Chucklefish designer Tom Coxon, who is currently working on Stardew Valley multiplayer with Eric Barone, has finally released a few details on how exactly multiplayer will work. Coxon states that they’ve finally pinned down a few of the technical issues and are confident enough with their work to give use a glimpse of the gameplay.
Firstly, you can build up to three cabins on your farm. This prompt will come at the beginning of the game, Robin will ask how many you want. Each of these cabins will belong to one of your friends and thus under their control. Each friend will also act as a farmhand. They don’t mention if this prompt will come up on an older save file.
Farmhands can farm, mine, fight, forage, marry NPCs (friends will even be able to marry each other), and take part in festivals. The marriage between players has not yet been sussed out yet, but they do know that it won’t use the mermaid pendant. Don’t think this is the easy way out though, as they want to make sure that there will still be a great of wooing involved even if you are already friends.
Each friend will have their own inventory, and if their not around, you can rifle through their stuff in a chest in their cabin. Hopefully this is a feature that will be respected and not abused. That said, there are limitations. Only the main player can decide when to sleep, start and end festivals, and what interactions they would prefer with NPCs. Coxon uses the example of siding with Joja for the latter.
On the technical side, Coxon says that you can invite friends to your farm through Steam. Though they haven’t figured out how non-Steam version will work yet, so but it will likely be similar. At the moment, Coxon states, they are focusing on making sure multiple games will be synchronized over the network. A decent hurdle to be sure, as he makes it clear just how difficult it is to add multiplayer to a game that doesn’t already have it.
The update will be coming early 2018 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. But before the end of the year, they want to beta test the multiplayer on Steam. If you’ve got mods, be sure to update your mods during the beta period. After all that is through, the PS4, Xbox One, and the Switch will be getting the update as well.
Coxon will also like everyone to keep in mind that “local multiplayer, split-screen and PVP are not planned at this point.” Perhaps that will come after they’ve got everything figured out with the multiplayer, and only then can Stardew take advantage of the Switch’s local multiplayer features.
Source: Stardew Valley