Stardew Valley has had details released about Version 1.1 by developer ConcernedApe on the game's official forums. Additionally, a beta test is underway and available for all owners of the game on Steam.
Stardew Valley (which I reviewed earlier this year) is a farming RPG similar in style to the classic Harvest Moon games. It was developed by ConcernedApe and published by Chucklefish Games. A four-year solo project, it has been a startling success with over 1,000,000 sales in the first two months of its release.
The beta is available for Windows, OSX, and Linux on Steam for players who own the game. Unfortunately, GOG customers will not have access to the beta. While ConcernedApe takes measures to preserve save files (to the point that saves from the game's original beta still work), he nonetheless cautions that you back your saves up before participating in the beta if you don't want to risk losing progress.
To access the beta on Steam, you must right click on Stardew Valley in your Steam Library and select Properties. Click on the "Betas" tab, select "beta" from the drop-down menu, and close the window. Steam will update the game with the new beta files. You can revert to the current stable version of the game by following the same process. No special code is required for entering the beta provided that you own the game on Steam.
The 1.1 Update has a long list of new content, changes, and bugfixes coming to the game. There are four new types of farm that you can select when creating a character: Riverlands, Forest, Hilltop, and Wilderness. Each map type presents new opportunities and challenges for working the land.
Buildings are getting a bit of an overhaul as well. Previously, if you wanted to move a building you had to demolish it and then build it anew. Robin the Carpenter is now able to move existing buildings on your farm. There is a new Shed building that is useful for putting equipment (such as Kegs) indoors and saving space. A Mill building will let you turn wheat into flour and beets into sugar. Lastly, your home can be upgraded an additional time to add a cellar for even more space.
Speaking of spouses, Shane and Emily are finally available as marriage candidates. They each have had their own heart events and music created. If you're feeling unsatisfied with your current spouse, you can now also divorce them via a book in the Mayor's house. Your spouse will get an outdoor space on the farm for them to interact with. For instance, Leah the artist has an area where she can work on sculptures outdoors. They will also engage in new behavior around the farm.
ConcernedApe has also added a gold sink for mid-to-late-game players. Following the completition of the Community Center or Joja Mart questline, the player will have access to a new quest that eventually allows the Wizard to instantly create magical buildings for a hefty price. Among these are obelisks that act as permanent teleporters, a Gold Clock which prevents weed growth and fence decay, and a Junimo Hut which allows adorable little creatures to make collecting your crops a bit easier.
If you'd like to see some images of the new content, Redditor esotericine has collected full-size images of all five new farms which you can view at this comment as well as images of the Shed and Cellar interiors at this comment on the Stardew Valley subreddit.
This is by no means an all-inclusive account of what's in the game - if you want all the details it's probably best for you to check out the changelog yourself. No release date for the Version 1.1 of Stardew Valley has been announced, so keep your eyes open for it and consider hopping into the beta in the meantime!
Quick TakeThe new additions to the game are quite nice overall. I like the overall aesthetic of the new farms, but as a filthy min-maxing, business-minded player I'm a bit sad to see a lack of greater real estate. Perhaps we'll get something like that in a future patch. For now, I'm considering jumping back into Stardew Valley all over again once the patch drops and seeing just what ConcernedApe has in store for its players.
What do you think of the changes and additions made in Stardew Valley's first major patch? Is this enough to pull you back into the game? What would you like to see added by ConcernedApe to the game? Let us know in the comments below!