A couple of weeks ago, Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone revealed his next game, Haunted Chocolatier. It's about opening a chocolate shop staffed by ghosts, and you'll be able to venture out into fantastical places to collect ingredients. Honestly, it's exactly what I'd want from a Stardew follow-up. Barone says Haunted Chocolatier will have "a greater focus on combat" than Stardew, and has provided some detail on how the chocolate game's battles will work.
In a blog post, Barone says he's not "copying and pasting Stardew's combat" into Haunted Chocolatier. One of the biggest differences between the two is that the new game will have a shield, letting you block attacks, stunning enemies.
"The shield/stun mechanic rewards more cautious, patient players who wait for a window of opportunity," Barone says. "But you don’t have to play like this, you could just as well charge in aggressively, and if you can pull it off, you’ll defeat enemies more quickly that way. There will be other off-hand items besides shields that will compliment different play styles."
From what we've seen so far of Haunted Chocolatier, combat will be more important than it was in Stardew because it seems to be one of the main ways to collect ingredients. I think that's what really excites me about it, because I spend most of my time in the farming sim fighting monsters in the mines. And sure, I guess I'm being kinda helpful finding ore and stuff, but farming is still the main event.
Stardew is the sort of game that tells me off for dying in the mines, so I'm hoping Haunted Chocolatier will take a different approach. You know, pick me up, dust me off and encourage me to head out again and again. I suppose I'd like it to be a bit like Moonlighter - running away in the night to collect goods, then returning in the morning to run my shop. (And make chocolate!)
I'm almost sad that Barone has revealed this game now, because it seems quite a ways away yet and I'm already super excited to play it. From the sounds of things, he's currently deep in development, and won't be finished until he's completely happy with it.
"The bottom line is that I won't rest, or release this game, until I am personally satisfied that it's very fun and compelling, in every aspect," Barone says. "If it never gets there, I'll just never release it. But don’t worry, I have 100% faith that I'll get it there. Everything is on the right track so far, I have the complete vision for the game in my head, and it's just a matter of 'grinding it out', which is what I’m doing every day!"