Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone, more commonly known as ConcernedApe, has announced a new game called Haunted Chocolatier. To accompany the announcement, Barone also released the game's debut trailer, giving players a meaty two-minute look at the game. While the trailer includes gameplay footage, it's missing salient details like platforms and a release date. That said, pertaining to the latter, the description of the trailer notes the game won't "be ready for a while still."
While fans of Stardew Valley and its creator will need to wait longer for salient details, Barone did provide a statement, which in turn provided insight into the game's creation and development.
"Hey everyone, After dedicating 10 years of my life to Stardew Valley (and counting), the time has finally come to announce my next game. It's called ConcernedApe's Haunted Chocolatier. Why chocolate? I'm not sure. It just kind of came to me. I think sometimes the best ideas just appear in a flash, instead of being cleverly thought out. That's how I like to work, anyway. What's important is the execution. And after 10 years of practice, I feel more confident than ever in being able to bring an idea to life. Regardless, I think a lot of people like chocolate. In Stardew Valley, the focus was more humble: living off the land, growing food, and connecting to the people and nature around you. However, with my next game, I wanted to explore more fantastical possibilities... experiences that take you beyond the ordinary. That's where magical haunted ghost chocolate comes in. Chocolate represents that which is delightful. The haunted castle represents the allure of the unknown. The ghosts represent the imprint of the past. All of these things are important. However, don't think for a moment that, because this game features ghosts in a haunted castle, it is an evil or negative game. On the contrary, I intend for this game to be positive, uplifting, and life-affirming. However, if Stardew Valley mostly channeled the energy of the sun, Haunted Chocolatier channels the energy of the moon. Both are vital. More important than all that, I just want to make a fun game."
"Now, you might be scratching your head, wondering exactly what type of game this is. I'm not sure how best to describe it. It's evolving organically as I develop it, so I'm not sure where it will go. But at its core, the gameplay loop involves gathering ingredients, making chocolate, and running a chocolate shop. Of course, there's a lot more to the game than that, but I don't want to get too deep into at this early stage, partly because I don't want to be tied down to any particular concept of what the game is. So far, I've been having fun working on this game. There are so many possibilities. With Stardew Valley, I felt somewhat constrained, because I was working within an established tradition. I don't regret that at all, but there's always been a part of me that wanted to go 'unleashed.' I believe this will be a good opportunity, but I haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet. I've been mostly working on the 'meat and potatoes' of the game so far. But what really brings a game to life is the spice, the sauce. And I haven't really gotten to the sauce yet. That's coming. Anyway, this is all largely talk at this point. While the video I put together may look like the game is at an advanced stage of development, there is still a ton of stuff to do. And the way I work, things often don't come together until the final moments. I tend to work with a 'vertical slice' approach, and so it's easy to put together some video that looks like a finished game. But there is a ton of content I still need to make. So, please understand that it will be a while before this game is done. I'm going to be working on it as much as I can, though."
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