Stardew Valley developer ConcernedApe has surprisingly announced that he has a new game in development called Haunted Chocolatier.
Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone is best known as the solo developer behind Stardew Valley, a Farming RPG that grew into a massively popular multiplatform game. Barone had always stated his intent to eventually cook up a new project, and now it's finally here -- here's your first look at Haunted Chocolatier.
"After dedicating 10 years of my life to Stardew Valley (and counting), the time has finally come to announce my next game," read an announcement on the game's official website. "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."
ConcernedApe's Haunted Chocolatier appears to share many similarities with the aesthetic of Stardew Valley; longtime fans of the Farming RPG will surely recognize a few familiar elements (such as Slimes) and ConcernedApe's characteristic pixel art style. The gameplay, however, will be very different.
"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," read the game's official F.A.Q. "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."
Visual aesthetics aside, ConcernedApe is not yet ready to reveal how this game might tie into the world of Stardew Valley (if at all). He also cautions that this is very early in development -- pretty much anything and everything can change in the coming years.
When is the ConcernedApe's Haunted Chocolatier Release Date?
Unfortunately, the ConcernedApe's Haunted Chocolatier release date has not yet been revealed; today's announcement only notes that the game is currently in development. Odds are, we're going to be waiting quite a while to play it.
Keep in mind that ConcernedApe spent the better part of a decade developing Stardew Valley, roughly half of which was done before the game launched. These updates included the addition of multiplayer and new quality-of-life improvements; most recently, the game's 1.5. update added a new location called Ginger Island. ConcernedApe is perfectly content to take his time, and he took care to emphasize that fact on the Haunted Chocolatier website:
"I can’t commit to a release date yet," ConcernedApe stated in the game's F.A.Q. "It’s still relatively early in development and I want to be able to work in peace without the pressure of a release date, or even an estimated release date."
Haunted Chocolatier is a solo project that ConcernedApe is developing on nights and weekends, outside of his work with Stardew Valley. It will likely launch on PC first, though he notes that he may get some help to port it to other platforms at a later date. For now, you can learn more about the game on its official website, although you might have to wait a while -- it's (rather understandably) being overloaded with tons of visitors who are interested in this upcoming game.
What do you think of ConcernedApe's Haunted Chocolatier? Do you think it will reach the same level of popularity as Stardew Valley? Let us know in the comments below!