After working on Stardew Valley for over five years, creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone is currently developing another title called Haunted Chocolatier. This game looks similar to Stardew Valley but focuses on a different kind of gameplay.
Barone also said that while Haunted Chocolatier is a darker and more introspective game, it's still uplifting and encouraging. Just don't expect it anytime soon. Nonetheless, this hub will compile all the details we know so far about Haunted Chocolatier.
Elsewhere, feel free to check out our Gotham Knights hub for the hit superhero game, or our Resident Evil 4 remake hub for some spooky cult horror. That's on top of our Dark Souls 4 speculation, should it ever release!
Haunted Chocolatier latest news
We've heard very little about Haunted Chocolatier in the past few months, with ConcernedApe seemingly focused on the Stardew Valley mobile port. However, we do have this screenshot of gameplay as a little teaser:
ConcernedApe 'let slip' confirmation that Haunted Chocolatier is in fact related to Stardew Valley, but he hasn't figured out quite how deep the connection will be yet.
ConcernedApe has confirmed that Haunted Chocolatier will release on PC, and is not currently planned for any other platforms. This may change in the future.
Speaking with GameInformer, Barone revealed that he is working with another project that gives him "the best of worlds" since it is a collaboration with another developer which he did not disclose.
With that, he also specified that he is working with Haunted Chocolatier where he is "doing literally everything," and mentioned that the game will probably come out first.”
Barone spoke in an interview with VGKami where he revealed that the game will have an NPC relationship system like Stardew Valley. He said:
"Yes, there will be relationships like in Stardew Valley. I haven’t decided exactly how the system will work, yet. And I expect to approach some things differently this time around."
He also pointed out the reason why he switched from XNA to Monogame to do Haunted Chocolatier instead of sticking with the former where he did Stardew Valley. He said:
"Both Stardew Valley and Haunted Chocolatier are written in C#. But for Stardew Valley, I used the XNA Framework, which is basically a set of tools to help make games (not an engine). For Haunted Chocolatier, I switched from XNA to Monogame. The reason is that Monogame is cross-platform, open-source, and has active developers and community. XNA is very old at this point and has been abandoned for a long time."
Other things Barone mentioned about Haunted Chocolatier in the interview include the game's combat system which "are based on long-standing traditions of 2D action RPG’s," as well as a bit of history about the creation of the game.
"Haunted Chocolatier started with me just messing around coding up an extremely simple “game” that was just one room and you could run around and swing a sword and fight some monsters. I just did that for fun, for some reason, I’m not sure. It all kind of evolved from there and I had these different ideas that came to me."
Haunted Chocolatier is currently in development. Barone revealed his new project in October 2021 and said he's still steadily working on the project. He released polished gameplay footage, but mentioned he is still working on many features of the game.
According to his official blog's posts, ConcernedApe's approach in making Haunted Chocolatier will be inverse of Stardew Valley in themes and concepts as he said that his next game will be the "moon" to Stardew Valley's sun. Its core loops and concepts are still in undecided, however, and very much subject to change.
Haunted Chocolatier release date speculation
Barone has yet to announce any release window for Haunted Chocolatier. As usual, ConcernedApe is adamant on building the game to his vision and design, regardless of how long it takes.
Haunted Chocolatier gameplay
Haunted Chocolatier's trailer gives us an idea of its early gameplay and some of the completed features in the game so far. Players will be managing a chocolate shop on their own and, obviously, will make their own products to earn cash. The catch is that it's set in a mysterious castle, and it looks like ghosts are their main customers.
Instead of gathering the ingredients from usual means, players will be getting them through what looks like dungeons and other dangerous places and will have to fight monsters to get the items needed. The combat is heavily reminiscent of the battle system found in Stardew Valley, though, again, that could change.
Haunted Chocolatier story
Aside from the chocolatier duties, players can also interact with other NPCs in the game and possibly pursue them romantically. ConcernedApe wants to develop this title with a deeper story than just your character managing a chocolatier shop in a haunted mansion filled with ghosts, though that, too, is still subject to change while he's working on the game.