Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone hosts a mini-AMA on Twitter

Eric Barone
(Image credit: PC Gamer)

Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone announced today that he is now self-publishing the game on Android devices, meaning that he's taken full publishing responsibility across all digital platforms. 

After making the announcement, he invited followers to ask him questions "about anything," promising that he would answer as best he could. And boy, did people take him up on the offer.

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(Image credit: Eric Barone)

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To Barone's credit, he's hung in for more than an hour now (he's still going as I write this), responding to pretty much every inquiry put his way. Most of them—but not all—relate to game development. A few examples:

The complexities of self-publishing:

"I haven't had enough experience with mobile yet as I just recently started publishing there. Consoles in general are a lot more complicated than PC. Steam is the easiest to work with. They just let you be free and if your game has issues, that's on you. I appreciate that."

How he got started making Stardew Valley:

"I coded it from scratch using XNA (which provides some low level game functions like loading assets and drawing textures to the screen). I've never used any game making software but I'm not against it or anything."

How much he loves chocolate (Barone's next game is "an adorable chocolate shop sim" called Haunted Chocolatier):

"I do enjoy chocolate, but also I just think chocolate and candy-making in a dark, snowy town sounded like a fun and cozy thing to do with a lot of room for imagination and magic."

How he maintains a proper work-life balance:

"It can be difficult and I fail at it often. But what helps the most is if you make a game that you are very excited about, and try your best to have fun while making it. Everyone needs some leisure time but if you can have fun in your work you can fudge that a bit."

The relationship between his new game, Haunted Chocolatier, and Stardew Valley:

"There will be some kind of connection but I can't reveal the extent of that just yet."

Are we alone in the universe:


Will there be more Stardew Valley updates?

"There may be, but it's unlikely that there will be any future updates as big as the 1.5 update was."

Advice for new game developers:

"Make the game that you love, that you are so excited to work on that you will jump over any hurdle to bring it to life. The actual software or approach you use is not so important. If you have the drive, you'll find a way."

Monetizing YouTube videos with Stardew Valley music:

"Really don't mind if individual youtubers use the music for their backgrounds or whatever. I guess if a big company was using the music for an advertisement or something I would mind. So it's kind of case by case but if you're just a person making YouTube vids I don't mind."

On awesomeness:

"There's a lot of potential in the human mind and willpower and it just needs to be unlocked, almost everyone has a huge amount of untapped potential and I hope everyone can discover their own key."

When we'll hear more about Haunted Chocolatier:

"Hopefully soon. To be honest, I would like to post more about Haunted Chocolatier but I also feel kind of rude or insensitive doing that before the mobile 1.5 update is out."

There's a lot more than just that, including a commitment to bringing the Stardew Valley 1.5 update to mobile devices, thoughts on enabling mods for the console versions of the game, and even a little bit of troubleshooting. When Barone said he'd answer the questions to the best of his ability, he wasn't kidding.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.