Posted in Gaming, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley Multiplayer: It’s More Fun with Friends

Stardew Valley launched beta patch 1.3 two days ago. Last night, my sister and I jumped into our first try at a multiplayer game. The verdict – there’s a few small bugs, but overall, Stardew handles multiplayer almost flawlessly… even in beta form!

If you have Stardew on Steam, you can follow the instructions in the official blog post to opt into the beta. The GoG version is coming very soon. And, there IS cross-platform multiplayer between Steam and GoG through using codes to invite friends to your farm.

Once you’ve opted into the beta, you get a new Co-op option on the main menu screen. This is where the fun happens.

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You can host and join multiplayer games there. You can also make an existing game into a co-op game, but we chose to start a brand new farm using the co-opt hosting.

We had no problem at all hosting or joining the game via the Steam friends list. No need to open up ports or anything. No muss or fuss. I like it!

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Since both my sister and I have many hours of Stardew under our belt, we both approached this from a “I’m returning and remembering how to play this. How is this going to work in multiplayer?” standpoint.

Changes for Multiplayer

The first thing I realized was that the game no longer pauses when you open up your menu — keep this in mind for when you’re down in the mines fighting monsters! There’s no pause time!

The game host can still pause the game, though, by opening up chat (Press “T”) and typing /pause. Since Stardew days are short, and everything revolves around time, this is a huge feature to take advantage of, especially if one of your players dropped connection.

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We also learned that certain things, such as going to sleep at night and festival cut scenes, have a built-in feature that waits for the other players to confirm. For example, if I go to sleep and my sister hasn’t yet, I see this until she jumps in bed and confirms she wants to sleep:

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This makes it a little nail-biting when your friend is running home at ten-till 1 am. 😀

I have no idea what happens if one player sleeps an the other doesn’t. Do you both get the penalty? Or just one?

Shared and Not Shared

The biggest thing we ran across was figuring out what was shared and not shared.

Money is shared. This means that you need to buy two of everything – upgrades and the like. Thankfully, more than one of you working around the farm can get twice as much done. Someone can be foraging on the beach and another in the mines while another is watering the crops.

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It seems like quests, stats, skills and NPC relationships are not shared.

But other things, such as progress made on the community center and clearing floors in the mine, are shared. It’s fun to battle through the mine and have someone else with you searching for the next path down.

Just know that the treasure chest you loot in the mine seems to only give one reward. Not sure if this was intentional or a bug.

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Overall

We only ran across a few things that I would consider a true bug. The biggest one was with sounds carrying much further than they should. Sometimes I could hear Vix chopping trees or fighting monsters in the mine when I was nowhere near her.

Directional sound also doesn’t carry very well from the other player. I can hear her walking around on the farm, for example, but can’t tell from the sound what direction she’s located from my position.

These aren’t anything that break the game, and I’m sure these sorts of things will get fixed. Overall, this is a very solid beta, and I’m certainly looking forward to continuing to build our farm. We might even get a few more to join us down the line.

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: The Right Husband

This is going to be one of those silly, first-world-gaming-problem posts. Totally meant to be just for fun.

So, while I really wanted to start this week by busting out a post about the newly released Super Mario Odyssey, the truth is, Stardew Valley on Nintendo Switch continues to capture my attention. I put a few hours into Mario, but after that, it was back to the farm. Don’t worry, Mario. I’ll be back!

So, I have a little issue in that I can’t decide which bachelor I want my farmer to marry. I’m in the Spring of  the second year now, and I have 10 hearts with several villagers. I’m working on getting a solid financial base. I’m closing in on finishing the collections for the community center.

It’s time to think about who my farmer is going to pick as a spouse… Because this is serious business, darnit! 🙂

Warning: Spoilers for Stardew Valley ahead!

Continue reading “Stardew Valley: The Right Husband”

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Stardew Valley

Is Stardew Valley Out on Nintendo Switch Yet? (Hype)

The answer is:

almostout

But if you really want to know, all you have to do is go to this website:

https://isstardewvalleyoutonnintendoswitchyet.com/

Here’s some background. Fans of Stardew Valley have eagerly awaited the game’s release on Nintendo Switch. I’m one of those.

