Since 2016, dozens of farming and life sims have been chasing Stardew Valley’s success — and nothing compared to Eric Barone’s groundbreaking indie game, destined to never be.Now he’s announcing his next game, a store sim haunted chocolatierBarone said he was well aware that his second game might catch up to his first game like every other.
Barone and Reason Studio, the developer of the music software he used to create all of Stardew Valley’s soundtracks. Before getting into the music itself, Reason’s host compared Barone’s success to Stardew Valley and the resulting pressure on Haunted Chocolatier to the “second grade slump” theory that the band struggled to live up to the second album’s initial success.
“I can relate to making haunted chocolate shops in a way,” Barone said. “Currently the game is very much influenced by Stardew Valley, and we’re going to compare it to that.
Sure enough, it was immediately apparent from the original trailer for Haunted Chocolatier how much it looked and sounded like Stardew. Barone’s pixel art style is definitely still there, as are some of the instruments and vibes of Stardew’s music.
“When I made this game, I couldn’t help but think of Stardew Valley. It’d be like, ‘Oh, I can’t do that. This is too Stardew Valley.'” But a lot of things in Stardew Valley are like that because it makes a lot of sense. Any other way is stupid. “
“I’ve been kind of like, ‘You know what, screwed up’ lately,” Barone said. “If that means a lot of Stardew Valley is perfect and doesn’t need to be changed, then I’ll just do it as it is, no worries. If people say it’s cut-and-paste Stardew Valley, ‘Okay, that’s it Bar. What are you expecting? Would you like me to make a sports game or a racing game? This is exactly what I did. “
Even knowing that he will inevitably rely on his past work, Barone has revealed a few ways in which he hopes to go beyond Stardew’s standards.He explained a little about how He’s changing Stardew’s battle For the chocolatier by adding things like shields. “Almost everything in Haunted Chocolatier, including combat, is completely coded (and drawn) from scratch,” he explained in his October developer diary.
“Probably even I declared haunted chocolate as a way to light the fire inside me,” Barone said of the choice to reveal his next game while he was still in development. “Everyone knows now. I can’t hold back now. I have to finish this game. I have to make it great.”
As Barone said about Stardew’s success elsewhere on the stream, he thinks it’s the right game at the right time. There are probably more store sims like Recettear and Moonlighter on PC now than the Harvest Moon-style farming sims that Stardew Valley launched. Even so, I’m not the only one eager for Barone to take over.