Dev Update #20

Hi everyone!

The community center is complete… I described it a bit in the last update, but here’s a quick rundown (this post contains minor spoilers):

  • No time limit to complete the community center.
  • Community center is divided into 6 “rooms”.
  • Each room requires the completion of a certain number of “bundles” to be restored.
  • Each bundle you complete earns you a small (but useful!) reward.

Here’s the menu for a single bundle, the “Artisan Bundle”… on the left is the player inventory, on the right the list of ingredients accepted in this bundle and the bundle slots that need to be filled.


  • When you complete all bundles in a room, that room is restored. As a reward, a positive change happens in the game world (more info below).

What are these “positive changes to the world”?

Well, for example, the repair of this bridge:


And the steam power required to get this minecart transportation system back up and running:


Just to name a couple.


Now, about Joja Corporation… I’ve decided not to impose a time limit on players. Here’s my new Joja concept:

JojaMart already exists when you arrive in town. In fact, Joja’s presence is the reason the community center has fallen into disrepair, and why the local mom and pop businesses are suffering. Some townspeople long for the old days, when local businesses were thriving and the town had a strong sense of unity. Others welcome the convenience and affordability of the JojaMart.

The player can proceed in multiple ways:

1. Do nothing. Joja mart will stay in business, and the community center will stay dilapidated and unusable.

2. Restore the community center by completing bundles. Make positive changes to the game world along the way. When this is complete, the local JojaMart will go out of business, and the community center will be restored to its former glory.

3. Ignore the community center and instead help expand JojaMart by spending money. Joja Co. will make positive changes to the game world for a fee. The community center will be demolished forever. The player will receive discounts on Joja products.


This allows players to proceed at their own pace and choose a pathway that suits their own gameplay style and philosophical preference. For players who want more of a challenge, Β there may be achievements and/or rewards for completing these paths within a set time limit.



What’s left?

Joja Mart Building

Domestic/Family life

Finalizing Β multiplayer

Lots and lots of polishing, fiddling with gameplay, and tying up any loose threads

Fun little touches and secrets

More Testing



Summer is drawing to a close, which is good. It’s a lot easier to be productive when the day is cool and dim.

Thanks for reading!





  • Hydreaux

    I really can’t wait for this! My girl and I always played HM and hated that we couldn’t farm together! Since learning about Stardew Valley I have been checking this page every day for news. Just recently I stumbled upon a very simple PC farming game that was multiplayer, and we loved it, but it lacked the polish and story that yours is shaping up to have. We hope to be giving you some money soon.

  • Rowan

    Great update Mr Ape! The story line sounds much more interesting than just Good vs Evil.

    Everything about this game looks beautiful. I hope you enjoy making it as much as we will enjoy playing it.

  • HalloWorld

    Yey an update! This game looks better by the day. Keep up the good work ape πŸ™‚

  • Kab00mBaby

    I really like how everything comes together. Keep up the great work CA, you are doing an amazing job. My prediction: SV under the Christmas tree. Cheers!

    • Zael

      One really shouldn’t underestimate the work and branching that goes into family-matters with this many potential marriage partners. I for one hope he’ll take all the time he needs to reach the vision he has and for a proper polish on top of that. Even if it means another year of dev time.

  • Anonymous

    Your chat still has like 13 people in it.

    I’m not sure why.

    Anyhow, multiplayer is probably the most difficult part. I don’t think anyone would blame you if you released that post-launch so as not to delay the game. Even Edmund McMillen is putting multiplay in Binding of Isaac: Reibrth post-launch.

  • Karlosos86

    Would it be possible to create another new Trailer (without Spoilers) which showes some of the stuff you worked on the last few months?

    • Zael

      There’s really no need for Concerned Ape to spend his time and resources (motivation/stamina) on something like this. Perhaps after he’s got the game ready and finished for the marketing purposes. Definitely shouldn’t worry about secondary trailer at this point of time – just focus on the development itself!

  • Magzilla

    I really like that I can take my time to either save the old ways or conform to the corporation! Now I can look at everything the game has to offer before deciding! Glad that you put Joja Corp in there, though, and this new storyline feels right!

    I’m getting Destiny later today, but when I woke up and saw this update, I was more excited to read about Stardew Valley than I have been about any game in a while. This game is my MOST looked forward to game in history maybe, so I just want to thank you so so much for making it! You’re the best!!

  • Jeff

    Love it!
    I love the attention to detail and how this game has different options rather than just one straight path.

