developer Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone has revealed he is working on two new games, but says “don’t get too hyped” as they could be a long way from being released.
Originally tweeting that he is working on one non-farming game set in the world of Stardew Valley and another game that will also tie into that universe in some way, Barone shared more in-depth details about the projects with IGN over email.
“I’m purposely staying very vague about my new projects because I don’t want to create a bunch of hype yet,” Barone first explained. “I like to work in peace without having pressure or external opinions about what I should do.”
Yes, I’m actually working on a couple of new projects. One takes place in the world of Stardew Valley, but is not a farming game. The other, I’m not 100% sure about the world yet, but it will tie into Stardew Valley in some way
— ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) February 11, 2020
He also said that his plate is very full with all his different projects currently, including continued work on Stardew Valley itself. He noted in a follow-up tweet that he’s “not setting out to make the next indie smash hit.”
With those expectations in place, Barone revealed to us that both projects are single-player, top-down 2D games with pixel art styles – presentations he said would be “familiar for anyone who has played Stardew Valley.”
He described the first game listed in his tweet as “an ambitious project” that has been in slow development for several years while he simultaneously worked on Stardew Valley updates. “I have pretty much the entire, polished idea in my head, and just have to put it into the computer,” Barone said, explaining that it’s a daunting task to then bring that “finished-in-my-head” game into existence.
This game will also have 32×32 pixel tiles, which he described as “twice the ‘detail’ of Stardew Valley,” causing it to take much longer. “In general, I’ve been approaching this game with the goal to surpass the quality of every aspect compared to Stardew Valley… art, music, sound, narratives, etc… and I think I have been achieving that so far. I just have to put in the 1000’s more hours of work necessary to finish it.”
The second project mentioned in his initial tweet is something Barone says he started more recently, “just as a little thing to have fun with.” He said he’s developing this game in an organic way, similar to the creation of Stardew Valley where “I kind of just create one thing at a time and then let my intuition carry me to the next step.” Barone says it’s been fun to develop, and he hopes to one day make it a complete game, explaining it’s “hopefully smaller in scope so it won’t take that long (but we’ll see…).”
Barone said he’s also been working on Stardew Valley alongside these projects, so he’s got his hands full.
“I spend almost every waking hour working on something,” he explained, but noted that he’ll be happy when these two games are released as he has ideas for even more after them. Barone said that being a solo-developer drastically stretches out the time scale of game development, saying “I am thinking about what games I might release ‘this decade.’”
That said, Barone has “faith that things will turn out well,” noting that his skills have improved a lot since Stardew Valley. And while we probably shouldn’t hold our breath for anything described above, he did tease that “there will be some interesting reveals coming this year though, for sure.”
Tom Marks is IGN’s Deputy Reviews Editor and resident pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.