However, the “summer” window has come and gone, and fans have gotten more and more antsy as the season passed. In fact, there’s hardly a week when we don’t see a post — fan or dev created — on the Nintendo Switch Reddit that is either asking “Is it out?” or “Is there an update yet?”

It’s to the point where the hype has become a game itself, something to help deal with the wait. Now, while I’m not in the same boat as some of the other fans, I can watch from the sidelines and appreciate the gentle humor that the Switch community is poking at itself.

In fact, this is what (I think) spawned the website:

https://isstardewvalleyoutonnintendoswitchyet.com/

Up until yesterday, the page was a #sad place to be. I wish I’d saved a screenshot of the previous version of the page!

You got the word “NO” with a counter underneath:

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The background image was this sad kid sitting in the rain:

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There were some pretty amazing raindrop javascript, which looked like this (but with heavier rain).

And to bring it all together, there was one of two random songs playing: Mad World or Everybody Hurts.

It was truly a sad place to be, but it was so masterful in a way that only the Internet can pull off!

Well, yesterday, the announcement came that Stardew Valley has been approved by Nintendo and is just awaiting a release window!

As you’d expect, this has drummed up a Reddit post with more than 1000 comments! This has also prompted the designer of https://isstardewvalleyoutonnintendoswitchyet.com/ to update his page (I checked immediately upon seeing the announcement). I was not disappointed.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the page is going to look like when the game releases! In fact, though I’m buying Stardew on day one, and itching to get my farm going on the Switch version, I’m going to be just a little sad to see the good natured hype die down. It’s been a lot of fun… and I just thought to capture and share this (rather pointless, but amusing) bit of gaming culture here.

Edit: Stardew Valley is out today (Oct 5), here’s what the site looks like now!

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He has a very good point about game save backups for the Switch are needed.
Posted in Gaming, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: Popping the Question

20160521201813_1 Stardew Valley v1.1 just released yesterday with a lot of great new features and improvements. I picked up the game again, and realized that I’d never finished documenting my original playthrough yet.

Back in July, I got to year 3, got married and just sorta puttered out since there wasn’t a lot to do once you got to that point. This update changes a lot for end game, so I do plan on continuing this saved game into the new content. Now,

I last left off in Fall of the first year… My friendship level with Harvey is now high enough that I can enter his room. So, one day, I peek in to see what I could see. I found him radioing out, apparently to a plane.

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He was surprised to see me when he realized I was in the room (I would be too), but he quickly explained what was happening.

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Excited about making contact, he beckoned me to look out the window with him.

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Sure enough, there was a plane flying overhead. This is true romance, folks. 🙂

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Harvey went on to tell me how his childhood dream was to become a pilot. But due to circumstances in life, it was just not to be.

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It was kinda sad. I certainly know there were a lot of things I dreamed of as a kid that never came true. But he was very down to earth in his acceptance of the situation. I admired that.

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You can’t always achieve all your hopes and dreams, but you can reach for the best you can do with what you have.  You can still stay close to the things you love even if things can’t always be exactly what you want to be.

Building a Barn

In the meantime, my farm has continued to expand. I finished building my first bar, which I placed next to the chicken coop.

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The next order of business was to get some livestock to put in that barn. At this point, only cows are available. So I randomly generated a name for my first cow and got…

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Yes, excellent! Welcome home little Shunaboo!

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Stardew Valley Fair

So the big fall festival, the Stardew Valley Fair, finally arrived. During the fair, you bring your farm’s best produce to show in competition with other folks in town. There’s also games and prizes and things like that. Still being an upstart, I didn’t have a ton of cool stuff to bring to show, but I still did well enough for myself.

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I stopped by the fortune teller and got an interesting glimpse of the future from her…

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Well, now. This could only mean one thing, right? It’s time to…

Pop the Question

In Stardew Valley, you buy a bouquet from the general store and bring it as a token of love. Not exactly a ring or anything, but it seems less a proposal and more of a sign of romantic interest.

I know you can give multiple bouquets to people, but I choose not to do that in my playthrough. So I pick up the bouquet and head next door to the clinic where Harvey is at work, like always.

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He receives it with excitement and trepidation, as expected. But he also confides his hopes to take the relationship a step further. Excellent!