    I’ve been playing Harvest Moon for SNES and that is the closest game I can find that will help take the edge off but it doesn’t compare.

    Need help testing it? Just let me know πŸ˜€ hahah just kidding… well not really.

    • Irrimn

      There are a number of us that want to help with testing. Dunno if any of us will get to but it’d sure be nice, even if it was required that we pre-ordered or bought a copy of the game to get into the closed test.

      • Devon Hansen

        Hell yeah I think heaps of us would love to!

  • Allan

    Can’t wait!

  • Oscar

    Thanks for the update CA. Haha for the last 9 days i have been checking a minimum of 2 times a day :p

    I am really glad to see the the multiple paths you have set out and i like the idea of achievements for speeding but having no real penalty for taking your time. I know I’m not going to be the only one but i will most definitely be “finishing” this game more than once so that i can see each different path unfold πŸ™‚

    One of the most exciting things about this game release to me is the fact that it will be complete. I have played 10s of alpha and beta games that are fun and all but the fact that there are usually game breaking bugs in it tends to get me down sometimes. Spending a week building a base/construct/world and then have it wiped out by a bug or just by such a major change in the game that to continue playing a fresh map is more or less required tends to eventually put me off the game by the time its out and all fixed.

    I do have 1 worry/question though?
    I know that no matter how much testing you do working though every game feature methodically, once you have a million people playing it there are bound to be tiny bugs found by people that do something a way you never thought of.
    Are you planning on fixing those discovered bugs?

    Thanks Again CA. And keep up the good work πŸ˜€

    • ConcernedApe

      Yes, I plan on supporting the game post-release (bug fixes, compatibility issues, content additions/tweaks)!

      • Oscar

        I never doubted you for a second CA πŸ˜›

        Just from reading your updates for the last year and seeing how you interact with your Fans listening to suggestion and even taking the time to reply to comments and questions here you are to me one of the best Indy game Developers i have encountered in a very long time.

        Thanks again CA for all your hard work. I predict it will pay off more than you think once the time comes πŸ™‚

      • Irrimn

        I just hope you’re also reading and considering all of the ideas down in this comment section. Some of the people here have really cool ideas and really helpful things to add that would potentially make the gameplay more rich, interesting, rewarding, and/or varied.

  • Ceren

    I love the different path options! Not enough games give you choices that will affect the entire game. Looking forward to this game even more and I wasn’t sure that was possible!

  • Gartjack

    As always, I’m impressed what you are doing with the game. I feel like you are a phenomenal game developer just by reading your updates, the amount of time and energy you put into every aspect is amazing.

    Keep up the good work and thank you for all the work your doing.

  • Mur John-Paul

    I just want to play the alpha :/ I don’t mind if it is not finished / broken.

  • Irrimn

    Yay! An update! Guess we can stop rioting now. *puts down the “Update or Riot!” signs*

    I’m glad you decided to give players an open-ended choice on which story-line they would like to pursue. I would still like to see each story-line tied to some sort of SIGNIFICANT game-play distinction.

    Like we were talking about on the last update thread, perhaps there could be a date-able Joja Corp person who might only be able to be wooed if you side with Joja and decide not to help the community center. And likewise there could be some other person that is only able to be wooed if you DO help the community center. I feel like this would give that aspect of the game more depth since it is the ‘main’ storyline after all and people in town are likely to have legitimate feelings, worries, concerns, motives, etc. about it.

    While I can appreciate you wanting to keep everything open to all playstyles I feel like giving limited rewards to each story path will increase replayability because then people wont be able to earn EVERYTHING in one playthrough. For example, if you decided to help Joja maybe they offer a greater variety of seeds to plant that might not otherwise be available (or will at the least be much harder to obtain). But if you decide to help the community center, then the bakery wont go out of business and the Baker will teach you how to bake cakes (these are just examples of the types of impacts that could be made, I’m sure you could come up with better and more varied ideas on your own).

    Anyways, the game is looking like it’s finally coming together and I can’t wait to play it!
    Don’t suppose there is any possibility you need any playtesters? πŸ˜€

    • Zael

      Quote: “…there may be achievements and/or rewards for completing these paths…” & “Fun little touches and secrets” – don’t force him to reveal everything to us! πŸ˜€ (Though I sure liked your ideas!)

  • NOT a Hooded Figure

    This is exciting! I’m sure that to-do list is deceptively small, but it sounds like release is not too far away! Super, SUPER excited for this game.

