Sponsored By

Stardew Valley creator shares early concept sketches from old notebook

A handful of doodles and scrawlings provide a glimpse into the earliest days of Stardew Valley's development.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

April 24, 2023

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Stardew Valley showing a player's farm

Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone has shared some early very concept sketches that show how the popular country-life RPG took shape.

In a short thread on Twitter, Barone spotlighted a few concepts from an old notebook, including one featuring a bunch of ideas that would eventually be used to create the Community Center and Junimos characters.

Junimos are a group of forest spirits in Stardew Valley that take up residence in Pelican Town's derelict Community Center. Players can collect items (in the form of bundles) for them in exchange for rewards, and it's interesting to see just how many of those ideas-including the design of the Junimos themselves–were translated from page to screen.

"What do they do with the bundles?" Maybe return them to their proper place for you, or bring them to their hut," reads a scrawling in the sketchbook. "Then when you've completed a broad goal, they bring out a glowing star and add it to the plaque."

Another musing in corner of the page (shown below) describes Junimos as "forest spirits who took the Community Centre as their home after it got abandoned."


Barone shared another sketch that maps out what the interior of the Community Center might look like, including rooms such as the mayor's office (complete with an imposing vault), a pantry, craft room, tourist centre, boiler room, community gardens, and Junimo house. Again, many of those ideas would eventually make their way into the final version of the game.

If you were ever curious how Stardew Valley's mine levels came together, the solo dev also revealed a coffee-stained set of 39 doodles mapping out the title's dangerous subterranean sprawl, complete with addendums such as "wood" and "sword" (presumably detailing where players might find valuable resources and items) and others like "enter moles." How very ominous.

Stardew Valley has become wildly successful since launching over seven years ago, selling over 20 million copies worldwide across multiple platforms

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like