Stardew Valley’s 1.6 update progressing as developer enters “(self-imposed) extreme crunch mode”

Stardew Valley developer Eric Barone, also known as ConcernedApe, says he is currently in “(self-imposed) extreme crunch mode” while working on the pastoral life sim’s 1.6 update. When asked what motivates him to keep working on the already-beloved game, Barone called Stardew his “life’s work.”

“A ton of progress on 1.6 last month, it’s (self-imposed) extreme crunch mode, nose to the grindstone (raw nose) mode,” wrote ConcernedApe on Elon Musk’s torment nexus. “Heres’ one of the many additions in 1.6. Keeping mostly everything secret,” he added, while sharing a screenshot of a “Big Chest” – an in-game container that can hold twice as much as a regular chest.

Previous teases have shared that update 1.6 will add support for 8-player multiplayer and over 100 lines of new dialogue as well as a new festival.

Stardew Valley hit 1.0 seven years ago but has been steadily updated and expanded ever since. This prompted one player to ask ConcernedApe why he keeps working on it despite having “already fulfilled all promises.”

“Many things, including that so many people are still playing it, and many new poeple every day, I want it to be the best it can be,” ConcernedApe replied. “It will never be perfect but I feel an urge to keep improving it. Up to this point its been my life’s work and I care a lot about it.”

Which is simultaneously the obvious, simple answer and a rarity in an industry where few games are made by single people, or have developers afforded the luxury to continue doing as they please. Please insert the Marge Simpson “I just think they’re neat” meme here.

ConcernedApe is currently working on 1.6 as a break from his new project, Haunted Chocolatier, which trades farming for baking but which otherwise seems like a fitting followup.

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