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ConcernedApe's Haunted Chocolatier (hauntedchocolatier.net)
487 points by doppp 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 115 comments

This has the same kind of relaxing vibe as Stardew Valley. A very rare instant purchase for me once it is released.

For me personally these games stand out in a huge way in the sea of generic AAA micro-transaction "games". If anyone wants to drop some more SV-like game recommendations I'd love to hear them.

I am in continued awe ConcernedApe was able to accomplish all this largely on his own.

And beyond this that he continues that approach with his new game even though he could surely afford to just bring on as many developers/designers as he needed. He could even churn out a new game on a yearly basis and "milk" it all to maximize profit. The fact he is doing none of this speaks volumes (at least to me).

Eric if you somehow happen to stumble upon this comment know you've brought one couple many many happy hours together. We wish you all the best, and much love!

I'm working on my own indie game that's inspired by Stardew Valley, so I've done a good bit of looking at similar cozy farming games. I also wrote an analysis of Stardew's game design that was well-received on Hacker News [1].

Animal Crossing is the granddaddy of cozy games, but the core loop didn't keep me engaged. More "arranging your house and island" than farming.

Cozy Grove is Animal Crossing with a far better narrative.

Graveyard Keeper, Littlewood, and My Time In Portia are closer to being "Stardew, but X". Your mileage may vary with each, but I enjoyed parts all of them.

Spiritfarer is my favorite of the lot. It plays differently enough with your hodgepodge boat-city of ghosts, but it feels the closest in spirit (rimshot) to Stardew. Bring a box of tissues.

My own game, Moondrop Mountain, is trying for a roguelike farming experience. It should be coming into Early Access early next year [2].

[1] https://www.pixelatedplaygrounds.com/sidequests/game-design-... [2] https://store.steampowered.com/app/1417750/Moondrop_Mountain...

PAX Online this past July had a panel called “ A Case for Cozy: Why We Need Wholesome Games” which may interest you if you haven’t seen it yet. They did give a list of some upcoming games in the genre.

I linked the PAX page below. I watched the stream after the fact in the PAX archive on twitch but I needed to scrub through the recording for the whole day and sub-channel to find it so I unfortunately don’t have a link directly to it.

[1] https://online.paxsite.com/content/sitebuilder/rna/pax/onlin...

From one of the Youtube comments.

Game recommendations on the final slides:

Leanne: Parkitecht, Pokemon Go, Banished, Mineko's Night Market, Ooblets, To the Rescue

Kels: A Short Hike, Abzu, Animal Crossing, Mineko's Night Market, Skatebird, Ooblets

Josh: Yonder, Kind Words, Quench, Tunic, Welcome to Elk, Get In The Car, Loser!

I love the idea of a roguelike farming game. Often I feel bogged down in lategame, and regret early decisions I made. Faster mechanics and restarts would help a ton. Good luck!

Isn't Dwarf Fortress somewhat of a roguelike farming game? It definitely features farming (and crafting, and raising cattle and ... literally everything else) and has been called a "honorable roguelike" before.

Yeah, for sure. Dwarf Fortress randomizes a lot of environment and climate features but has standard crops. It looks like Moondrop Mountain also randomizes the properties of crops (similar to materials in Big Pharma).

It's interesting how shorter run-based gameplay impacts every aspect of play. It's like the difference between games with permadeath and games designed around permadeath. The former is a hardcore challenge, and the latter, I would argue, is the core of roguelikes.

While there's no "death" in my game (stayin' cozy), the idea that the player needs to go through multiple runs has been really fun to play around with :)

> the latter, I would argue, is the core of roguelikes.

I might be showing my age here, but isn't permadeath the core of roguelikes? Like, isn't the point that you have to start fresh each play, and that's why games like nethack offered a bajillion character classes? Even the og rogue had permadeath.

Exactly! A game designed around permadeath will try to keep things fresh for the player, through randomized proc-gen level design or through different character classes. Or, to put it another way, imagine Super Mario World with a single life and no saves. It would count as permadeath, but it certainly wouldn't be a roguelike. Roguelikes are designed around permadeath at their core.

