I have been playing a LOT of Stardew Valley over the last week.
For those uninitiated members of the audience, Stardew Valley is an independent farming/life simulation game in the same vein of Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing that came out in 2016 to critical and audience acclaim.
Well-deserved acclaim at that. This is a title with some incredible pixel art design, a treasure trove of content and enough charm to reduce your Pikachu’s attack by six stages — all made by one person, ConcernedApe.
That was a Pokémon joke by the way. *marks off checklist*
I bought the game alongside my friend Samantha, who was one of my close friends to recommend it years ago when I had no time to join the fad.
We’ve gone through cycles of playing different co-operative games together in the past. From brief stints with Don’t Starve Together to an innocuous MMORPG called Aura Kingdom, as well as hundreds of hours invested in Terraria just a few summers before she moved away.
This time The Dream Team reunited for the multiplayer update to Stardew that dropped for Switch last December.
Unfortunately she’s been a little more busy with work so far this summer, and we haven’t gotten the chance to play a lot. But I started my own single-player file to learn the basics so I wouldn’t be a complete disgrace.
I fell into the game hard. I’ve been up playing until 3:00 a.m. a few more times in the last week than I’d care to admit.
Originally I intended to write a review of the game for my blog to justify all the hours I’ve poured in. But I’m three years late to the party and everything I could say has already been said.
Plus it would more or less just be hundreds of words gushing about what a mastahpiece it is, and that can’t be very exciting for a three-year-old game.
You can honestly judge for yourself based solely on the trailer:
However, something strange happened with this game.
Even though I resigned myself not to write a review, a totally different craving bore its way out of my subconscious mind after watching my single-player character get married to my Stardew love, Emily.
There was a particular string of events and cutscenes leading up to the marriage that I thought flowed together like an unintentionally beautiful story…
And I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
My blood ached with the desire to show my adoration for the game by doing what I do best: Writing.
The other day I announce my intention to ruin my credibility by writing a Stardew Valley fanfiction, totally abandoning my original book for an afternoon to use digital ink on flourishing personal video game experiences instead.
I may or may not have managed to pound out 6,000 words.
Sometimes you just have to strike when the iron is hot. Writing is writing.
My blog post fell to the wayside as a result, but I think you’ll find it was a worthwhile sacrifice.
My quick turn-around on the fanfiction meant I was able to get it briefly edited by Mom (who I’m sure is now ashamed of that college degree [NEVAH- mom]) and posted online at fanfiction.net.
Even though the website’s posting rules meant I had to wait an extra day to get this post to you.
I’ve never used the site before, as most of my character-writing impulses have been expended via brief roleplays.
Talk about another title I’ll need to dedicate a whole post to. A particular bad end in that game haunts me to this day.
All of that is to say you get to be the lucky audience who sees my debut piece of fanfiction
not counting Wattpad.
It’s pretty heavily focused on recreating scenes from the game to convey a budding romance in a grander fashion. So if you’re into that sort of thing, check it out here!
I’m past the point of shame, so there’s a genuine curiosity to know what you think.
Regardless of your thoughts, I will say the exercise was a nice break from my novel that kept me in an invigorated fiction-writing mood.
Can’t complain about that right?