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Don’t worry, Harvey. You don’t have any competition. I’ve spent most of my first year working up relationship points with him and no one else.

Well, other than Shane. But at that point, Shane wasn’t a romantic possibility. Maybe now that he is, thanks to version 1.1, on another save game, though…

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Posted in Gaming

July Gaming Goals

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I honestly don’t have anything too pressing I want to finish this month, aside from the normal runs in FFXIV that I’ll already do. I’m attempting another Camp NaNoWriMo, so I may be putting more time into staying creative than gaming. I’m going to keep my goals light.

Steam

  • Try 2 new games – Tried 1
  • Cull 2 games

Stardew Valley

  • Reach Spring 3 ✓
  • Get married ✓

Earthbound

  • Play some!

Pokemon X

  • Earn the next gym badge! ✓

FFXIV End Game Stuff

  • Casually work on 3rd tier of Zuri’s relic – not really in a big rush with this ✓

FFXIV Crafting

  • Level Armorer to 60 ✓
  • Level Blacksmith to 60  ✓

FFXIV Leveling

  • Level Gladiator to 25 ✓
  • Clean up old quests ✓

And that’s really about it. Anything extra I do this month is just icing.

Posted in Gaming, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: First Fall

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There will be spoilers in this play through!

My first fall in Stardew Valley arrives, and everything turns shades of gold, as expected. I’m continuing to make progress on my farm and in the mines, but also with forging friendships with folks in the town.

Unexpected Shane

I stashed away a bunch of hot peppers, which I’d used to work my way into Shane’s good graces over time. I was still surprised that one rainy night, upon entering the forest, I found him sitting at the lake drinking.

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Instead of telling me to bug off like normal, he invited me over and shared a beer. He also shared some personal information that I didn’t expect to hear from him.

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I hadn’t really thought about it much until that moment. How the only times I saw Shane was when he was trudging to work in the retail Joja Mart, when he was stocking produce on the shelves, or when he was drinking away his night in the tavern.

The truth is, I knew what he was going through — I’ve spent years working retail and it’s a soul-sucking job. Suddenly, I had a lot more sympathy for this guy. And after getting stuff off his shoulders, he was also a lot more open towards me from then on out.

In the following days, he even sent me a pizza… that he said he swiped from the market a long time ago. I’m not sure whether to be flattered or not.

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It’s progress, I guess.

Harvey’s Trust

In the meantime, I was still fostering my friendship with Harvey. It seemed that my connection was helping him feel more involved in Stardew Valley. I actually noticed him coming to the tavern sometimes at night, too.

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One day, as I entered the market, I stumbled upon the town’s aerobic workout class. Everyone there was female… except for Harvey. And he didn’t look like he was having a good time.

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On his way out of the class, he stumbled into me, much to his embarrassment. He admitted that he’d been attending the classes to better his health, but it wasn’t easy for him.

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I’m totally right there with you, Harvey.

Anyhow, he asked me to keep it a secret… even though half the town’s population was also attending the class. A secret from whom? The other guys? I dunno, but I agreed and that seemed to make him feel better.

Meanwhile

Speaking of feeling better, I explored the spa for the first time. I knew it was there, but just didn’t mess around in the hot springs much. I’m assuming spending time there restores energy, similar to Harvest Moon.

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I also continued to work on my skills.

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Earning the ability to craft that quality sprinkler was a big deal for me. The base sprinkler hardly helps at all, so I was excited to finally be able to work on expanding my crop layouts without having to spend all day watering them!

Fall is starting out well!

Posted in Gaming, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: First Summer’s End

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There will be spoilers in this play through!

One of the things I do most during Summer is fish. I think that starts to show in my skill sets.

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I like how at level 5 of each skill, you get to to choose a profession to specialize in. For example, at level 5 fishing, you can chose between:

  • Fisher: Fish are worth 25% more.
  • Trapper: Resources required to craft crab pots reduced.

For me, this was a no-brainer. I didn’t even have crab pots and I sell my fish all the time, so I went with Fisher. But it’s cool that at level 5 and 10, all skills let you choose a boost like that.

In fact, I caught my first legendary fish. Funny thing was that I wasn’t using any special kind of bait or hook – I only had the fiberglass rod, and wasn’t trying for it at all. Though I don’t think there’s anything you can do with it except sell it, I kept it. Who knows.