Hades is the perfect balance of this. Short runs while still allowing some amount of progression.

Heh.... my 1987 batch files to save, quit, copy, restart .sav files would like a word.

Moria FTW

save.bat and load.bat

Eastward just came out and has amazing SDV like graphics, I've not played it yet though.


For a roguelike farming game, look into Atomicrops: https://store.steampowered.com/app/757320/Atomicrops/

Don't forget that Stardew Valley itself is based on Harvest Moon.

Indeed. It's kind of surprising that this is the only comment mentioning Harvest Moon so far, since SV is so similar...

All the games mentioned in these comments are great, anyway. And I found some new ones to try now. :)

Could it be due to HN being more PC than console? I personally have not played Harvest Moon and am only vaguely familiar with the name. Stardew Valley however runs on Linux and has a large mod community (Stardew Valley Expanded for example) which has ensured a lot of replay in our house. It's the preferred family coop.

I think HN is pretty diverse. I, for instance, am a big fan of SDV. I've only ever played it on my android phone though.

Rougelike farming?! There is dungeon crawling in a tune based game with ASCII UI?!

Thanks for the recommendations. I and a few friends are big fans of SV so having more games with that feel will be great. Tried out AC recently and didn’t love the core loop either.

> instant purchase for me

Also, in comparison to AAA games from the biggest companies like EA (BF2042 Beta, hello) and Ubisoft, I KNOW that Eric will release a "ready to play" game, without massive bugs and missing content looming.

That's probably more due to one guy running the show in contrast to a slave driver / project lead with a team in 20 different countries who are barely aware of other team members existence?

Yeah, I didn't play a ton of SV, but I will buy this on day one for two reasons:

1. It will be wonderful to explore alongside a big culture of people without everyone being beta testers.

2. I like to support small, high quality games. As the new mantra goes "i want shorter games with worse graphics made by people who are paid more to work less and i'm not kidding" (https://twitter.com/jordan_mallory/status/127748375624544256...)

Not really like SV but all of Lucas Pope's games definitely stand out. Another individual who does pretty much all his own work. Paper's Please and Return of the Obra Dinn, both excellent and very unique.

Your mention of Return of the Obra Dinn reminded me of this article[1] which I found quite fascinating about dithering, the technique used for the game's art style. One of the neat things about these types of small indie games is that they can do unique things with (among other things) art style which bigger budget games that need a wider appeal can't afford to.

[1] https://surma.dev/things/ditherpunk/

If you're interested in that you'll probably like this post by Lucas Pope on how he handled dithering and camera movement - https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=40832.msg136374...

I never really got into "Papers, Please" but "Return of the Obra Dinn" is one of the best video games I have ever played.

The mechanics are amazing and make it a better detective game than most detective games. Plus, I really liked the story and setting.

Just in case OP hasn't played it, I genuinely cannot recommend it enough.

Some other games with similar vibes to Obra Dinn:

The recently released Echo Beach.. "As a clerk at the Ministry, your job is to hunt down the remaining musicians in their place of last refuge - The Musicnet."


Hypnospace Outlaw "In Hypnospace Outlaw you play as a volunteer 'enforcer' who is tasked with bla bla bla... to make money bla bla. The cool thing is that there's a super robust fake OS and a really big fake internet with all kinds of neat things to find. OK?!? Ok!"


Paradise Killer, too. I mainly like it for its heavy 80s vapourwave aesthetic and top-notch soundtrack.

Completely agree. I wish I could forget everything about Obra Dinn so I can go back and play it again for the first time. I also recommend going into it blind, so that early on when the nature of what your character is dealing with is revealed, you won't have any idea it was coming.

Lucas Pope and Concerned Ape are supremely talented (they even compose the music for their games!). I'll buy anything they release at this point, sight unseen.

Have you heard of Outer Wilds? It's a different setting, but you piece together a story by exploring. I'd really recommend it.