  • Greg groob

    I’m kind of disappointed that there can’t be some sort of middle ground where both can be up and running

    • Zael

      I agree, would be cool if the player could prove to be a once in a century prodigy who could fix the community center up as a personal hobby project, while at the same time taking over JoJa corp and promoting it on the world wide scale. πŸ˜‰

    • Irrimn

      I feel like middle ground would be a hard sell. Afterall, large corporations destroy small town economies in real life and there is rarely a middle ground there in real life.

      Admittedly I think it’d be great if somehow, while destroying the mega-corporation that is Joja, you could someone change the mind of the owner about being an evil corporate overlord; like a change of heart plot? And he would sell Joja mart to the mom-and-pop store that he demolished in order to build Joja mart there and then they could run it instead… That’d almost be a middle ground?

      All of the convenience of Joja mart only it’ll still be ran by townspeople. Or hell, maybe even the CEO will retire and come to live in the town as a act of devotion to his (or her? Maybe they will be dateable?) new-found good will.

      • WatcherCCG

        This is similar to the Best Western hotel chain. They sell the brand name to a local hotel and the local people run it, paying a tithe every so often and submitting to quality checks. Joja letting the locals run their regional store would be the middle ground, plus the locals running it could use some of their profits to help repair the community center. There are very few things in life that cannot be solved with some sort of compromise.

        • Irrimn

          Yeah, that’s along the lines of what I was saying. After all I feel like there could be a middle ground solution.

          Admittedly I think it’d be even better if, at the start of the game, the Joja Mart wasn’t even built yet and the corporation was trying to get enough people to sell out in order to build it. And you could either convince people (by social aspects, helping them out, build their friendship and trust, etc.) one way or the other. And in this sense you would also be able to directly influence who lived in the town.

          E.G. You convince Farmer Bob to sell his farm land to Joja. Farmer Bob sells his land to them and moves away from town permanently.

          Another example would be like, the Mom and Pop Pharmacy. If you convince them to sell out they don’t leave town, but they close down and their building gets demolished and then through the rest of the game, instead of finding them working in the Pharmacy all the time they do other things in their house and around town.

          I feel like this would make the player be able to directly influence the townspeople’s lives, including who lived in the town (so if you wanted Joja mart built you had to make some sort of sacrifice), as well as what they did with their lives afterwards.

          Admittedly, this idea would have so many intricacies. After all, everyone would have to have 2 completely different sets of daily routines – 1 for if they got to keep their shop, house, whatever, and the other if they sold out to Joja Mart.

          Admittedly it’d be crazy if there was a complete ending where you convinced everyone in the town to sell out to Joja and the entire town got demolished to build Joja Land (Joja Corp’s new theme park) or something crazy.

          Honestly though I could spend hours thinking up ideas on how this would work. There’s just so much potential here!

  • Amanda

    I like this idea you’ve got going. The three paths to walk are interesting, but I’m curious what the incentives will be for choosing the Community Center over Jojomart, or vice versa. But you don’t need to spoil that either. ^_~

  • Jessica

    I haven’t joined the forums or anything, but I thought I’d sign up for an account today. I’ve been following your development since before the Greenlight on Steam. I’m so happy to see such strong progress over the year or so I have been following you! It looks beautiful so far, keep up the good work. But take care of yourself πŸ™‚

  • dawnbomb

    ohh~ please add a good big wall of achievements, and please make some of them actually hard, it’ll be fun to work towards in multiplayer πŸ™‚

    honestly a multiplayer harvest / sim game with actual goals is the best, its why i prefer sims 2 over sims 3, why magical melody is amazing, why runescape beat out the harvest moon series, and possibly why the harvest moon team broke up into two teams and half quit their company.

    oh gosh this will be SO MUCH FUN with friends <3

  • Alielson Piffer

    I used to spend many hours playing Harvest Moon on SNES and PlayStation. Until the day my mom took it of me… :'(
    Now she plays in my place! Hahahahaha XD
    Wouldn’t be wonderful if we could play together? Now it will be possible! πŸ˜€
    I confess I’m a little anxious! Just a little…

  • Christopher Veach

    I think that is a very smart direction to take and I hope it addresses concerns that some players had about the plan to include the story aspect. I wonder how tempting it will be to spend money at JoJoCo?

    It’s kind of funny because it really does mirror what happens to small communities in the real world!

  • stealth808

    question? is there going to be a tree plants like mango tree, macadamia tree etc?

