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Stardew Valley creator reveals next game: ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier

In the five years since it was released, Stardew Valley has become an indie sensation. Now, Stardew Valley‘s creator, Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, has revealed his next game: ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier. The first trailer for Haunted Chocolatier is here, and it shows off some early gameplay from the new title. It’s safe to say that Stardew Valley fans will probably find a lot to be excited about in the first trailer for Haunted Chocolatier.

In ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier, players will take on the job of a chocolate maker living in a haunted castle. Throughout the game, players will have to collect ingredients, make chocolate, and then sell it in their very own chocolate shop – one where ghosts help manage the store, it seems. We’ve embedded the first trailer below, and it shows off a good mix of gameplay, from managing the chocolate shop and interacting with NPCs to exploration and combat.

Haunted Chocolatier looks a lot like Stardew Valley, and that certainly isn’t a coincidence. While we imagine that many things about the game will change during development, Barone has a pretty distinctive pixel art style, so the finished product will probably still look like Stardew Valley in at least some regards.

In any case, Barone already has a website set up for Haunted Chocolatier with both a blog and an FAQ. In the first blog post about the game, Barone says that even though the Haunted Chocolatier features spooky stuff like ghosts and a haunted mansion, it won’t be “an evil or negative game.” Instead, Barone says, “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.”

In the accompanying FAQ, we learn that so far, Haunted Chocolatier is a solo project for Barone, just as Stardew Valley was. Barone also describes Haunted Chocolatier as “another ‘town game’” where players will be moving to a new town and getting to know the people who live there. However, Barone also describes Haunted Chocolatier as “more of an action-RPG compared to Stardew Valley,” so we can expect some changes on the gameplay front.

Barone also confirms that Haunted Chocolatier is being developed in a new game engine, though sadly, he doesn’t want to reveal if it’s set in the Stardew Valley universe yet. He also says that while he intends to bring Haunted Chocolatier to major platforms, he can only confirm the game for PC at the moment. There’s no talk of a release date yet, as Barone says the game is still “relatively early in development.” It sounds like we’ll be waiting a while for the arrival of Haunted Chocolatier, but we’ll let you know when Barone shares more.

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‘Stardew Valley’ creator’s next game is ‘Haunted Chocolatier’

Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone, aka “ConcernedApe,” has made a surprise unveiling of his next game, Haunted Chocolatier. It has the same pixelated SNES look as Stardew, with characters, set-pieces and themes that are similarly cute and quirky. 

“In this game, you will play as a chocolatier living in a haunted castle. In order to thrive in your new role, you will have to gather rare ingredients, make delicious chocolates, and sell them in a chocolate shop,” according to Barone’s blog on the new website. The video shows characters heading out into into a town, the castle, a mountain and other scenarios to seek ingredients and fend off creatures.

It’s Barone’s first game since Stardew Valley launched in 2016, but so far it’s not a lot more than a demo. Barone has yet to finalize the gameplay systems, and said he doesn’t even want to be “tied down to any particular concept of what the game is” ahead of launch. 

Haunted Chocolatier does sound and look a lot like Stardew at first take. However, in a FAQ, Barone said there will be some substantial differences, particularly when it comes to gameplay.

Like Stardew Valley, Haunted Chocolatier is another “town game,” where you move to a new town and try your hand at a new way of living. You’ll get to know the townspeople, achieve your goals and make progress in many ways. All of that is similar to Stardew Valley. However, the core gameplay and theming are quite a bit different. Haunted Chocolatier is more of an action-RPG compared to Stardew Valley. And instead of a farm being the focal point of your endeavors, it’s a chocolate shop.

Barone wouldn’t reveal other details, like whether the new title is set in the same world as Stardew, nor a release date or even a general timeframe. He did say that it would be single-player only, with no plans for multiplayer. The game will “100 percent” come to PC, though he has “every intention of bringing it to the other major platforms as well.”

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