Strabound developer and Stardew Valley publisher Chucklefish Games has once again teased its upcoming, unannounced “Stardew Valley meets Harry Potter” game with a duo of new screenshots, as well as a few details about the already anticipated game.
The new details come via an interview with PC Gamer, who recently sat down to chat about said unannounced game with Finn Brice, CEO of Chucklefish and the game’s lead designer, artists Abi Cooke Hunt and Adam Riches, and designer Rosie Ball.
The details start with Brice confirming that Chucklefish is “still a little way away from an official announcement,” as it wants to make sure it gets “the tone and feel of the game just right before it sends it out into world.”
Meanwhile the aforementioned designer Abi Cooke Hunt revealed that while the game has often been grabbing headlines as “Stardew Valley meets Harry Potter,” it also has perhaps less obvious inspirations.
“Our inspiration for the game world and art comes from a lot of places,” said Cooke Hunt. “People have picked up on the influence of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, but some of our biggest inspirations have been things like Studio Ghibli’s rendition of Kiki’s Delivery Service, Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series and Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books.”
The designer continues:
“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.”
Chucklefish also revealed some of the game’s systems, including magic, potion making, and farming systems. Further details of each were not provided, but it was said the goal is to make sure each system is rewarding and satisfying on its own. “Expect to have a lot to do in the final game,” says Brice.
PC Gamer also asks what should fans expect in terms of the game’s school system, as well as whether or not the game will follow Stardew Valley’s lead in terms of systems and structure. To this, Ball responds:
“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.”
Platforms, a release date, and a title have yet to be divulged. But as mentioned above, two new screenshots have, both of which you can check out below alongside the previously released screenshot from the other week.
If you want, you can also check out Chucklefish Game’s other upcoming game, the Advanced Wars-inspired WarGroove.