> you piece together a story by exploring. I'd really recommend it.

For anyone who likes this style of game, I can't recommend Myst and Riven enough.

Haven't gotten around to the later games in that series yet.

I should note I haven't played Obra Dinn, or Outer Wilds yet, so I may have misunderstood.

I’ve often made that comparison myself, though I hesitate sharing it in order to avoid triggering a possible knee-jerk response.

Outer Wilds is my favorite game of all time :) It is generally quite chill (though there are a few tense moments). I hear the DLC is a little scary/thrilling but I haven’t played it yet.

I just played Obra Dinn. For years I have been saying “Why aren’t there any games like Sierra’s Manhunter series?” Obra Dinn is the first game that ever reminded me of Manhunter. Also, it was fun and very well made.

You would likely enjoy Spiritfarer. As a bonus it has a built in local co op and can be played with two controllers from the same steam purchase. It tackles the theme of dealing with our own mortality and can be a bit hard to handle if you are depressed, but otherwise amazing experience.

Check out Graveyard Keeper, while a mildly more morbid vibe, the gameplay loop, graphics and general feel are quite similar.

Definitely worth a try, but I had to mod it a little bit to make the energy mechanics a bit more forgiving and to speed up the gameplay a bit - YMMV.

Graveyard Keeper is good on the story side, but it comes with much more grinding (performing repetitive tasks in the game) compared to Stardew Valley. Something to bear in mind for potential buyers.

I didn't bother with the extensions in the end after completing the main game (at this point you can often pick up the game with all of its extensions on sale).

Refreshingly original game nonetheless in terms of setting and 'job'.

I agree it's pretty grindy, but there was a free DLC that introduced "workers" (zombies) and that cut down on a lot of the grind.

There's a game called Atrio which is probably closer to Factorio than Stardew Valley but you might enjoy it.

I've heard good things about Animal Crossing too although I've never played it.

Kynseed is another one, by the people who developed Fable but its development is taking quite long.

Not exactly farming or SV-like, but "A Short Hike" (https://ashorthike.com/) is a laid-back, wholesome, "no-stress" kind of game I can highly recommend.

Give Noita a try, it's a fun indie roguelike with subtle powder toy mechanics. It's a proper hearty, arcade-like experience too. If I've got some spare time between projects, I seem to always find the time to fit a couple Noita runs in...

Something in a similar vein that I enjoy a lot is RimWorld. It's more of a simulation than an RPG, but it has some similar vibes. Especially if you tone down the combat portions of the game in the difficulty settings so you can focus more on base building and exploring rather than getting raided by Mad Max vagabonds every few days.

I don't know if it's been said already, but Starbound seems like it kind of fits into this world as well.

I remember there was some controversy around Starbound's Early Access status when it was first released, haven't heard of it since - I'm assuming that it has turned out fine based on your recommendation?

They have done a number of major updates and now it has enough of a story and gameplay mechanics to make it fun to finish the story. I think previously, you just were supposed to hunt upgrades without any story motivation.

Starbound is more like Terraria than Stardew Valley sadly.

Not a farming sim, but Celeste tight platforming paired with a very wholesome story made it stand out for me.

Aground is not as cozy, but has the same sort of pixel style and indie game feel. It's more like Terraria than anything. Like Stardew Valley, it has waaay more content and story than you expect at the start of the game.

> If anyone wants to drop some more SV-like game recommendations I'd love to hear them.

Not SV-like in terms of gameplay but if you're looking for gorgeous feel-good pixelart games you'll find all that in Eastward.

There's a new game coming out this week called Moonglow Bay which looks like it will have a similar vibe, but focused more on fishing. No idea if it will be good, but it looks interesting.

I still want a remake of 1997's 'Knights and Merchants'

Great game. AI went wonky when you reached ±100 serfs.

Sun Haven is a early access stardew valley like happening in a fantasy universe

Littlewood has similar vibes than SV

Animal Crossing has a pretty heavy overlap in vibe, although it is a decently-different game (e.g. not really about farming). Also, Moonlighter has some similar vibes.

