codexes”, basically a set of encyclopedias that fill themselves in as you play the game. Typically it’s things like bestiaries that fill in when you defeat a monster, but for a farming sim you could have codices for crops that fill in when you successfully harvest your first one, for townspeople that fills in additional info as you get to know them better, eventually even having info like birthdays, likes, and dislikes as you build your relationship with them, Areas to expand more on the different locations in the game, Animals, Tools, Farm Upgrades, you name it. I would love to see features like this but they could potentially be time intensive to include but having an in-game reference that builds itself over play is like the best sort of “achievement” system you could possibly have.

  • marlowe221

    I want this game so bad…. 😀

    I may not have posted a comment in a long time but my interest in this game has only grown over time. I am very interested in doing a Let’s Play of this game once it comes out.

    • I have to say, Let’s Plays of this seem like they would be enjoyable to watch. Then again, that’s just my opinion.

  • Fantist

    Will you set up a way for us to get some money to you to show our support? I’d be happy preordering the game without there being any bonus for the preorder. Or maybe some sort of way to donate to you to keep you warm and well fed as you work on the game through these cold winter months?

  • Goudy

    YAY! yes please take the time to finish it. I dont think i could handle another Starbound 😛 .

  • Kinsem

    Thanks for the update, I can’t wait to throw my money at you for this game.

  • useduser

    > I don’t want players to feel like they have to cook everything they harvest to maximize profits

    This is great to hear. Recently playing the newest harvest moon for the 3ds you needed to cook your crops, they still gave profit if you didnt but you got a lot more if you did. And it definitely felt like something you needed to do to progress at times.

    • Since we’ve seen skill tree-type stuff, perhaps there could be a branch that improves cooked food sale price to make it a viable source of income. But you couldn’t have both the skills that increase produce value and the skills that increase cooking value, so that your raw produce is never the most valuable because it’s worth just as much as your cooking.

  • thebaconatorman

    Thanks so much! Very excited and I think I speak for everyone when I say that I believe your time taken on this game will make it something that all of us will be able to play time and again, admiring each little facet in every play-through. Every time I read one of these updates I just get more and more excited about the game, every beautiful thing it synergies together. I am with my fellow forumites when I say I would love to play the game now; however, I think the wait will be worth it. Thank you for taking the time to create something that will be polished and well-built to the umpteenth extent. Thank you for your continued hard work and keeping us in the loop!

  • Matt Jones

    I agree with not releasing any early access/etc
    We can wait until it’s finished to get the full 100% experience!
    And, if it doesn’t take long, I will appreciate controller support! I can play while lying down on my sofa then!

    – Made an account to post this 🙂
    Thanks for all your hard work, you will be rewarded!

  • Shattermaw

    Magnificent work Ape! This looks amazing! It looks like you may have altered the farming just a touch, the chickens look great! And the new cow at the top of the site looks wonderful :). Will there be any visual variations between animals? Sometimes just having brown/black/spotted hens and a black sheep every once in a while can make a big difference to farm aesthetics. The variable planting field helps get rid of the cookie-cutter look and I think a touch of animal variation would complete the picture. I miss seeing a sheep up there too! I hope they don’t get left out! They are so much fun to work with in real life! Any plans for horses? Also is there going to be breeding (Bulls/roosters/rams/boars)? I’m really excited that you are focusing on being able to customize our living space, being able to make an actual “home” makes a big difference.

    We’r cheering for you every step of the way! You rock!

    -Shattermaw

    • Fantist

      It also helps to break the cookie cutter mold that you can place buildings like greenhouses or animal barns anywhere on the fields you want!

  • Bernice Leong

    Just want to let you know I’m very excited for the release of the game! 🙂 Despite my eagerness for this game to finally be released, I think it IS a better call to make sure everything runs smoothly.. Have experienced some early release games that constantly wipe my character/creations/WHOLE WORLDS, and I don’t need to tell you how absolutely, hair-pulling-ly, and screamingly frustrating that is. Thank you for putting so much time and effort into this!

    Really looking forward to the day of release. 🙂

  • Mewo

    This game looks amazing! I’ve always loved games like this and I’ve been searching for one that maybe my husband could play with me. I’m very excited to see this game be finished. It would be awesome if players could actually marry each other when they play together! Me and my husband would like that (or at least I would like it a lot lol). Eagerly looking forward to when this game releases!

