Stardew Valley, if you’ve somehow been under a rock and avoided your friends talking about it at length, is an addictive indie farming simulator that launched in 2016 and is resulting in a lot of people burning through the hours in their day. It quickly surpassed a million units sold after only two months in April and, a month later, a collection of ports and features were announced to be in the works. Co-operative multiplayer was the most interesting feature of the bunch but all we knew then was that developer Concerned Ape wanted to incorporate it eventually. Now, over a year later, Concerned Ape and publisher Chucklefish are aiming for a 2018 release and has shared a few other details on what multiplayer will look like in Stardew Valley.
In a post on the official website, a Chucklefish dev that has been coordinating with Concerned Ape (real name Eric Barone) did a full blog post on multiplayer gameplay. Farmers will be able to bring 3 friends into their game as farmhands that will have their own cabins. The main player makes the crucial decisions on when to sleep, when to participate in festivals, etc. Beyond that, the additional 3 players will be able to do everything the main character can including marrying NPCs. On marrying other actual players, the dev says “It’s an idea we like a lot, and want to make available as a feature” but the team is still figuring a way to mirror the effort it takes to marry an NPC. Now that they’ve cleared major technical hurdles, like rewriting over 15,000 lines of code, the team is focused on a few specific things:
- Implementing the farmhand cabins
- UI and menus
- Events and festivals
- Multiplayer NPC relationships
- Polish, testing, and optimization
- Local multiplayer, split-screen and PVP are not planned at this point.
Once those things are handled, Chucklefish is expecting to have a beta test at the end of the year closely followed by launch with the 1.3 patch in early 2018 on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The rollout for consoles will take a bit longer.
Charles Singletary posted a new article, Stardew Valley's 4 Player Co Op Is Coming Early 2018
*fist pumps excitedly*
I'm guessing this means no Switch version until mid 2018 at the earliest. So Natsume will have the holiday to itself unless Story of Seasons makes an announcement in the next few months. TGS maybe?