was going through some things and found my old notebook w/ the original community center concept pic.twitter.com/cXPI77kxptApril 21, 2023
Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone, better known to many as ConcernedApe, recently rediscovered and shared some old hand-drawn concept art for the explosively popular farming life sim, and then shared a little extra after eager fans asked to see more.
In a tweet, Barone said he literally "found my old notebook with the original community center concept," complete with a description to match a rough sketch featuring the Junimo helpers. "What do they do with the bundles?" the draft asks. "Maybe return them to their proper place for you or bring them to their hut, then when you've completed a broad goal, they bring out a glowing star and add it to the plaque."
This being the Stardew fandom, which is extra active on the heels of the surprise announcement of update 1.6, plenty of fans were hoping to see some early art for other elements of the game. Barone obliged, quickly returning with concepts of mining levels which seem to be marked by the coffee stains of game development. "Yeah I always spill everything I'm holding," Barone explained in a reply.
mine levels: pic.twitter.com/h8I0XaDVzlApril 21, 2023
In a broader piece of concept art – still packed into the same college-ruled paper – Barone showed some basic versions of different spaces in the community center, as well as what look like a bunch of shortcuts that would go on to become handy features for players.
pic.twitter.com/JSneZbgu0IApril 21, 2023
We also got an early look at Morris the JojaMart manager, who looks a lot creepier as a rough ink sketch. There's just something about those... teeth.
I did find this: pic.twitter.com/ZJjOO9AoZeApril 21, 2023
It's fascinating to see the origins of Stardew Valley's myriad characters and updates, especially when so much of this old art is so similar to the final game. Barone's napkin-math style also seems oddly fitting for a game like Stardew, which has always had a clear personal touch.
To this day, Stardew Valley players are turning the game into literal science, and that includes pig-keeping.