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News video games 22 December 2022, 00:10

author: Jacob Blazewicz

New Game by Stardew Valley Devs is 'Big, Ambitious,' and Inspired by Diablo 2

Haunted Chocolatier is expected to be a markedly different game from Stardew Valley, with the developer taking inspiration from Diablo II (and RollerCoaster Tycoon), among others.

Years go by, and Stardew Valley continues to enjoy great popularity and is being developed by the game's creator. Nevertheless, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone somehow finds time to work on a new game, despite the fact that a "grand, ambitious vision" is supposed to be behind Haunted Chocolatier, which was announed last year

The developer mentioned this in an interview with ScreenRant, which also touched on cooperation with Alvvays. The developer assured that work on the game is going smoothly, but Haunted Chocolatier is a "big game.". Barone even feels "somewhat daunted" by the amount of work. Stardew Valley took him 4.5 years of work, and after two years with his new title, he's sure it will still be "a while" before it gets released.

Stardew Valley in Diablo sauce

When ConcernedApe announced Haunted Chocolatier, he made it clear that it would be a slightly different production than Stardew Valley. The game will put more emphasis on combat, which is expected to result from... the developer's sessions with Diablo II.

Barone liked the scheme of getting better and better loot and watching the player character's stats evolve. Stardew Valley with its - we quote - "vestigial and simple combat" doesn't allow for too much implementation of such mechanics. Hence the idea to create a game that "would be like mines in SV, but refined and done really well".

Of course, in addition to exploration and combat while searching for ingredients for chocolate confections, we will also need to manage your store. At least until then, because over time Haunted Chocolatier will enable us to automate its operation with the help of ghosts (the word "haunted" in the title didn't come out of nowhere).

This will enable the players to focus on collecting ingredients, which Barone considers the most important part of the game. Nevertheless, the store will also offer numerous features for those who will prefer to look after it themselves.

Artistic Tycoon

Beyond Diablo II Barone was also inspired by "simulation games" the likes of the RollerCoaster Tycoon series. Customers visiting a gamer's store will have their own preferences and requirements. If we meet their whims, the ratings of our shop will increase, attracting more customers.

In a sense, for the developer, this is also a personal project. In Haunted Chocolatier Barone wants to show himself and his work from a slightly different angle than what fans know from Stardew Valley.

"I want to show a different side of what I do. In a way, creating games and art is a way for me to connect with people or for them to understand me. I want others to understand my ideas, my thoughts; who I am. I feel that Stardew Valley is partly the way to do that, but it doesn't even come close to showing the full picture. There's a lot more I need to express, and I'm looking forward to it."

Haunted Chocolatier is headed for PC.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Passionate about video (and other) games for years, he completed an Mba in linguistics, defending a thesis about games. He began his adventure with Gamepressure in 2015, writing in the newsroom, later also covering film and – oh, horror! – technology (also contributor to the gaming encyclopedia). He started with platformers, which he still dearly loves (including metroidvania), but he's also interested in card games (including 'analog'), brawlers, soulslike games and basically every other type of game. Don't ask about the graphics – after a few hours of exposition, he can be delighted with pixelated characters from games that remember the days of the Game Boy age (if not older).


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