I learned today that Eric (ConcernedApe) does the music for his games too... Music, art and graphics, storytelling, and game development all in one dude, what a talent.

Toby Fox (Undertale/Deltarune) as well, although he has some art help.

And Daisuke Amaya did all of Cave Story too.

Some really wonderful games come out of single vision, single execution

Add Thomas Happ (Axiom Verge) to that list.

I absolutely love the soundtrack. The game was great too.

Eric and Toby Fox were literal heroes to me, they introduced the idea to me that someone could create a video game on their own. I grew away from video games, but I probably wouldn't have learnt programming without them

The Cave Story guy was this for me growing up :) I made many, many game engines and then got to the content creation part and usually got stuck. If nothing else, it gave me a ton of experience programming, which I then built a career on.

excerpt from the book Ultralearning by Scott Youn — https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/ultralearning/.

"Eric Barone had just graduated from the University of Washington Tacoma with a degree in computer science when he thought, Now’s my chance. He had decided that he wanted to make his own video games and that now, before he got comfortable in a salaried programming job, was his opportunity to do something about it. He already had his inspiration. He wanted his game to pay homage to Harvest Moon, a charming Japanese series of games in which the player must build a successful farm: grow crops, raise animals, explore the countryside, and form relationships with other villagers. “I loved that game,” he said about his childhood experience with the title. “But it could have been so much better.” He knew that if he didn’t follow through with his own vision, that improved version would never be a reality.

Developing a commercially successful video game isn’t easy. AAA game companies budget hundreds of millions of dollars and employ thousands of people on their top titles. The talent required is similarly broad. Game development requires programming, visual art, musical composition, story writing, game design, and dozens more skills, depending on the genre and style of game developed. The breadth of skills required makes game development much harder for smaller teams than other art forms such as music, writing, or visual arts. Even highly talented independent game developers generally have to collaborate with a few people to span all the skills required. Eric Barone, however, decided to work on his game entirely alone.

Deciding to work alone came from a personal commitment to his vision and an indefatigable self-confidence that he could finish the game. “I like to have complete control over my own vision,” he explained, saying that it might have been “impossible to find people who were on the same page” regarding the design. However, that choice meant that he would need to become proficient in game programming, music composition, pixel art, sound design, and story writing. More than just a game design project, Barone’s odyssey would entail mastering each aspect of game design itself.

Pixel art was Barone’s biggest weakness. This style of art harkens back to the earlier era of video games when rendering graphics was difficult to do on slow computers. Pixel art is not done with fluid lines or photorealistic textures. Instead, a compelling image must be created by placing pixels, the colored dots that make up computer graphics, one at a time—painstaking and difficult work. A pixel artist must convey movement, emotion, and life from a grid of colored squares. Barone liked to doodle and draw, but that didn’t prepare him for the difficulty. He had to learn this skill “completely from scratch.” Getting his art skills to a commercial level wasn’t easy. “I must have done most of the artwork three to five times over,” he said. “For the character portraits, I did those at least ten times.

Barone’s strategy was simple but effective. He practiced by working directly on the graphics he wanted to use in his game. He critiqued his own work and compared it to art he admired. “I tried to break it down scientifically,” he explained. “I would ask myself, ‘Why do I like this? Why don’t I like that?’” when looking at other artists’ work. He supplemented his own practice by reading about pixel art theory and finding tutorials that could fill gaps in his knowledge. When he encountered a difficulty in his art, he broke it down: “I asked, ‘What goal do I want to reach?’ and then ‘How might I get there?’” At some point in his work on the game, he felt his colors were too dull and boring. “I wanted the colors to pop,” he said. So he researched color theory and intensively studied other artists to see how they used colors to make things visually interesting.

