Last week, Chucklefish shared some more details about the multiplayer features for Stardew Valley, which is coming to the Nintendo Switch later this year. They explain that shortly after beginning the game, Robin will offer you to build up to 3 cabins on your farm. Each one houses a farmhand.
Farmhands are controlled by your friends, and they can do almost anything you can do: farm, mine, fight, fish, forage, marry NPC, and even take part in festivals! However, there are certain things only the main players can do: choosing when to sleep, when to start/end festivals, or who to side with in specific situations.
And to avoid any issues, each player has their own inventory. When they’re not connected, you can manage your friends’ inventory through a chest in their cabin.
Chucklefish also mention player-to-player marriage (a highly-requested feature), and that’s something they want to make available as a feature. It will use a different items than marriage with NPC (the mermaid pendant), but they don’t quite know what it will be just yet. What they do know is that marrying someone will still require a lot of effort!
Apparrently, the developers are not planning to add local multiplayer, splitscreen or PVP (at this point), but the post is specifically about the Steam version so it’s not clear if Nintendo Switch will have local multiplayer/split-screen or not.
In the blog post, the developers explain that the biggest technical hurdle for multiplayer has been synchronising multiple games over the internet. They have had to edit every single source file, and rewrite no less than 15 000 lines of code. Adding multiplayer to a game that wasn’t originally designed to have one is definitely harder than it may seem.
Here’s everything the developers have to work on now:
- Implementing the farmhand cabins
- UI and menus
- Events and festivals
- Multiplayer NPC relationships
- Polish, testing and optimisation
Unfortunately, it looks like multiplayer will not be released before Early 2018… at the earliest, especially on consoles.
Here’s a few screenshots, as well as a picture of the game running on an actual Nintendo Switch console:
Stardew Valley (Switch – eShop) should be released before the end of the year.