My first definitive verification of Haunted Chocolatier came straight from the source as I sat down with developer Eric Barone, AKA ConcernedApe, to look over Stardew Valley’s remarkable success. He touched briefly on his upcoming projects (yes, plural projects) and was happy to report that the game likely to come out first – Haunted Chocolatier – is a solo endeavor. Despite the lack of specifics, I was thrilled to hear the indie creator’s next project was in the works.
Then he surprised everyone. Barone publicly shared early Haunted Chocolatier gameplay footage, and it looked incredible. The art style immediately evoked Barone’s first title, though the developer made it clear fans shouldn’t expect the same experience.
“In Stardew Valley,” Barone writes in his news blog, “the focus was more humble: living off the land, growing food, and connecting to the people and nature around you. However, with my next game, I wanted to explore more fantastical possibilities… experiences that take you beyond the ordinary. That’s where magical haunted ghost chocolate comes in.”
A game filled with the fun of simulated chocolate making mixed with the mystery of a ghostly castle and topped with endearing-looking characters? It’s a recipe for another beloved indie hit. However, Haunted Chocolatier is still in early development, with PC being the only currently confirmed platform. And while the developer says he intends to bring the game to every major console, there’s still been no official announcement. And as the biggest summer showcases seem to be behind us, it appears less and less likely we’ll hear anything about the game during this season’s presentations. That’s not surprising, considering how early in the process the game seems to be.
Despite dodging the major shows so far, there’s still been some interesting news on the project. In response to a fan on Twitter, Barone confirmed that there would be some connections between his next hauntingly sweet adventure and the farming sim that made him a household name. You can see the exchange below.
1) 1.6, yes. But it’s mostly a modding-focused update (makes modders lives easier). There will be some new content but it won’t be huge. 1.7? Who knows.
2) Yes, but I haven’t decided how deep the connection will be exactly. I want Haunted Chocolatier to have its own identity
— ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) June 23, 2022
As everything has been for the fledgling project at this point, it looks like the fine details are up in the air. However, that Barone chose to even respond to the social media query is intriguing and points to the possibility that Haunted Chocolatier might indeed be linked more closely to Stardew Valley than just its enchanting visuals. That doesn’t mean the game will be a clone of the creator’s previous work. As before, Barone is quick to emphasize that his upcoming game will stand on its own two feet.
We will be keeping a close eye on Haunted Chocolatier as its development continues, and we hope to hear more details about it whenever Barone is ready to give fans a treat.
Excited about the Stardew Valley follow-up? Have any fan theories on what the two games will share? Let us know in the comments below!