Stardew Valley Season: My Fiancée Is Addicted

Stardew Valley Season

Both of us Average Gamers happen to be engaged. We also happened to be engaged to women who enjoy spending countless hours playing Stardew Valley, a game we mentioned in our solo developer discussion

They are so enthralled by the game that they’ve agreed to share their thoughts on the game. Rather than having an uber long post on all things Stardew, we decided to break things up a bit. We’ll sprinkle in an episode about the hit indie farm simulator over the next few weeks.

Thus, Stardew Valley Season!

Episode 1: Interviewing An Addict

First up is Julian’s fiancée, Jae. Jae was the recipient of Stardew Valley via Steam on her birthday, at the beginning of October. By the first week of November, she revealed that she had logged 90 hours of the game in the first month. 

90. 

Nine. Zero.

My reaction was probably similar to the one you’re having now. Even though I was beside her most of the times she was playing, to hear the number was staggering. 

After the initial shock wore off, I was unsure if I should be worried or proud. There are few games in my own video gaming career I can say that I had binged on par with the hours required for a part time job. Tecmo Super Bowl, Goldeneye 64, Mario Kart 64, Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted 2, The Last of Us are the only games I can think of that might compete with that level of dedication

Ultimately I decided to be proud! And worried. It was great that her video game prowess was growing, but deep down I began to think I had created a monster. 

steve harvey worried
She has averaged almost 2.5 hours per day for over 2 months

Fast forward a few weeks later and she has agreed to discuss what brings her back to the game virtually every day. I emailed her the questions to give her the opportunity to fully flush out her answers. Then, I followed up with her to discuss any points she wanted to make beyond her first responses. So without further ado, here are Jae’s opinions on Stardew Valley. 

Fun fact: She is playing Stardew Valley as I’m editing this post.

The Interview
Question 1: Briefly describe your history and introduction to video games? And exposure to farm-related games before Stardew Valley?

Jae: I think I’ve been playing video games since I was about 8 years old. I started off playing Nintendo 64 and moved through almost every Nintendo system that came out after that, except Wii U. I owned a purple GameCube and a pink Game Boy Advance. As for other systems, I played various versions of Xbox and PlayStation. A few of my favorite games were Mortal Kombat, Crash Bandicoot, and some of the Mario and Sonic games. I also played the infamous computer game Backyard Baseball, but I didn’t get into farm related games until Facebook. Once I had Facebook, I was addicted to farming games.

Question 2: Describe where you are at in the game. How many hours have you played? What is your characters name? Who are some of your favorite pets’ (including dog) names? Are you married?

Jae: I got this game as a birthday gift from my fiancé on Oct. 5, 2018. Since then, I’ve logged 158 hours playing it.  

If it weren’t for school, that number would probably be doubled; that’s how much I enjoy this game. I only have one character, but once I meet some personal milestones, I want to create more characters and explore the different boards.

My character’s name is Tonya. Currently, her boyfriend is Harvey – the (nerd) medical doctor in town. I just expanded my house to have a nursery so that we can hopefully wed soon. 

As for pets, Tonya has a dog – I don’t remember the name. You can adopt a dog or cat at the beginning of the game. There is an opportunity to get a horse as well, which increases your speed if you ride it as a means of transportation. You can get a horse by purchasing a stable from the carpenter.

Julian: Do you have a horse? 

Jae: I don’t have a horse. I haven’t bought the stable that gives you a horse just yet.

Julian: Do you plan to get one?

Jae: Maybe eventually. It’s not a major priority. It increases your speed by 33% but you have to get off the horse to collect items which slows me down too much if I’m not just traveling around the town. 

Julian: Ok, what about any other farm animals you enjoy raising?

Jae: I have 12 of every animal. Pigs are my favorite.

stardew valley animals

Question 3: What do you like most about Stardew Valley?

Jae: There are many aspects I like about the game:

  • Farming: I like to calculate which crops to plant based on which will provide the largest monetary yield over the 28-day season. I love finding ways to increase the value of my crops to make more money! I like figuring out how to organize my farm to make it visually pleasing but also very functional. For example, after milking the cows, I won’t have to trek across my farm to turn the milk into cheese.
  • Mining: I honestly don’t know why I love mining so much. Maybe between banging on rocks, gathering various minerals, and fearing for my life when my health gets extremely low – it all gives me a rush.
  • Challenges: I’m pretty bad at completing the various daily challenges on the board in front of the shop. However, I enjoy the satisfaction of completing the community center tasks and challenges that come through the mail. It’s worth it to reap the rewards.

stardew valley crops

Question 4: What has been most challenging with the Stardew Valley?

Jae: The game is fairly easy once you get the hang of everything, but two things will always be a challenge/challenging for me:

  1. Fishing: It took a while for me to get the hang of fishing, but once I did it hasn’t been as bad. BUT there are a few fish that jump around a lot, which can be damn near impossible to catch.
  2. Iridium: It’s far too scarce.
Question 5: What would you want included/excluded in a potential sequel to Stardew Valley?

Jae: If the creators made a sequel, it would be cool if you could ride the train to different maps. Each map would allow you to create a character so they could meet up with one another and join their map pieces together.  Once the map pieces were together, you could go between playing either character and build various relationships with them and other people in town. 

I would keep most of the other things the same, but I like the idea of being able to play between characters in the game. The biggest challenge would be figuring out how to do that if the players are on different days/seasons. Maybe it’s a once a year opportunity!

Final Thought

Asked if she had any further input on the game, Jae responded, 

“Every time I think I’m going to be done with this game, I find a reason to keep playing!”

Overall, Jae’s glowing review of Stardew Valley is in line with what most other critics have described. You can spend dozens of hours making your farm just right, then a bunch more time building relationships around the town. If you’re a fan of Harvest Moon, you should definitely give this one a shot.

Have you played the game? If not, do you want to play after hearing more about it? If so, tell us about how your farmer is doing below!

That does it for our first entry into Stardew Valley Season. Stay tuned for more episodes to drop in the next few weeks!

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