Developer Eric Barone, the mastermind behind the popular farming simulator Stardew Valley, has previewed his next game on YouTube. It’s called ConcernedApe’s Haunted Chocolatier, and it has the same 2D side-scrolling design of Stardew Valley, except now you’re making chocolate — in a haunted castle, naturally — instead of growing crops.
Despite the apparent gameplay similarities between the two titles, Barone, better known as ConcernedApe, has clarified on Twitter that Haunted Chocolatier is an entirely new endeavor and not simply a Stardew update.
The game takes place in a haunted castle. “However, don’t think for a moment that, because this game features ghosts in a haunted castle, it is an evil or negative game,” Barone writes on the in-development project’s website. “At its core, the gameplay loop involves gathering ingredients, making chocolate, and running a chocolate shop.”
“Fantastical possibilities” — The basic premise of Stardew is that your character has inherited a plot of land and quit their office job to pursue farming. The game has you planting and growing crops, as well as renovating your home and even marrying a local townsperson. It’s a meditative title that lets you craft your own farming empire, but it also doesn’t feel too repetitive — there are plenty of activities to do besides farming, like fishing and mining.
“However, with my next game, I wanted to explore more fantastical possibilities… experiences that take you beyond the ordinary,” Barone writes on the Haunted Chocolatier site. “That’s where magical haunted ghost chocolate comes in.”
Barone did not set any sort of release date for Haunted Chocolatier. “While the video I put together may look like the game is at an advanced stage of development, there is still a ton of stuff to do,” he writes. “So, please understand that it will be a while before this game is done. I’m going to be working on it as much as I can, though.”