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I also spent enough time in the mine to dig up enough iron to upgrade my pickaxe!

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Other tools are on the list, but pickaxe is always first to upgrade as it lets me mine better ore, I’m guessing.

Speaking of making progress in the mines, I managed to delve down to floor 50 and snag myself some nice new boots. I hadn’t done much to upgrade my gear though, so that’s next on the list sometime.

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I spent the final days of summer finishing up as many bundles as I could and continuing to strengthen my friendships with folks in the town. Harvey surprised me one afternoon with this…

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Ah!

Suddenly it sorta made sense. So all those times I talked to Harvey and he had nothing but health-related things to say wasn’t just a case of a somewhat shallow character… but rather, a character who felt he had to distance himself due to a doctor-patient relationship?

Hopeful wishing, I suppose. Harvey still chides me to not work so hard and to come in for checkups even after I established a much stronger relationship later. I guess it is a case of somewhat limited game conversation.

Anyhow. The summer is carried out on the back of dancing jellies. Jelly fish that is. The town comes to gather and watch the migration of jellies every year in a nighttime festival.

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For some odd reason, a strange flower-shaped jelly decided to be especially curious about me.

Such events are nice and atmospheric. It really does work to show that the community is still a small town with roots connected to nature. I’m curious how things will change come Fall and Winter.

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Posted in Gaming, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: Summer Romance

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There will be spoilers in this play through!

Growing Closer

Finally, after a few weeks of gifting Harvey jars of mayo, I earned enough hearts to get my first cutscene with him. Walking into his office, this is what I got.

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Oh, this is not awkward at all.

Of course, Harvey was being a total professional about it. It was really me who was being the weird one.

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He noted that my character’s pulse rate was up, and I told him I was just nervous. That actually happens to me IRL, too. It always throws off my blood pressure readings cuz I get a case of the nerves when I’m in a doctor’s office. XD

But anyhow, he reassures me that he’s only there to help in a very professional sense, and it’s quite cute.

Doing Some Creeping

Well, I’m not there to be professional. I discover that my friendship is finally high enough that I have access to Harvey’s personal quarters. So what do I do then? I do some creeping!

I’m actually pretty pleased by what I find in his room.

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Lots of model planes, a CB Radio, books and other nerdy things. I’m so glad to see there’s more to him than just being a doctor! He may have some potential after all. 🙂

Back to Farming

Uh… right. Farming. That’s what this game is about….

So, Demetrius stops by and asks me to assist him in gathering info for his research. He offers to take this abandoned cave that I noticed back during the Spring and either make it a cave of bats or a cave of mushrooms. As neat as it would be to have a Bat Cave, I went with the mushrooms. I figured I could always grow the fruits that the bats would leave.

So he set up mushroom plots for me.

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I’m actually pretty pleased about this because every few days, I check back and find a harvest. Some of these are needed for my bundles and turn-ins, and some of them are just worth pretty good extra cash to sell.

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It seems other people are starting to take notice of my little farm, which I’m slowly clearing out bit by bit.

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House Expansion

I saved up as much money as I could because one of the house upgrades I could get said it would add a kitchen. Since I was starting to raise livestock (I expanded to 4 chickens over the summer), and I was getting more cooking recipes from the local cooking channel, I thought a kitchen would be a nice idea at this point.

So I saved up and started the expansion, which took a few days to complete. Only, I had no idea what all would come with it.

I woke up one morning and suddenly, I had a whole separate bedroom with a king sized bed! Wow!

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And there’s the kitchen as advertised. It took me a little while to realize that the fridge actually serves as storage. Not only that, but when you cook, the game automatically pulls from the food you placed in the fridge as well as your own inventory. So very, very handy!

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In the meantime, as I was clearing out more of my farm, I found this shrine to my grandfather. Looking closer, I saw a message attached to it… Not creepy at all. Nope.

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Posted in Gaming, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: Summer Year 1 Begins

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Last week, I put a lot of time into Stardew Valley. The game is slowly opening up for me (I’ve made it to mid-Winter Year 1), and I’m starting to feel more connected to the NPCs in the town at this point.

