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There is a lot of talk about a particular indie game.
also in this issue: Eric Barone.
It seems that the last issue dedicated to Lucas Pope was quite successful, so I decided to replicate it by tackling another solo indie developer, Eric Barone. Of course, in this issue, you will also find a bit of news and some tips on which indie games to pick up during the Spring Steam discounts that end on 23 March (tomorrow) at 6 pm.
"I wanted to create a game that gave players a sense of peace and tranquillity, while also challenging them with engaging gameplay."
- Eric Barone, on the inspiration behind Stardew Valley.-
The indie-game world has been forever changed by the work of Eric Barone, better known as ConcernedApe. His game Stardew Valley is one of the most beloved and successful indie games ever released. His work has been praised by both critics and fans alike for its unique approach to gaming and storytelling. From his humble beginnings as a hobbyist in 2012 to becoming one of the most successful independent developers in recent years, Eric Barone's journey is an inspiring story for aspiring game makers everywhere.
He started out with a simple vision: to create an open-ended farming simulator that captured the nostalgia for classic RPGs like Harvest Moon. He was inspired by his own childhood memories of playing these types of games and wanted to bring them back in a modern way. After four years of working solo on Stardew Valley, it was finally released in 2016 and quickly became an international success, selling over 10 million copies worldwide across all platforms!
But let’s start from the beginning…
Early Years - Childhood and Interest in Gaming:
Eric Barone, popularly known as ConcernedApe, was born on July 27, 1988, in Seattle, Washington. He spent much of his childhood playing video games and developing an interest in game design. He was particularly drawn to classic simulation games like Harvest Moon, which would later inspire his own game development journey.
Eric's Lone Journey to Create His Own Franchise:
After studying computer science in college, Barone worked as a software developer in the Seattle area for several years. However, he always had a passion for creating his own video game franchise. He taught himself how to code, design, and create games in his free time, working on various side projects until he decided to pursue his dream of creating his own game.
"I spent years working on Stardew Valley, and I was never motivated by money or fame. I just wanted to create something that people could enjoy and feel a connection to."
Launching Stardew Valley:
Barone's perseverance paid off when he launched his game, Stardew Valley, in 2016. Stardew Valley is a farming simulator game that features role-playing game elements and has been compared to classic games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. It became an instant success, garnering critical acclaim and a loyal fan base.
Stardew Valley quickly became a hit among gamers due to its charming visuals, engaging gameplay mechanics and captivating storyline about life on a farm. The success of this title led to ports onto other platforms such as PlayStation 4, Xbox One & Nintendo Switch - further expanding Eric’s reach beyond just the PC market. What makes Stardew Valley so special however is not just its accessibility but also how much content there actually is within it; from fishing mini-games & crafting recipes through exploration & puzzles - all these elements come together harmoniously creating something truly remarkable which players can enjoy over hundreds (if not thousands) of hours!
But what truly sets apart Eric’s works from others is his attention towards detail when building out each world he creates; every pixel feels like it matters here – whether you're tending your crops or chatting up townspeople – everything here feels alive thanks largely due to him taking time out even after release date updates/patches were made available adding more features into play (such as multiplayer). This commitment towards making sure every aspect felt polished really helped make Stardew stand head-and-shoulders above many other titles at the time proving that hard work does pay off eventually!
Inspiring Other Indie Developers and his impact on modern gaming:
Barone's success with Stardew Valley has inspired other indie game developers to pursue their dreams of creating their own games. He has become an advocate for independent game development, encouraging others to follow their passion and create something unique and special. He has also shared his knowledge and experiences through interviews and talks, providing insights into the game development process.
He has repeatedly expressed his amazement and gratitude for the impact of his game. In an interview with GQ in 2018, he said: 'I didn't expect the game to be so successful. I didn't think it would change my life like this. I'm very happy and grateful for everything that has happened.’ . He also added that his goal was to create a game that would make people feel good and help them escape the stress of real life. In another YouTube interview in 2016, he told how difficult it had been to work alone for so long, but also how fulfilling it had been to see the positive reactions from players. Finally, in an interview with PC Gamer in 2020, he said he was proud to have inspired other indie developers and to have helped spread the genre of games.
Eric Barone's new game will be Haunted Chocolatier, an adventure and management simulation game in which the player takes on the role of a chocolatier who inherits an old chocolate factory haunted by ghosts. The game was announced in October 2021 and the first gameplay trailer was unveiled in February 2022.
In an issue some weeks ago I talked about SpaceBourne 2, a single-player sci-fi game made by a solo indie-game developer from Turkey.
In the following days and weeks, I’ve seen a lot of Creators being interested in the game and covering it on their channels. From huge channels like ESO (with more than 1 million views) and ObsidianAnt to CaptainCollins and SplatterCatGaming and Down to Earth Astronomy
They all seem to agree, considering the product of a single developer, that it is a small miracle full of content and with great potential (remember that it is still in Early Access). Sure, it has a lot of corners to smooth out, there are several BUGs, quite a few asset flips and placeholders to replace, and many mechanics are only hinted at, but the foundations are all there, the developer is very active with weekly updates, and there is a discord server full of enthusiastic and very active players.
Now to the news!
Other than SpaceBourne 2 you can take a look at Book of Travels. I’ve already talked about it in a past issue but now I’m playing it for good and it’s marvellous. The art and music and pacing and everything is relaxing and makes you want to explore more of the beautiful lands that the developer designed so lovely.
Shadows over Silesia is a dark action-adventure game with fantasy elements set in real medieval Europe that deserve more visibility because is a great adventure with a good script and great characters painted in a good-looking art style.
It seems that this issue is become too long to be a newsletter so I’ve asked my friends at PC Gamer to come out with an article to help us find some interesting games during this Steam Sale and they listened to me and made it: here you are! :-D
I hope you like this issue, in the next episode, I will let you know what do I think of Pharaoh: A New Era and lots of other stuff!