Chucklefish Games, the developer of Starbound and publisher of Stardew Valley, has teased its next game. The company compares this upcoming title as “Stardew Valley meets Harry Potter,” and has shared a few new screenshots to give us a glimpse into its new game.
CEO of Chucklefish Finn Brice recently sat down with PC Gamer to share some details about the upcoming game. Brice was also joined by the game’s lead designer, artists Abi Cooke Hunt and Adam Riches, and designer Rosie Ball. While the game is, as Brice put it, “still a little way away from an official announcement,” they were able to talk a bit about the various inspirations for the game.
Designer Rosie Ball started out by talking about what sparked the idea for this game at Chucklefish and their process for picking new projects:
“Our first game, Starbound, was a long project which involved the entire team in some capacity. When we finished the game last year, we took the opportunity to let all team members pitch their ideas for new projects. The idea being that we’d all take a vote as a company, with the most popular pitch becoming our next game.
Initially it was thought that everyone would want to work on a shorter project after Starbound, and we did end up choosing a short project, now known as Wargroove. What surprised us most was that even though this idea was pitched as a long project, the idea of a magic school game drew everyone in and got people excited. It felt like the right time for both ideas, so we decided to do both!”
Artist Abi Cooke Hunt noted that the game’s inspiration “comes from a lot of places,” but their biggest influence comes from the works of Studio Ghibli.
“Ghibli’s work plays a particular role in the visuals we’re working to create for the game. The environments of Studio Ghibli films are so captivating and charming—we want our players to enjoy this world in that same way.
Contrary to popular belief, we were well into development before Little Witch Academia appeared on our radar. While we couldn’t say it’s been a source of inspiration from the outset, it has (perhaps needless to say) become very popular with the team.”
Finn Brice went on to say that players can “expect to have a lot to do in the final game,” including a magic system, potion making, and farming. In addition to that, there will also be a school structure incorporated into the game. Rosie Ball went on to explain a little bit more about the school aspect and how it relates to the structure in Stardew Valley:
“We are genuine fans and avid players of farming and village life simulation games, such as Stardew Valley and Rune Factory. With this project we are aiming to expand upon the genre, thematically and mechanically, taking it to places we are curious to experience ourselves.
A school operates very differently to a town. We’re working hard to include what we think are the essential elements of a school simulation while remaining within a familiar format that existing fans of the genre will be able to jump straight into.
It’s important to us that the game captures the nostalgia of school life as much as possible. Expect memorable moments drawn from our own experience that we think players will relate to. (Our team members went to school in different countries all over the world, so it is an eclectic experience we’re drawing from!) On top of that, we’re diving head first into the fantasy of what’s only possible in a magical school. It’s our personal take on the setting, and we hope to deliver something fresh and new.”
As for when the game will release and what platforms it will play on, we will have to wait a little while longer to find out. To read more from the interview, you can go here.