Further Impressions

The past week, I’ve been having some health issues (don’t worry, been to the clinic, being treated, slowly feeling better). Stardew Valley has been the perfect game to help me relax and just focus on something else for a while. I love the sandbox elements it offers – I was surprised when I discovered I could place items all around my farm to decorate.

I know that I wrote in a previous post that I felt a lot of the eligible bachelors were somewhat lacking, and that aspect has gotten better with time and growing friendship. I’m still not really interested in most of the teen guys in town, and I really think it’s a shame that Shane is not eligible yet (glad he will be in the future). That being said, I’m spending a lot of time building up relationships with all of the people in the town, and finding it super useful. Not only do you get special cut scenes where the characters start to open up more, but often you earn things like cooking recipes at certain levels of friendship.

With all that being said, I’ve taken a bunch of screenshots and put in a lot of time, so I may as well blog a play-through series of my experiences in Stardew Valley.

There will be spoilers in this playthrough! 

Summer Begins

First of all, I found the hats! Apparently, as you unlock achievements in Stardew Valley, you can purchase new hats. You can find the hat merchant in the previously abandoned house in the southern most area of the forest. The first hat I picked up was the one for the fishing achievement, which looks a bit like a rain hat.

I kept my garden pretty small for the most part, seeing that I still had to water everything by hand. I was also growing things to finish the bundles in the Community Center first and foremost. If I needed to make money, I could do that by fishing much faster than farming.

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My first chicken is finally full-grown, and thanks to reader comments, I’ve discovered how to properly feed her. I also discovered the little door on the front of the coop that allows her to walk in and out of the coop during daytime to feed on available grass. I started to pay attention to the grass on my farm, clearing out areas to let it grow, and planting it around the coop to let my chicken feed.

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Very slowly, I’ve been working my skills up. Here’s where I stood during early summer. It’s pretty obvious what I enjoy doing most. 🙂

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As I was just doing stuff and minding my own business, my skills pretty much raised themselves over the early summer. Some of the levels had some nice rewards, too!

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I also kept fighting my way deeper into the mines whenever I had a day to dedicate to it (usually rainy days). I completed the “Reach Floor 40” quest, and finally started getting access to iron ore. It also seems like some of these floors have nice big treasure chests, which reward gear.

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Somewhere during early Summer, I realized that message I got at the beginning of Summer that noted there was an earthquake during the night had (I think) removed the blockage that kept me from going up north above the carpenter’s shop. Here, I found the Harvest-Moon-Style hot springs and the train tracks.

From time to time, I’ll see a message that tells me a train is coming through Stardew Valley. I’m not sure exactly what’s up with that, but I came to see it anyhow.

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The Harvey Chronicles

After getting a chicken who lays eggs, which I can turn into mayonnaise, I learned that mayo is one of the things on Harvey’s Good list of gifts. So, twice I week, I’d come in and shower him with mayo. I also bothered him as much as I possibly could otherwise.

Finally, as our friendship levels increased, I got him to talk to me about something other than washing my hands or blowing my nose.

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Yes! Small talk, but it’s a step forward!

Oh… oh… and look at this!

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He can’t resist the charms of my mayo! I knew it!

Raising Shane

I’ve also been working my magic on Shane. While he’s not (yet) a marriable character in the game, I can’t help but want to connect with him. He’s super grouchy all the time, and tells me to get lost more often than not. However, I see him going to work in the Joja market every day without fail — I know how those retail jobs can destroy your soul (I’ve been there). So he has some sympathy from me.

I discovered that Hot Peppers were a Loved gift for him. These take very little time to grow and keep growing once you plant the vine during the summer. So I started to mass produce them with all intents to turn Shane’s frown upside down.

It seems to be working!

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Summer Fun

The first summer event was the Luau. During this event, the Governor comes to visit and the folks in Stardew Valley make him a soup. I guess the better quality items you bring to put in the soup, the better the response.

I didn’t know what I was doing, nor what to bring, so I brought an egg or something. I figured an egg couldn’t go wrong, right? I got a neutral response from it, which isn’t as bad as I could have done given I had no clue about the event. Next year, I’ll be prepared!

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This event marks more or less the halfway point of Summer in Stardew Valley, so it’s a good stopping point for this post. Check back for the rest of the summer next time! 🙂