Music to harvest and relax to: how the Stardew Valley soundtrack caught the rhythms of the seasons | Culture

eEarlier this year, Eric Barone was approached by singer-songwriter Molly Rankin of power pop group Alvvays. The one creative behind the hit farming simulator Stardew Valley, the game developer best known as His Force, was asked if he’d like to contribute art to the band’s new single, Many Mirrors. Barone never limited himself or left things half-hearted, instead making entire music videos. “That’s how I work,” he says. “I will not hold back.”

You can tell from the work that Barone is pouring his whole body and soul into it. He’s almost seven years old now, but his still-popular Stardew Valley is an extension of himself. When he does graphics, programming, audio, systems, and writing all at once, he projects a pretty complete image of who he is to the world. Some find him daunting, but Barone embraces it.

“The reason Stardew Valley’s music fits the game—what you see and what you hear—is because it all comes from me,” he says. “I am the ‘something’ that holds it all together. My goal, at its core, is to want to connect with the rest of humanity, and perhaps connect them with me in some way.”

However, Barone explains that he has only revealed a part of his soul to the world so far. Stardew Valley represents just one side of him. So Stardew earns enough in his valley that he hardly ever needs to work again, but he makes more games, participates in more projects, and superstars his indie his The band’s music drives him to create videos.

Stardew Valley has become the unofficial mascot of the “cozy” game. Low-risk, low-risk interactive fun that offsets the gung-ho shooters that dominate the blockbusters of the video game industry. Also, the soundtrack has over 40 million plays on Spotify. Not bad for a game with around 20 million sales.

Eric Barone: “Making video games is my way of sharing who I am with the world.”

Interestingly, Barone had no musical training. “It was all intuitive,” he says. “It came from how I feel about the seasons and translating it into sound. I don’t know if I can really teach it. I’m glad people like the music, and Stardew Valley is more relaxed, more aggressive.” Given that it’s more casual, accessible, and appealing to people, I’m glad it managed to establish itself as a more unique game, at least when it was released. Soundtrack: Modern life is crazy and people are looking for refuge and respite from everything that’s going on, and they can find that in Stardew Valley and its music.”

Barone says he believes game sounds are therapeutic, and I agree. Even the more downbeat tracks, which mention “Melancholy Autumn” and “Lonely Winter,” carry optimistic undertones. And it’s intentional. “Everything in Stardew is driven by emotion,” explains Barone. “When I describe these tracks as ‘loneliness’ or ‘melancholy’, I don’t mean it in a negative way. There is beauty in loneliness, there is beauty in seasonal melancholy. Especially dark. Seasons. I don’t think of these things as negative, but as awe-inspiring.”

Autumn may be lighter than summer, but winter is more minor-key than spring, but there is always beauty in the songs played.Winter (Nocturne of Ice) is a classic piece inspired by the night. named after Originally, Stardew’s music was more “video game-ish” and he used the SNES sound so that “Super sounds like NES’s Harvest he Moon his game,” he said. says Barone. However, he eventually decided to walk away from it. He lifted the music along with the graphics, making it more orchestral and realistic.

The music is timed to disperse ambient noise such as babbling brooks, chirping birds, and rustling leaves so that only a few songs are heard per day. As good video game music always does, these songs amplify what you, the player, are doing at the moment and envelop you more fully in the game world.

Barone’s favorite track in the game, Dance of the Moonlight Jellies, comes with a key moment in the player’s experience in Stardew Valley. It is a nightly festival where townspeople gather to watch jellyfish migrations. Coming at the end of the summer season, the game marks a point where you really start to understand the social and mechanical nuances of gaming. “It’s something I always think of when I think of Stardew Valley music,” he says Barone.

The Moonlight Jelly Dance – an event that can easily be missed and offers no rewards – is a serene moment of unity, beauty and tranquility in a world that otherwise demands so much of your time. A midnight oasis to sit and enjoy the music. It’s a reflection of what Stardew Valley is all about and what Barone is trying to achieve. I can see why it’s his favorite track.

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