Pixel art was just a single aspect Barone had to learn. He also composed all of the music for his game, redoing it from scratch more than once to make sure it met his high expectations. Whole sections of the game mechanics were developed and scrapped when they failed to meet his rigorous standards. This process of practicing directly and redoing things allowed him to get steadily better at all of the aspects of game design. Although it lengthened the time it took to complete the game, it also enabled his finished product to compete with games created by an army of specialized artists, programmers, and composers.

Throughout the five-year development process, Barone avoided seeking employment as a computer programmer. “I didn’t want to get involved in something substantial,” he said. “I wouldn’t have had the time, and I wanted to give game development my best shot.” Instead, he worked as a theater usher, earning minimum wage so that he wouldn’t get distracted. His meager earnings from his job, combined with support from his girlfriend, allowed Barone to get by as he focused on his passion.

That passion and dedication to mastery paid off. Barone released Stardew Valley in February 2016. The game quickly became a surprise hit, outselling many of the big-studio titles offered on the computer game platform Steam. Across multiple platforms, Barone estimates that within the first year of its release, Stardew Valley had sold well over 3 million copies. In months, he went from an unknown designer earning minimum wage to a millionaire named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” stars within game development. His dedication to mastering the skills involved played no small part in that success. Destructoid, in its review of Stardew Valley, described the artwork as “incredibly endearing and beautiful.”6 Barone’s commitment to his vision and aggressive self-education had paid off handsomely."

I have been amazed of what Eric has created single-handedly already, and am so pleased he's doing something new! Stardew Valley is a prime example of what I want in modern games and so often find lacking. No microtransactions, single-player-friendly, not graphic-intensive. Not every game needs to or should be Stardew Valley, of course, but there's not enough Stardew Valleys out there.

Few of us are as talented as Eric is, but I wish more of us tried a little harder to create what we wish existed, and not fall into the trap of what's popular. To bastardize legend, "If I were not [me], I wish I were [ConcernedApe]."

I think about this all the time. I’m pretty young, don’t want kids, and tech pays so well right now, that I’m quite optimistic that I’ll have the opportunity to pursue a pure passion project like this in my 30s or 40s, heavily inspired by ConcernedApe

I like this guy, he is very talented but also down to earth. He is like a more adorable version of notch, before he locked himself in his mansion and started saying questionable things.

Hopefully he will stay that way when someone hands him a few billions.

Nobody is going to make billions from making retro video games.

What's your point? He still made hundreds of millions. Most people wouldn't continue making "indie" games at this point.

> Stardew Valley sold over 400,000 copies across Steam and GOG.com in two weeks,[12][64][65] and more than a million within two months. [1]

> By January 2020, Stardew Valley had sold over 10 million copies across all platforms, with that figure rising to 15 million by September 2021.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardew_Valley#Sales

I would think quite the opposite - if you've got "set for life" money, there is now zero time pressure to release, because you don't need the money from sales.

This makes it way easier to make the choice the second time round to solo-develop an indie game, and be able to take the time to make it just as you want to make it.

Except some people just can't stop amassing money even when they have enough to not work anymore and provide for their children and grand children.

The fact that it isn't obvious, makes the choice of making more quality indie games even more laudable to me.

Except Notch, a counterexample given literally in the comment riiiight above yours!! You presumably had to read it to post!!

Times have changed. Perhaps I should have appended "anymore" to my comment to make it more clear.

In the spirit of reconciliation, perhaps I should have mentioned that Notch made his billions by selling the company, not individual copies of Minecraft.

Anyway, you're probably right about the timeline -- I suspect the "mere" millions ConcernedApe made to be about the ceiling for individual game devs, selling the store or no.

Stardew Valley has sold 15 million copies in 5 years. That may not be billions in sales, but it's at least hundreds of millions. I don't think billions is that far-fetched, especially with multiple games.

I bet SV is worth well over a billion dollars. If it sold tomorrow, I would not be surprised on bit to hear a ballpark of $10-15 billion.

Anyone with some business acumen can look at the game, and realize that there's a ton of untapped potential there. Merchandising, licensed show potential, faster release cadence for new games/content, more complicated versions of the games for adults (MMO), less complicated versions for small children.

