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'Stardew Valley' creator wants to avoid hype train, won't reveal next game

Stardew Valley Trailer
Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone developed his acclaimed farming adventure with relatively little marketing, instead choosing to give eager fans detailed development updates so they could see his progress over the five years it took him to create it. With his next project, Barone could get just about everyone on board from the get go, but he’s choosing to keep silent for now.

Answering a fan’s question during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, Barone revealed that he has plans for the successor to Stardew Valley, but he doesn’t want to let players know about the specific details until it’s closer to release.

“Creating hype too far in advance is a lot of pressure, and ultimately I don’t think it benefits [anyone] anymore,” he said. “I prefer to work in an isolated bubble.”

That strategy seems to work for Barone, who developed Stardew Valley almost entirely on his own. It was his first major project, for which he composed music, designed (and redesigned) character sprites, and built gameplay mechanics modeled after the original Harvest Moon games.

“When it came to pixel art or other things that I had little experience in, I just dove in and did my best,” Barone continued. “As time went on I started to get better at these things through hundreds of hours of practice.”

Barone did give a small amount of information on his potential next project in Jason Schreier’s recent book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, saying that it might involve collecting bugs and he would plan for launch in two years. He also said that although he has “no plans” for making a sequel to Stardew Valley, he isn’t ruling out the possibility. For now, he’s working on continuous updates for the game, as well as localization and additional ports.

Stardew Valley recently launched on the Nintendo Switch after previously arriving to PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It was a natural fit for the game, as Harvest Moon found its home on older Nintendo consoles, and we’ve already seen another Switch game, Golf Story, draw comparisons to Barone’s project for its art design and world-building.

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Gabe Gurwin
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Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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