Previously, Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone had hinted that he was working on a new project unrelated to the popular farming simulator, but few fans suspected the news would come so soon. However, on October 21, a mysterious video titled simply "???" was uploaded to the developer YouTube channel. This marked the first non-Stardew Valley video on the channel, and the reveal of Barones' newest project, titled Haunted Chocolatier.
Barones 'first project, Stardew Valley, was initially released in 2016 and was inspired by Barones' love for the Harvest Moon series. The game, which includes elements of farming, fighting, mining, fishing, relationship building and more, has become a commercial and critical success and has been released on a variety of platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo consoles and even Tesla cars. As of 2021, Stardew Valley has sold more than 15 million copies in total. Though visually similar to Stardew, Haunted Chocolatier sees players embark on a new journey as owner and head chef in a gourmet chocolate shop staffed by lovable ghosts. The two-and-a-half-minute preview video revealed various elements of the game, including combat, conversation with various characters, gathering ingredients, and visiting a blacksmith's forge. The game seems to be inspired more by RPGs than Stardew Valley, with a dynamic combat system and multiple weapon options. Barone described the project as "early in development" and did not specify a launch date. Earlier, when he hosted the Stardew Valley Cup event, he confirmed that the game was "not a sequel" to Stardew Valley.
Barone had discussed the possibility of working on non-Stardew-related projects as early as 2018, although he decided to refocus on Stardew while developing its multiplayer mode and moving it to various consoles. Content Update 1.5, which was released in December 2020, added a large amount of content to the game. This included a new location, Ginger Island, with puzzles Barone confirmed in an interview to be inspired by Super Mario 64, several new crops, crafting items and recipes, and a "Perfection" system that tracks how many game updates a player has. player. finished.
Due to the implementation of the Perfection system, many sources speculated that 1.5 would be the last update of the game and that Barone would move on to other projects. Haunted Chocolatier seems to include elements that Stardew fans will enjoy, such as its pixelated art style and the ability to expand and improve your chocolate business by learning new recipes and crafting or purchasing new types of furniture. However, the brief initial reveal trailer alone seems to indicate that the game will have a wider variety of tasks and locations, including a bustling city and a science lab complete with ongoing experiments.
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