Since its release in 2016, Stardew Valley has found an immense amount of success and praise from critics and fans alike. Recently it was revealed that the games sole creator, Eric Barone (@ConcernedApe), almost quit making the game during a long, grueling development.
Barone talked about creating Stardew Valley in a passage devoted to the game, written by well known Kotaku writer Jason Schreier for his recent book, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made. While he detailed his passion behind the project, Barone also didn’t hold back when it came to talking about how Stardew Valley took its toll on him.
“There were points when I was thinking, ‘what am I doing?” Barone told Schreier. “I have a degree in computer science and I’m working a minimum-wage job as an usher at a theater. People would ask me, ‘Do you do anything else?’ And I [said], ‘I’m making a video game.’ I just felt embarrassed about it. They must have thought, ‘Oh this guy is a loser.”’
Couple this along with the fact that Barone would constantly be asked by friend, family, and fans constantly asking him when the game would be released, and it’s no wonder he got depressed, especially working alone.
In a recent Reddit AMA, user LordSmernok asked Barone what motivated him to keep going, despite the hardship.
Needless to say, the ConcernedApe’s hard work paid off, earning rave reviews and even a couple of rewards. Stardew Valley was even recently ported to Nintendo’s newest console, The Switch, after fervent demand from fans.
For a more in-depth look into Barone’s triumphs and tribulations working on Stardew Valley, check out Jason Schreier’s Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made. The book is available in Paperback ($9.59), Audiobook ($22.90), and Kindle ($10.99) form, and also tells stories behind projects like The Witcher 3 and Destiny.