  • Paulo Buzon

    Hahaha Can’t believe its been 2 years , and still waiting for this game xD

  • Space Blizzard

    It’s super cool that players can choose to restore the community centre or go with the more modern store! I like that kind of choice in games.

  • Ryan William Noon

    I am so freaking excited!

    Are monsters, combat, and the like completed already? Would you mind updating us as you fine tune those?

  • BamaUndergrad

    Sounds like you picked a really great way of incorporating the JoJa storyline without imposing a timeline on people who didn’t want to deal with that. Awesome! Good middle ground.

  • Beatrice

    SO looking forward to the release of this game. I fount it last year around Christmas and we(me, hubby and my brother) have all been anxiously awaiting each and every update. I’m really pleased with the direction that you’ve taken with the different storyline options. Re-playability is far too often overlooked in games.
    I am especially looking forward to the married/family life update! I sometimes felt after getting married and having a kid that a decent chunk of gameplay was over. I’m hoping to see continued growth in that area. Also, I wonder if getting people to like you will be as difficult as it can be in Harvest Moon?

    Thanks for the update! Keep em coming!

  • Richie Donahou

    Awesome! Thanks on the update, I have to say I like the choices coming up with Joja. Glad to see we have options for how we choose to play. Keep up the great work!

  • Raeden Trost


  • Jeremy T. Gibson

    I really like the idea that Joja Co. isn’t some over-arching super-evil corporation anymore, but rather an expression of the difference between privatisation and public. It brings far more subtle hues to the message, and makes it a lot closer to reality.

    I’ll echo someone else’s sentiment that it might be nice to be able to get a vestigial community centre up and running with JojaCorp also having a market — the Hegelian option where nobody wins. Which is also fairly close to reality, sadly.

    I can, however, foresee that some completionists will be upset that they can’t have both a fully-developed community centre and a fully-developed mall at the same time, no matter what the underlying reason is.

  • Augury

    I’ve been lurking around these updates since around mini update 3, and I just can’t keep quiet anymore.

    You are singlehandedly restoring my faith in indie game development. The ideas you come up with are always an experience simply to read through, on top of the anticipation of one day being able to play this gem. My eyes are literally teary right now, seeing you take the concept of my favorite game series of my childhood and make it 10x better.

    I am absolutely blown away every time you pop up in my feed. Your content is the kind of post I can read in any mood and turn out excited and happy not even halfway through. You are the kind of mind that *every* development team should have at least one of in a high position.

    You continue to be my #1 highly anticipated game of whenever this genius train decides to take a stop at my station. Thank you for absolutely everything you put into your work.

    Continuing to look forward to life in Stardew Valley.

  • silversound

    Love the updates! Having been following Stardew Valley for over a year now, I am super excited to see it getting closer and closer with each update.

    My only concern is based on the endings. I am an excessive completionist, and I am worried that if you choose to restore the community center for example, that it will cause you to not be able to unlock certain seeds from the JojaMart (this is a just an example of course).

    I understand that the alternate endings are supposed to have different consequences, but maybe make the outcomes things that you can unlock in the other endings too, just that they are much harder to get in the other endings. Or maybe make the different consequences things that you don’t feel too terrible missing out on because of your choice. This is just what I think will make the game more enjoyable for people who want everything available, or at least the important things, in a single playthrough. πŸ™‚

    Also like others have said, maybe somehow you can have both the JojaMart and the community center (sandbox mode?). I love the best of both worlds! πŸ™‚

    • Zael

      If you’re an excessive completionist, you sure shouldn’t mind playing through the game a second time. Or a third. Or a fourth. (Like the Disgaea series.)
      That said, I do support the idea of more open New Game+ option.

  • jacob weiler

    so excited for this.
    hoping it has online or at the very least lan, this game reminds me so much of rune factory and i love it.

  • Mouko

    Is it possible to have a forth option, to help both the community center
    and Jojo, to create a beneficial partnership between them?

    • Zael

      Maybe in a New Game+ ?

  • Gwyneth Kuan

    I’ve been following your development since before the Greenlight on Steam.Really want to do something for this game. Do you need a English-Chinese translator ??

  • Joshua Landry

    So glad to see we’re not tied to a time limit. I was a bit worried, but now I’m excited again. I LOVE all this brilliant work you’re doing and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. πŸ˜‰

  • Mesulium

    Omg I’m so pumped. You must hurry πŸ˜€

  • Shaun Kennedy

    Loving the new update, it really sounds like you’re taking this feedback to heart and trying to make the best game possible. I like that you never feel locked out of content and any choice you make is a very purposeful one. With this implementation there won’t be any right or wrong choices, only personal ones.