  • Checking every time i can the page, thx for keeping the good and steady work, looking forward to enjoy your work soon!

  • WakeUpC22

    I agree with not having an early beta, but how about a late one? Where you feel it’s all done and then you release it not as a final product but one where bug tests are done and also things are rebalanced for better gameplay?

    Overall sounds very exciting and take all the time you need on balance. That’s absolutely critical.

  • Anonymus

    You can’t have it perfect. You will forget something and there will be bugs. It is impossible but you will never find them. The community will. Release the game. Delay is worse than S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

  • Kuroneko

    I’d be all for waiting for a full game instead of a beta build.

  • yukovalis

    I am torn like your other fans I’m sure. On one hand I want it now.. so much awesomeness to be had, and willing to just pay it and enjoy. On the other hand I know perfection takes time, and I’m willing to wait for a solid product. That is something I can greatly respect, especially after all the hack job indie and even triple A games coming out. So stay the course, cause when it’s released, I know it’s going to be great.

  • Oh man the hype is real. Anyways I can wait to play this game when it’s out!

  • FuzzyBubbles

    Can’t contain the hype. I visit this site every day in case there’s ever a new update. 😀

  • Kapra

    Hey, I was wondering if we’re able to have gay relationships in addition to the straight ones, in terms of making a family. As a man who tends to lean towards the gay side more often than the straight, I want to know if this game would support that. And if it does, then how would family work? Would we be able to adopt instead?

  • RidiculousTool

    Ooh, what a tease!
    Still, it’s always great to see developers that actually care about their game, rather than just throwing it at early access as early as possible just for money.
    The game will be ready when it’s ready, and it will be glorious. Keep up the good work!

  • Guest

    Day 1 purchase for me. Keep up the great work CA!

  • I am very excited about this game! The whole Harvest Moon feel will be nostalgic.

  • WonderlandAlli

    I’m fine with no early access, but would you think about a video showing a few minutes of game play? 🙂

  • Looks like you really care of us. Thank you! 🙂

  • Lemove

    Anxiously waiting for the game release >.>

  • LaDiablaBlanca

    Very excited 🙂

  • Drew Pierce

    it would be neat if it supports mods. and is there any pre-order available?

  • Dunkaroo !

    I’ve been following the news on Stardew Valley for over a year now but up until this point haven’t commented on anything. To be honest I would have been impatient with the process had it not been for a few things. There have been several games (mostly on steam) releasing in an unfinished state in the past few years. Some of the time the developers continue to make the game better and other times it flat out seems like the make their profit and don’t do justice… or worse they just don’t finish what they started.

    I just wanted to let you ConcernedApe know that I respect and support your decision on how to proceed with YOUR game. Oh and if it is half as good as the gameplay videos and your updates make it out to be then yes it is art. I look forward to playing it and thanks for making everyone who plays these types of games have hope that they will get more of that they love.

  • WeasleX

    Just save the fishing mini game, (don’t change that mini game, I LOVE IT, please) it reminds me of old school Breath of Fire, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  • Bailey

    So excited!

    Will there be pets in this game? It’d be fun to have a pup. Maybe if the community center is restored, every so often on the bulletin board there could be a unique notice to adopt an exotic pet. You could have an iguana or parrot live with you!

    Keep up the great work, Ape! 😀

  • Aaron Whipple

    I’m way too excited about this game… I’ve been visiting this site multiple times a month for almost two years now even though the updates are few and far between (not a complaint ConcernedApe, keep doing what you are doing 🙂

    My biggest hope is that multi player feels great. I feel that this game has amazing potential to build that feeling of working together to create something. Me and my wife are planning on playing it together when it comes out.

    Also, I know it isn’t planned, but wouldn’t it be cool to be able to marry another player and work together? I suppose you don’t need to be officially married in game. You can just not marry an NPC and stay in the same house together, as long as the benefits of marriage aren’t necessary to play the game fully.

    • Aaron Whipple

      P.S. Still waiting for a way to throw wads of cash at the project. I would also be open to providing programming help, though I’m sure this late in the project you don’t need it 😛

  • Bloop Blap

    As I’m patiently waiting for the next dev update, I’ve come across a question that is making me rather anxious. Because as I am a huge fan whose been following the updates since the greenlight and was wondering if this is going to be PC release only, or if you have intentions on bringing it to the MAC as well :]?