The merchandising thing seems like a no-brainer. Children really love toys associated with video games, movies, and the like. I wouldn't even think of it as selling out or milking the brand, it is letting people enjoy the game in a way that doesn't involve sitting in front of a screen.

Certainly not billions, but it’s still pretty astounding that basically one developer made a game that grossed >$200 million (15 million copies!)

It's a legit joy to play! We bought copies for our two gaming systems so the kids wouldn't fight over their turn.

There's not much to say more than, incredible, and I can't wait. I have got to be honest, for some reason I thought Stardew Valley was all that we'd ever see from ConcernedApe. I'm surprised and delighted that there's more to come! Looks great!

After seeing the news interviews with him, I thought the same. He did seem a little burned out to me after dedicating his entire life to Stardew for so long. Really impressive that he still has the energy to start an entirely new game!

Especially since he has been adding free content to Stardew Valley after its release, also adding online coop (with help from his publisher). I would have expected him to take a long break and enjoy the fruits of his labour, but as a gamer I'm happy to see him back and whatever is creating is a day 1, closed box purchase for me.

I have bought a few games purely out of support for how the developers approach making games. This will be one of them. Open Sewer by Loiste interactive was another one, INFRA was such a unique breath of fresh air that I bought Open Sewer even though it wasn't quite my kind of game.

I was expecting something completely different. As somebody that hasn't really liked Stardew Valley that much, this just looks exactly like Stardew Valley. Maybe these games aren't for me.

That's my view of Undertale: It was fun to watch someone play it and I helped with one particularly difficult dodging section so they could get a [redacted] win, but I don't want to play it myself at all. Loved Stardew, though. All of the joy of an RPG without the drudgery of a 3D FPS walking simulator.

I personally got a lot of joy from watching my significant other play the game and making suggestions as she went along. The gameplay isn't my kind of thing either, but I really enjoyed watching the story reveal itself, as well as making suggestions for optimizing the farming activity

While it looks a lot like stardew valley it surprised me to read that it is based on a new engine _and_ it’s developed in evenings and weekends as a side project to ongoing stardew valley work.

All by a single person.

This looks awesome, if a bit too similar to Stardew Valley for me (the fighting & town people).

I hope Eric lands on something that works. He spent 4 years alone on the previous game [0] - imagine how lonely & isolated that can get. Hopefully he gets good feedback and motivation from this announcement.

[0] https://www.gamedeveloper.com/business/the-4-years-of-self-i...

I love that SV was written in C#. Who would of thought? I wonder if it's the same here?


Stardew Valley is a wonderful example of what a great game framework XNA was, and what a shame that it did not receive continuing development from Microsoft. An amazingly productive tool for one person or a small team.

I'm not sure if he has moved on to Monogame (I assume he must have by now).

From the FAQ on the game's page:

> Is it the same engine as Stardew Valley?

> No, it’s a new engine written in C#/Monogame… however there are some areas where I can reuse code from Stardew Valley, so that is nice

>I'm not sure if he has moved on to Monogame

>Is it the same engine as Stardew Valley?

>No, it’s a new engine written in C#/Monogame… however there are some areas where I can reuse code from Stardew Valley, so that is nice.


I've loved Stardew Valley, and I'm super excited to try out Haunted Chocolatier once it drops.

> However, if Stardew Valley mostly channeled the energy of the sun, Haunted Chocolatier channels the energy of the moon.

That may explain why I didn't really like Stardew Valley. It's hard to put into words better than how he explained it though.

I am going to be honest with you, reading ConcernedApe made me think of NFTs.

Same here, I'm so glad it actually a game instead

I have zero interest in playing this but will probably still buy to support

The developer has easily $100 million. I think he'd probably prefer you support someone who needs it more.

1. Who are you to divine what he would prefer or to conclude that $100 million is enough for working on Stardew Valley for 10 years

2. I don't care what he would prefer, anyway

3. Regardless, it's not an either or situation

I wonder if it will feature Chocolatiers [0] as a mini-game...

