Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone has offered another tantalising glimpse at the game's upcoming, very-long-awaited online co-operative multiplayer mode.
Multiplayer mode was first touted prior to Stardew Valley's release in 2016. However, Barone was clear that it wouldn't arrive until after the farming sim had launched as a single-player game. Skip forward to 2018, and work on the co-operative mode continues apace.
According to a new tweet by Barone, significant progress has now been made on multiplayer. "It still needs some work", he said, "but the underlying network code is solid." It sounds like it's shaping up well too: "Being in the same room and yelling at each other about what to do next, or if anyone has any stone, is great fun. Can't wait to share this".
4-player Stardew Valley LAN party at my house... it's really fun. It still needs some work, but the underlying network code is solid. Being in the same room and yelling at each other about what to do next, or if anyone has any stone, is great fun. Can't wait to share this pic.twitter.com/Sjxyd712BK— ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) January 15, 2018
Barone and Stardew Valley publisher Chucklefish have previously confirmed that Stardew Valley's new multiplayer component will enter beta on PC when they feel it's reached a sufficiently advanced, playable state. This was originally expected to occur late last year, but was pushed back into the early part of 2018 "in order to make room for polish and QA". Once multiplayer is finally ready, it will launch as a free update for PC and consoles.
The extra good news is that Barone has now finished work on Stardew Valley's bonus single-player content, which was first unveiled last year - itself a pleasant surprise, given the developer's previous word that there were "no plans" to expand the solo portion of the game. As a result, Barone says he's "shifted all my attention to getting multiplayer ready!"
To accompany today's progress update, Barone also offered another brief glimpse of Stardew Valley's multiplayer mode. The image posted on Twitter (which you can see above), isn't the most revelatory, but it does show a full gathering of four players working and socialising together on the same farm plot.
Eagle-eyed observers will spot the new text chat window, another glimpse at the cabins that act as homes for anyone not assigned as the main player, and, yes, a flamingo.
Stardew Valley's multiplayer beta still appears to be on course for a Q1 2018 launch, so hopefully more details will be revealed soon.