There are two things almost everyone knows about Stardew Valley. The game is heavily inspired by Harvest Moon, and it took an insane amount of work for its one-man team to create. In an interview with GQ, Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone elaborates upon both topics.
A love of Harvest Moon
“I liked that you could have relationships with the townsfolk, and even get married and start a family. That was something you couldn't do in most games I played as a kid, and it made the experience much more personal. That you were living in a world that felt alive, time moved forward with or without your input. It was easy to imagine that the world was very much alive.”
The insane work that went into Stardew Valley
“I put in thousands of hours on pixel art just to get better at it and better at it. I just persevered and forced myself to learn. You realize the thing that you thought was good actually isn’t. You realize why and you improve on it. And that’s just an endless cycle. ...It was definitely a struggle to keep my sanity.”