0. https://www.proudlion.co.uk/product/chocolatiers/6476

I’m excited. In my opinion pixel art is timeless and has a charm no other style can compete with. Concernedape makes such a lovely game without being preachy and political. I’m looking forward to another gem.

This seems a little bit like Reccatier in that you're going into a dungeon to get things to sell in a shop you manage. I'm very excited for it!

This guy is beyond talented. The game looks amazing.

I’ve bought Stardew Valley three times on three different platforms with no regrets.

I suspect this game will be no different.

Oh good lord.... I'll never see my girlfriend again

I personally find it's very disappointing that the game is almost entirely visually indistinct from Stardew Valley. In fact even the sound effects are identical. I understand that this saves a lot of time and money, but this feels more like bonus content or an impressive mod of SDV than really having its own new identity. I'm sure a vast majority of people are in the "don't care, this is exactly what I want" category, and I wish that were me too, but unfortunately it's just not happening for me.

It's kinda like saying, oh, another romantic painting, I expected some impressionism or cubism from the dude this time around.

Maybe you're focusing on the style too much, and not enough on other artistic elements. Which is understandable in the preview.

I personally enjoy Stardew Valley, and I am sure I will enjoy the Chocolatier. I think these are video games as an art form; not the ground breaking type which makes the critics drool over it, but something like a Bob Ross kitsch that you want to put into your home to make it cozier.

No, not really, two romantic paintings can (and do) have totally different styles.

> Maybe you're focusing on the style too much, and not enough on other artistic elements.

Well if we look at another "artistic element" of the game, we see that it relies on the absolutely shit combat from SDV, which doesn't exactly inspire hope from the gameplay.

The point is that it's really fucking boring to get the same art style again. Why am I going to play a game that bores me just by looking at it? I want to have fun. That's what games are for.

That reminds of another game that celebrates their polarized reviews on Steam, because 75% of players love the game and 25% of players loathe the game, and there's no in-between. I kind of like that view; I'd rather people feel most strongly about my work. Opinionated works that do resonate with me resonate far more strongly as a result of expressing an opinion.

Apparently, as we've learned today, if you're looking for variety and novelty in artistic style, you probably won't find it in the works of ConcernedApe. That's probably a very polarizing "love it or hate it" moment for quite a lot of people. From a press standpoint, best to put that out there early on, and let people form an opinion. Far better than letting them build up anticipation for a year!

I'm excited for the game, but I understand your position -- I don't like it either. The effect is lessened a bit, for me, by remembering that it's just the one guy doing all of this.

Plus, we don't know that the sounds/tileset aren't just placeholders to allow him to release the trailer's vertical slice! I appreciate that this is unlikely, but still! What we recognize as normal development practices don't necessarily apply to a studio of one.

I think it's one of those situations where it's like, yeah I appreciate that it's just one dude, but for me as the player, that doesn't actually affect my enjoyment of the game, so there's only so much I can ignore that stuff. The problem is that I already felt "done" and moved on from SDV (actually I was never that into the game, which is also a factor to being disappointed here) and this just feels like, we're gonna get another few years of the same thing..

For me it's a big win. SV art style is unique and feels like it came from Eric's heart. For me the improvements are clear if compared to SV, but the style is the same. And being able to enjoy the same art style in a somewhat different context is exciting.

Unfortunately I found the SDV style grating and lifeless

agree, it just looks to me like standard fare of the 16 bit era

Don't forget that it's early. I'd be surprised if it didn't diverge more and more from looking like SDV as time progresses. It's to be expected that prototyping leverages assets that he has readily available, but then as the game's individual personality develops it will be reflected in the UI and the look and feel.

People always say this about such trailers, that the game has a chance to change and probably will look totally different when it comes out, but I very rarely have found that actually to be true in the end.

I agree with you. I loved SDV, and I will probably play this, but it looks like an expansion more than a new game.

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