It has been a good long while since we last heard any updates on Haunted Chocolatier, the next game from Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone. Fortunately, in a recent interview with Screen Rant, the creative sat down to provide some more news. Unfortunately, that news states that the game is still a way off.
The interview is mainly focused on Barone's work animating a music video for indie band Alvvays, although, as was bound to happen, the conversation eventually turned to the development of Haunted Chocolatier. In particular, Barone was quick to put to bed any notion that we will be getting our hands on the game any time soon, citing the "daunting" amount of work that comes with a game of this size:
It's going well, but it's a big game. I have a big, ambitious vision for it. It's a little bit daunting, the amount of work that it's going to be. But Stardew Valley took me four and a half years; I've been working on Haunted Chocolatier for about a year and a half or maybe two years now. I announced it a little bit over a year ago, but it's still gonna be a while. But I think it's going good. So far. There's a lot of good things so far.
While it looks like we have a few years to go before we can be running a spooky confectionary stand of our own, the developer went on to provide some more details about the game's features. This includes a closer analysis of the game's increased focus on combat, "What if I made a game that was like the mines in Stardew Valley, but fully fleshed out and done really well?" and a much more detailed description of the central gameplay loop which looks to be all about collecting resources to make finer confectionary and improving your shop in the process:
I think the core of the game is actually gathering ingredients; that's the biggest part of the game. The shop is a little more passive, but the idea is you can run the shop yourself until you start getting help from the ghosts. So, you can automate all of that, and then you're just giving the shop chocolates and designing the shop. There'll be a lot of features in the shop. For example, you might get a hot cocoa bar or something, and then customers can now do that.
The interview extends into details about animating this follow-up title as well as how the dev's work on Stardew is influencing the process of things this time around. Be sure to head over to Screen Rant to check out all of the answers in full.
Haunted Chocolatier might be a couple of years off yet, it is true (heck, it's only 100% confirmed for PC at the moment), but with every new detail that we discover, we get more excited about what it might hold. Back into Stardew Valley it is then, for the meantime at least.