I’ve got a feeling I’ll feel exactly the same as you @robc04 about Stardew Valley but hoping to give it a try at some point still.
It’s funny, I’m very much an achiever-type player almost exclusively - I derive enjoyment from learning and mastering game systems, moreso than exploring or role-playing or whatever. Generally Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing and such have bounced off of me pretty hard, while Stardew is GOTY 2016.
I think the difference is that Stardew is really, really good at giving you just enough goals to form your own framework of “stuff I want to do” without overwhelming you. And I get a real kick out of optimizing for time - on my fourth farm here, I’ve completed the Community Center as soon as (almost) literally possible in summer of year 2, 10/10 (or 8/8) heart friendship with everyone, max tools, tons of money, married, maxed farm buildings, etc.
Stardew is self guided in that you are given rather passively a whole list of opportunities to accomplish but are not pushed (or really even facilitated) to accomplish them, and in fact many of them you have to find yourself. If you need a more direct Quest List sort of game play I don’t think you’ll like Stardew. It’s also just a bit cutesy and that’s kind of the whole point, and of course if you don’t like that aesthetic you’re not going to dig the game. I really appreciate the seasons and the sounds of the outdoors, that strikes my fancy, so just heading out into the woods is a good time for me. To some extent it’s the joy of self guided exploration and even though there are tons of guides at this point I think it sort of is more fun if you only use those guides to figure out a few crucial things - i’m an adult, you know, i’m not going to spend 100 hours figuring out every characters’ favorite meal through multiple playthroughs. If you get to the Flower Festival without a date and think “Boring, I just want to level up and get more money to buy some cows”, then… you might not be the audience for this one.
I mean, you’re managing a farm and growing cute farm things and then reinvesting your profits into more farming in an innocent Nintendo-esque world. Ultimately if you don’t like basic thing the rest of the game isn’t going to hang together. Maybe try one of those Farming Simulator games?
I adored Animal Crossing and adore the pixel art of Stardew Valley so… who knows, there’s every chance I might like it too!
What is the current mod situation for those of you playing? Any must-haves?
What’s odd is my Rimworld mod and Stellaris mod library is growing but I’ve never even thought about modding Stardew… especially since ConcernedApe released more content himself…and apparently there are a number out there.
There’s an NPC tracking mod that puts their current location on the map that I love.
Some of the newer harvest moons do that too. The other wishlist I have is if I know someone really like something, as in I gave it to them and they really like it, can’t that be stored somewhere? I mean third play through I started to remember but… store it for me!
Yes! I mean, it’s not a mod, but the thing I can’t live without is this thing:
And this thing:
Which I printed out. :)
Great Calendar. I am going to print it out too. I often just have the Wiki up for the ones I can’t remember, George! But this will look colorful on the wall…
I pretty much just keep various wiki windows open on my other screen.
If we want to start getting into strategies of how to efficiently complete goals…I’m already there.
Just avoided doing so because discovering stuff in Stardew is a good time in and of itself.
The only mod I ever used was one that doubled the length of each day. By the end of the first year I had completed just about everything except some special items that wouldn’t appear until the next year. There was some fruit I think I needed to wait a few seasons for in year 2. I never did that because I got bored. It was fun while it lasted though.
There is something about Stardew Valley where even though I can’t say it’s that interesting, it kept me playing for the last couple days and I’m just about done with my first year. I’ve spent a lot of time in the mine, while trying to minimize the social aspect of the game but cultivate a couple friendships. For some reason there is a but of a rush when I landed a big haul in the mine, upgrading my tools, etc.
I didn’t make much of an elaborate farm in the first year, but now I have some of the advanced sprinklers and gold water bucket and hoe, so I’m ready for spring. I feel kind of guilty about spending so much time with this - moreso than other games. On one hand it feels so pointless, but there is something about it that makes me want to get more advanced stuff so I can be more efficient.I think that is what Diablo is supposed to do, but for some reason that gets tedious very fast.
I should mention that I thought the little scene was pretty cool when I started to become better friend with - I can’t remember her name, she lives in the store and likes video games.
So, I’m not exactly sure why I’ve played this much, but there it is…
It is quality relaxation time. Don’t feel guilty. The music turns on and just let the stress melt away.
If you can, anyways. That’s how I play it. :)
Yeah don’it feel guilty. Heck even the new starting maps cater to different play styles like fishing and mining for that reason. I would encourage relationship building because it opens up more of the story and game but like everything else Stardew… you don’t have to do what you don’t want to do.
Do people prefer controller or M&K for this game?
I use M and K. When I loaded it with Steam Link it warned me to use M and K. I assume that’s been changing since it ported to the other systems though. I think it would play fine with controller since you almost never type in it… like never except names.
I’ve always played with controller. The “aiming” for lack of a better term was a bit off when I played around launch, helped if you turn on the option that highlights the square you’re targeting for harvest/planting/whatever. Other than that it played perfectly.
Every game that’s successful has a certain spark of magic, and the magic pixie dust of Stardew is time. The passing of the seasons, the passing of the days, the chores that take your attention, the rain days that give you a break and let you do other things, the holidays that break the monotony of work and give you a sense of place and community. The sense that you can only do so much in any one time, the nagging feeling that to do other things than make money you have to set time aside to actually do it, that no labor goes unrewarded and almost all labor is productive in one way or another. It’s why (imo) making the days last longer breaks the magic of the game. The whole point of Stardew is never having enough time. It’s up to you to decide what to do with the time that you have. There is a certain magic in and of itself of being tied to the land, and moving with the seasons, that’s a common human longing, maybe romantic, maybe instinctive, that it taps into as well.
Better controller support (or at least handling some edge cases better) has been being patched in to prep for console release, so that’s cool. I play m/k because I have some ungodly number of hours in the game and hell if I’m learning an alternate control method at this point. Just too much muscle memory built up to bother with at this point.
Agree 100% with what @Enidigm just posted above, too. Really well said.