Concerned Ape Knows How to Keep Stardew Valley Fresh
The most recent update to Stardew Valley was the biggest expansion yet. Introducing a brand new character, a new farm map, new character cutscenes and flavor text, a new area, and a new achievable for completing the game at 100%, it essentially acts as a full-on expansion pack for the game.
There are also a few somewhat silly updates (that I still adore). Ducks can now swim. You can sit in the chairs. There’s new music to enjoy and a few new upgrades you can add to your house.
On top of that, though, Barone continued his signature consideration for his community with the inclusion of several improvement-of-life updates. You can now move your bed in your house (a major source of annoyance for many players in the original game). There is also now an option to make the community center guaranteed first-year completable, which reduces the need for repetitive grinding to get certain rare materials necessary for it. He’s also added several aesthetic items like new hairstyles and clothing options, as well as some improved graphics.
Barone also worked with community modders, whom he’s always supported, giving them early access to the update to make sure their mods would work with it when it was released. This, to me, is a real gesture of good will to his community; he knows that people pour hundreds of hours into his game out of sheer love of it, and that they like to build on the world and story he created to customize it to their playthrough. The fact that Barone acknowledges and encourages this is, in my mind, the peak of creative community.
From the standpoint of a long-time lover of the game, I really appreciate the sincerity and effort of this particular update. Barone very much understands his fanbase, and so clearly loves them and everything they’ve done for him, that you can’t help but love the guy. I mean, he made all of this, enough to fill a huge DLC bundle, completely free to anyone who has the game. He hasn’t at all let the success of the game go to his head, he never takes anything for granted, and he’s just generally a good person. I love being able to give my support to someone as genuinely kind as Eric, and I’ll continue to do so for as long as he has games I can support.
The 1.5 update for Stardew Valley is now available on PC, and should be coming to consoles soon. There’s no estimate for the mobile release yet.