Players are used to the idea that it takes several years of work of a special development team to create video games, and in ninety-nine percent of cases this is true. That’s why it’s especially impressive when one-person development teams manage to create great games, not to mention great games that shock players and are among the most popular games of their generation. This is what ConcernedApe was able to do with Stardew Valley, a charming farm simulator that instantly became a sensation.
Stardew Valley has had an indelible impact on the world of video games, and not many games succeed, especially games created by just one person. Before Stardew Valley appeared, gamers could reject many games for one person, believing that they could not compare with games created by larger teams with larger budgets. ConcernedApe has almost single-handedly refuted these biases, and it’s not hard to see why.
Changing the perception of single-player games
There’s no denying that ConcernedApe has a unique talent, but his efforts to create Stardew Valley have helped change preconceptions about one-person development teams. Despite the fact that there is a wide range of developers, and this is reflected in the types of video games they release, there was a widespread opinion that the more, the better. It was usually expected that games with smaller developers would have flaws or some kind of limitations, and that was part of their charm. But then ConcernedApe came along and completely changed the narrative of these small indie projects, demonstrating that games with a lot of development power behind them can’t always outshine those that don’t.
Stardew Valley is a great game, regardless of whether the players know that it was created by one person or not. It had a huge impact on subsequent games, and while it was by no means the first farm simulator, it clearly inspired a whole bunch of similar games, such as the upcoming stone Age adventure Roots of Pacha. Based on other farming simulators such as Harvest Moon, ConcernedApe has identified ways to improve its formulas and provided a much more nuanced, multi-layered and multi-faceted experience. Stardew Valley was incredibly well received and immediately became a success, showing that solo doesn’t necessarily mean simplicity when it comes to game development.
In-depth game design
Stardew Valley wasn’t just a useful farm simulator. It was an amazingly deep game, full of hidden secrets, as well as a comprehensive and fascinating gameplay. It was well thought out on many levels, from combat to relationship building, and allowed players to explore a thriving, authentic community as they farmed their farms and grew crops. It’s even more impressive when players believe that ConcernedApe so successfully fulfills all these roles, from creating a balanced, exciting gameplay, developing a cute but far from simple style to developing complex characters with touching and very mature storylines.
There have been many incredible games created by one person, such as the amazing and subversive Undertale genre, the deceptively complex puzzle platformer Thomas Was Alone, and even a gaming giant like Minecraft, which began as a one-man project. All of this has helped change the rules of the game when it comes to one-person development, but Stardew Valley has played an important role in showing the gaming masses what one person can be capable of. This has helped change attitudes, and players who might otherwise have missed smaller games simply because of the expectations surrounding them can now think twice before ignoring a game created by one person.
Stardew Valley is already available on mobile devices, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One.