Stardew Valley creator has “big, ambitious vision” for next game, Haunted Chocolatier

Eric Barone — Stardew Valley’s creator, known as ConcernedApe — has gone into a little more detail about his upcoming game, Haunted Chocolatier.

Haunted Chocolatier still looks to be some way off, but Eric Barone — the creator behind Stardew Valley, one of the best games on Game Pass — has discussed his upcoming game in a little more detail, noting that he has a “big, ambitious vision” for the game.
We know from the game’s first announcement that Haunted Chocolatier’s gameplay loop will feature gathering ingredients and running a shop and that it’ll have more of a combat focus, but Barone has now shared a few more details. Speaking to ScreenRant about both Haunted Chocolatier and his collaboration with the band Alvvays for a music video, Barone says Haunted Chocolatier is “going well, but it’s a big game. I have a big, ambitious vision for it. It’s a little bit daunting, the amount of work that it’s going to be. But Stardew Valley took me four and a half years; I’ve been working on Haunted Chocolatier for about a year and a half or maybe two years now. I announced it a little bit over a year ago, but it’s still gonna be a while. But I think it’s going good. So far. There’s a lot of good things so far.”

Discussing his decision to have combat as more of a feature in Haunted Chocolatier, Barone says, “When I was in the early stages of Haunted Chocolatier, I was playing a bunch of Diablo II. Getting loot and seeing your numbers go up on the stats? I like that stuff. I feel like a lot of Stardew Valley players aren’t that into it, but I’ve just got to do what I think is fun. And I think that’ll shine through in the game, if I’m excited about it.” He adds that he was playing Stardew Valley around the same time, and that “the combat there is rudimentary and kind of crude. It’s very simplistic, so I thought, ‘What if I made a game that was like the mines in Stardew Valley, but fully fleshed out and done really well?’ All the bells and whistles that I would like, in a game that has combat but also exploration and resource gathering.”

haunted chocolatier

Haunted Chocolatier will see us heading out into magical worlds to gather ingredients before bringing them back to our castle to make chocolate to sell in our shop. “I think the core of the game is actually gathering ingredients; that’s the biggest part of the game. The shop is a little more passive, but the idea is you can run the shop yourself until you start getting help from the ghosts,” Barone says. “So, you can automate all of that, and then you’re just giving the shop chocolates and designing the shop.” The shop will also have a “lot of features,” while the game in general will also have “a certain kind of sim element, like a game like Rollercoaster Tycoon or something where the customers have certain needs and desires, and then if those desires are met and they’re satisfied then your rating of your shop might start going up, which attracts more customers and there’s kind of a loop there.”

Barone continues, saying that with Haunted Chocolatier, “I want to show a different side of what I do. In some ways, making games and art is just a way for me to connect to people, or for them to understand me. I want people to understand my ideas, my thoughts; who I am. I feel like Stardew Valley is partway there, but it’s not even close to the whole picture. There’s a lot more I need to express, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Haunted Chocolatier still seems to be a fair way off, but we’ll keep an eye out for any updates. What do you think of Barone’s comments on Haunted Chocolatier? Let us know in the comments!

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