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Stardew Valley is so lovely, even its creator spent the pandemic hanging out there

ConcernedApe's Stardew Valley crew
(Image credit: ConcernedApe)
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For many, Stardew Valley (opens in new tab) is a cosy escape from the hellscape most of us have been enduring over the last year. As it turns out, even its own creator has been using Stardew Valley as a means to connect with friends and unwind from… presumably developing Stardew Valley.

ConcernedApe (aka Eric Barone) shared a cute tweet yesterday to commemorate finally getting 100% completion on his own game, five years after first releasing it. "I've been playing Stardew online co-op with a group of friends for just over a year," the tweet read. "Was a great way to stay in touch during a strange year. Finally got 100%. Just tweeting this to commemorate the event."

Barone also threw in a screenshot, with his farmer (pictured back left) and his six farmer friends. The picture got people thinking he'd installed mods for his own game, but turns out raising the player cap for co-op is as simple as tweaking a line of code. (opens in new tab) Is it still technically modding your game? Sure, but it was nice of Barone to share a way of doing it without installing mods.

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It turns out Barone's own playthrough also influenced a lot of the most recent 1.5 update. (opens in new tab) When asked how often he thought about things to add during his playthrough, Barone replied (opens in new tab) "all the time. We actually started while 1.5 was still heavily in development so a lot of ideas from the playthrough made it into 1.5."

It's quite nice to see Barone using his own game as a way to chill out. You'd think he wouldn't want to go anywhere near a game he's spent over half a decade pouring his talents into, which if anything is a testament to just how great a game Stardew Valley is.

Last year, Barone said he wouldn't commit to a 1.6 update just yet (opens in new tab), though he still anticipates more updates in the future, and possibly even a sequel.

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.