    Also curious if the suitors may react differently based on whether you go JojaMart or Community Center route?

    • Irrimn

      I personally really want there to be some sort of impact on the actual town NPCs depending on if the community center gets destroyed or not. Afterall, it is their town and I’m sure a number of them are suffering because of it. Making it so everyone is just blissfully unaware or not caring would, to me, make it feel like a completely arbitrary branch of the game. No consequences, no reward.

      • Shaun Kennedy

        I don’t mind consequences as long as they are more of a subjective choice and not a good/bad one. I can see for example you might lock out certain character’s storylines or events by going one route or the other but open up others. Either that or make it where you might suffer socially in one route (JojaMart) but gain economically, and vice versa, letting you choose the playstyle that suits you.

  • Songtress

    Thank you! You’re doing great! keep it up!

  • Brion

    Give me more.. I need more content to satiate my desire for this game. Any chance of making another trailer for the game? Good publicity there. Let us know if you need any beta testers as well πŸ˜‰ game looks great so far.

  • MithranAkanere

    We are getting there! It’ll be nice if when either the community center is demolished or the JojaMart goes out of business, something else came to replace the empty space. Maybe some sort of fair when players can put stuff for sale, or a convention center that attracts tourists (Who doesn’t want a comicon or a neurology convention in their town?).

  • Sean

    I’m a little confused.

    Why is a Community Centre and a Convenience Store competing in the first place? Don’t they provide completely different services? Why would the success of one completely destroy the other?

    I know when Tesco came to my town the Community Centre wasn’t affected…..it’s still there.

    It just seems strange.

  • Seiklus

    I love how you make sure to look at the “what if I played this?” Perspective. It really shines in you and shows others that you are a careful and calculated game designer. Keep up the good work!

  • Rodrigo Deus

    Amazing! The idea of not imposing a time limit is just PERFECT. If the player can do nothing or help the community or even help the Joja corp, then we have 3 ways of playing or even replaying the game. Amazing!

    Now I’d like to give the suggestion to make “interactive quests”. To help the community or Joja corp, the player must meet and complete some quests which will give “internal points” in game. Thus said, there would be a balance between the 2 main ways that a player can walk on.

    If the player wants to make some quests for Joja corp, he/she will lose “points” regardin the community restoration. And vice-versa. This gives the player a chance to make some questions for both sides in order to get loot, xp and reputation and gives more time for him/her to decide who will help.

  • Bastard Bobo

    I’m glad you’re still alive! Hopefully we’ll get to play this game sometime in 2015. Looks great.

  • Sullivan Alves

    I can’t wait more Ã‑_ Ã‑
    I’m in love with this game!!

  • Tesel

    this is still by far one of my most anticipated games right now alongside witchmarsh, I love me some harvest moon and some rune factory and this looks to aim to please both sides of that, so with bated breath I await your game Ape, keep up the great work πŸ˜€

  • Jerônimo Gregolini Pucci

    Ape, you are awesome!
    I loved the way you solved the Joja Corporation thing.
    As always, can’t wait until the game is realeased!

  • Kindlesmith70 .

    That is quite brilliant a concept. I hope there are other bonuses too for helping out Jojo Mart. Discounts don’t quite cut it in the long and short of things. Alternative additions to the town would be nice, similar how you are doing the community center. Consider it development in a different direction. Big supermarket attracts different businesses (as well as closes many smaller ones) and development opportunities.
    As it stands, helping the community center seems more beneficial as it opens more content. So giving the same amount of content (but different) than the community center should help make it equally rewarding.

    Any chance of actually getting jobs for Jojo Mart?

  • Irrimn

    2 weeks into October and still no update? Time to RIOT!

  • Shaun Kennedy

    Excellent update! So glad to hear you take some of the feedback from us to heart but are still dedicated to making the game you set out to! I like the idea of little options like this that allow each playthru to be unique and give adequate reasons to experiment with the different gameplay consequences.

  • boonam

    This over done addition of an eeevil corporation makes me incredibly sad. If you were going to include commentary on economics, it might have been sound to consult an economist. A game which I believed was suppose to be about small town farming, has now just become politicized. πŸ™

  • Rodrigo Deus

    Liked this a lot, specially the “no time limit” feature. We need achivs for this game!