I have been completely enthralled by Stardew Valley this past week. It has definitely become the game I come home wanting to play. Â I have always loved the Harvest Moon formula. I like planting crops, tending to animals, expanding my farm infrastructure, forming relationships, and exploring. Stardew Valley perfectly executes on each of these.
I like making decisions and I’m realizing more and more how decision making is absent from gaming. Even big AAA titles are launching as RPGs but lack true decision making. I like how I can choose what crops to plant, what animals to raise, how to build up my farm. I like that I literally wake up each morning, crawl out of bed, and decide what I do that day — the entire game depends on what I do each day.
My farm is coming along nicely. I started the game off slow. I think Spring was about 3/4 over before I really found my rhythm with daily chores. Summer came and I was ready! I planted 40 grape plants and got myself to the point where every 3 days I was making 20,000 gold from grapes alone. This allowed me to rocket ahead and purchase a coop, 4 chickens, tons of fencing, an expansion to my house, and upgrade just about all my tools to Steel. Oh, and I also built a horse stall. Summer was REALLY good to me.
Throughout the summer there were multiple thunder storms which allowed me to explore my way down into the mine because I didn’t have to worry about watering crops. I wasn’t met with any challenge whatsoever until level 80. Now there are caster monsters who also curse, and I’m being hit for 20% of my health each time. Definitely a difficulty spike that I will have to prepare for before I go back.
I’m now on the 10th day of Fall in Year 1. I decided to once again go with a renewable crop option: Cranberries. These give quite a lot of money and once you get past the 7 day initial growth they’ll pop out a few cranberries every few days.Â I think the profit/month numbers ended up being the highest @ 1101 gold per plant. I planted about 45 of them, so I’m hoping to see about 50,000 this FallÂ in crops. Sadly that’s a little lower than I was hoping, but I think I’ll make up the rest in animal products.
Sprinklers have introduced an interesting change in my daily routine. With all of my crops being watered automatically each morning, I quickly thought I had made the game a less interesting by having so much left over energy and time each day. I then felt silly when I realized I was only using 10% of my farm space and that I could easily let my sprinklers water some and I could double my production by manually watering another set. Doubled my output!
By the end of Fall I hope to have my barn complete with cows and pigs. I hope to be ready for a long winter. That’s all for now. I’ll let you know how the rest of Fall goes!