Chucklefish, the publisher of Stardew Valley and developer of Starbound, have been teasing a fascinating new project that will allow players to attend a school of magic.
This project, which does not currently have an official name, was teased recently on social media. At that time, some suspected that the project may be developed by Eric Barone – aka Concerned Ape; the developer of Stardew Valley – given that Stardew Valley was name dropped in the teaser tweet and that the game in question looked quite similar to that title.
Since then, Chucklefish has released further information about the project which seemingly confirms that it will not be developed by Barone, but rather inspired by his work. In an interview with PC Gamer, Chucklefish CEO Finn Brice revealed what inspiration the studio has taken from the phenomenal Stardew Valley.
“Stardew Valley is a masterclass in establishing tone, charm, and theme,” said Barone. “With this project we’ve taken that idea of simply falling in love with a game world and gone all in. The mechanics are going to be tight and that’s important, but from the outset our goal has been to create a game world that is entertaining and charming simply to inhabit.”
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As for what that world is about, Chucklefish artist Abi Cooke Hunt chimes in on the project’s other influences.
“Our inspiration for the game world and art comes from a lot of places,” said Hunt. “People have picked up on the influence of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, but some of our biggest inspirations have been things like Studio Ghibli’s rendition of Kiki’s Delivery Service, Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series and Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books.”
Hunt also noted that “Contrary to popular belief, we were well into development before Little Witch Academia appeared on our radar.” That said, she confirmed that it has obviously inspired the members of the team who consider themselves fans of that series.
That information, along with some statements made by Finn Brice, seems to suggest that this latest project will echo Stardew Valley‘s crafting/farming/socializing design while introducing new mechanics centered around magic use. Brice also noted that the magical school aspects of the game will feel very different from the town/social aspects. He even indicated that players will be able to attend lessons to grow their skill and that the game will aim to recreate school social experiences from across the world.
So, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to play a Stardew Valley game set within the world of Harry Potter…well, this game may end up delivering something very close to that.
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