Gamers are used to the idea that video games take several years to be created by a dedicated team of developers, and that’s true ninety-nine percent of the time. That’s why it’s especially impressive when one-person development teams manage to create great games, not to mention great games that blow away gamers and are among the most critically acclaimed of their generation. This is what ConcernedApe was able to do with Stardew Valleythe charming farming simulator that became an overnight sensation.
Stardew Valley has had an indelible impact on the gaming world, and few titles achieve this, especially titles created by one person. Before Stardew Valley arrived, gamers might have rejected many individual titles, assuming they couldn’t match games made by bigger teams with bigger budgets. ConcernedApe almost single-handedly overturned these preconceptions, and it’s not hard to see why.
Changing a person’s perception of games
It’s undeniable that ConcernedApe is particularly talented, but its efforts to create Stardew Valley helped change the preconceived notions of one-person development teams. While there’s a wide range of developers, and that’s reflected in the types of video games they release, there was a pervasive school of thought that probably equated best. Games with smaller developers were generally expected to be flawed or limited in some way, and that was part of their charm. But then ConcernedApe came along and completely changed the narrative around these smaller indie efforts, demonstrating how games that have more development power behind them can’t always eclipse those that don’t.
Stardew Valley is a great game whether players know it was created by one person or not. It was hugely influential on subsequent titles, and while it was by no means the first farming simulator, it clearly inspired a whole host of similar games like the upcoming Stone Age adventure. Pasha Roots. Building on the foundations of other farming simulators like harvest moonConcernedApe identified ways their formulas could be improved and provided a much more nuanced, multi-layered and multi-faceted experience. Stardew Valley was incredibly well-received and became an instant hit, showing that single-player doesn’t have to mean simple when it comes to game development.
In-depth game design
Stardew Valley wasn’t just a wholesome farming simulator. It was a surprisingly in-depth game that was full of hidden secrets alongside its comprehensive and engaging gameplay. It was well designed on many levels, from its combat to relationship building, and it allowed players to explore a thriving and authentic community as they cultivated their farms and raised their crops. It’s even more impressive when players consider that ConcernedApe fulfills all these roles so successfully, whether it’s creating balanced and engaging gameplay, designing a sweet but far from simple style, and designing complex characters with touching and very mature storylines.
There have been many amazing games created by one person, such as the surprising and genre-bending Subtitlethe deceptively complex puzzle platformer Thomas was aloneand even the gambling giant who is Minecraft, which started as an individual project. All of this has been a game changer when it comes to a person’s development, but Stardew Valley helped show the masses of gamers what one person could be capable of. This has helped change attitudes, and gamers who would have otherwise missed out on smaller titles simply because of the expectations surrounding them can now think twice before overlooking a game made by one person.
Stardew Valley is available now on Mobile, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One.
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