The aim that I had for this project was to highlight the efficiency and reasons for why Stardew Valley became such a classic and a hit amongst farming and life sim gamers, and how it has created a new surge in the same style of games.
I began this task by performing research on what the standard game of this genre was before the release of Stardew Valley and found my answer in the series of games known as farming simulator and decided to use the 2017 edition since it had been released in the same year as Stardew. Following this I found two other games to analyze alongside, that had been released after the release of Stardew Valley these being Graveyard Keeper a game that used Stardew as inspiration, and then Farming Valley a game directly created to emulate Stardew.
The next step that I took was to play through each game to gain an understanding of what each game was about as well as to find similarities and differences between each game that I could highlight and examine and to help me create the analytical framework that I would eventually use to examine and compare each game to create this final video essay. The process and outline that I took can be found within my blogs which can all be found on my home page here.
The final stage that I took before the creation of this final essay was a series of streams instead of the planned videos on each of the games that I chose for this analysis where I played through sections of each game highlighting what made each game special and where they potentially lacked. A couple of friends of mine from my housemates streaming community popped in during a couple of these streams offering suggestions and feedback on how I could improve the streams themselves and potential sections and elements of the games that I hadn’t reached yet that would work for the analysis I was performing.
I, unfortunately, had to switch from videos to streams due to mostly time but also some compatibility, space, and hardware issues making it extremely difficult for me to create, store and edit the videos, leading to me streaming the games instead since it proved much easier especially with the help from my housemate. The smaller videos for my pitch and Beta were only possible because of their length and the fact I was still using Movie Maker at the time.
The last and final stage that took place in the creation of my DA was actually writing the script and compiling sections of footage to put this all together, using my housemate’s computer which I was only able to use for this final task due to his streaming schedule.
- Discussions, P. and Gaming, G., 2021. Gameplay VS Graphics. [online] PC Gamer Forums. Available at: <https://forums.pcgamer.com/threads/gameplay-vs-graphics.4001/> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
- Game Rant. 2021. How Stardew Valley Sets The Blueprint for Indie and Farming Simulator Games. [online] Available at: <https://gamerant.com/stardew-valley-indie-farming-simulator-games/> [Accessed 27 October 2021].
- Game Rant. 2021. How Stardew Valley Set the Standard for Farming Sims. [online] Available at: <https://gamerant.com/stardew-valley-farming-sim-good/> [Accessed 27 October 2021].
- Game Rant. 2021. What Indie Farming Sims Can Improve From Stardew Valley. [online] Available at: <https://gamerant.com/stardew-valley-indie-farming-sims-improvements/> [Accessed 27 October 2021].
- Gameskinny.com. 2021. Why Stardew Valley is King of the Farming Games. [online] Available at: <https://www.gameskinny.com/5r818/why-stardew-valley-is-king-of-the-farming-games> [Accessed 27 October 2021].
- Manente, K., 2021. Stardew Valley turns 5, and the little farm sim that could is more beloved and bigger than ever. [online] SYFY WIRE. Available at: <https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/stardew-valley-anniversary-creator-playtime-mod-updates> [Accessed 27 October 2021].
- Medium. 2021. Deceptively Simple Design. [online] Available at: <https://medium.com/swlh/deceptively-simple-design-cabde40af87f> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
- Morton, L., 2020. Best farming games and agricultural games on PC. [online] PCGamesN. Available at: <https://www.pcgamesn.com/best-farming-games-agricultural-games> [Accessed 27 October 2021].
- Reddit.com. n.d. [online] Available at: <https://www.reddit.com/r/GraveyardKeeper/comments/czlmqc/how_would_you_compare_graveyard_keeper_to_stardew/> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
- Reddit.com. n.d. [online] Available at: <https://www.reddit.com/r/StardewValley/comments/l0m8zy/supersuper_zoo_story_caught_stealing_assets_from/> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
- Reddit.com. n.d. [online] Available at: <https://www.reddit.com/r/StardewValley/comments/eepfte/what_sets_stardew_valey_apart_from_other_farming/> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
- Reddit.com. 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.reddit.com/r/truegaming/comments/270ys7/graphics_vs_gameplay/> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
- Salman, J., 2021. Stardew Valley: The revival of the farming-RPG genre!. [online] Medium. Available at: <https://medium.com/@jplikesmail/stardew-valley-the-revival-of-the-farming-rpg-genre-b84847b59771> [Accessed 27 October 2021].
- Steighner, M., n.d. Graveyard Keeper Review — DarkStation. [online] DarkStation. Available at: <https://www.darkstation.com/reviews/graveyard-keeper-review> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
- Sutherland, L., 2020. Virtualizing the ‘good life’: reworking narratives of agrarianism and the rural idyll in a computer game. Agriculture and Human Values, 37(4), pp.1155-1173.
Watts, R., 2021. The state of Stardew Valley in 2021. [online] pcgamer. Available at: <https://www.pcgamer.com/au/the-state-of-stardew-valley-in-2021/> [Accessed 27 October 2021].
- Vulture. 2021. How a First-time Developer Created Stardew Valley, 2016’s Best Game to Date. [online] Available at: <https://www.vulture.com/2016/03/first-time-developer-made-stardew-valley.html> [Accessed 25 October 2021].