NPC diversity

Lappy

Farmhand
As I played through my first farm, one of the things that really drew me into the game was the variety of situations everyone lived in and how different their histories were. For example:

Someone who lost his mother and doesn't want a relationship with his father, who now lives with his grandparents
Someone who chooses to be houseless and live off the land
Someone who re-married and has had a child with each husband
A mother raising two children while her husband is deployed
The deployed husband returning later in the game and dealing with PTSD
Characters dealing with drinking problems (their own or others')
Characters living in a trailer
Adult siblings sharing a living space without their parents

I could go on and on. I love that Penny wants to teach kids and hates alcohol because of what it does to her mother. I love that Leah moved to the Valley to find herself as an artist. I love that video game nerds, coders, and jocks are all represented, that some take longer than others to warm to you, and that some are pretty self-absorbed.

However, something lacking variation in this cast of characters as they are currently comprised is their skin tone. Save for Demetrius and Maru, everyone is a shade of white. I don't get any sense that anyone in the Valley is of Asian, Latin, or Native American (presuming the Valley is in the Americas) descent.

I also appreciate that your romantic choices were not limited to one gender - that you could choose either, or both. However, none of the established romantic interests/relationships in the town are between same-sex villagers.

On my first playthrough, I married Leah. The second time around, I gave bouquets to each of the twelve single villagers, and played through each 10-heart event, just to see what they all were.

I was disappointed to find that for the same-sex relationships (at least, male/male - I haven't seen the female/female events) each of the six said something along the lines of "I've never felt like this way about a man before." This might be true for some characters (for example, it is alluded that Sebastian has liked Abigail for quite some time), but I don't think this should be the case for all the characters.

And on the flip side, perhaps some NPCs would prefer relationships with the same sex, so they would be surprised to be interested in someone of the opposite sex.

I hope that more NPCs will find their way to the Valley, if not in the next big update, then perhaps sometime after that. I greatly enjoy the different jobs, interests, and personalities found in the game. I would also like to see more NPC diversity in each of the areas mentioned above. I understand that race and sexual orientation are touchy subjects for many people, especially the latter, but they really should not be. Broadening the range of characters in ANY way would make the game more relatable to more players, and would better reflect the spectrum of the player base.

But even without introducing more characters, I think most, if not all, of the NPC dialogue should be re-written such that they are not surprised at their interest in someone of the same sex.
 
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Well, you have different species. But I believe this is all fantasy so it really doesn't matter. I get where you are coming from. I believe there was also a game suggestion for non binary options for sex. The ideas have merit. But most players have not stressed this much. So I would say the mod route would be the better option. :)
 

Boo1972

Sodbuster
I would love to have more marriage candidates of color. I’d love to be able to have a virtual family resemble my family IRL. When I play, I make some of the characters have different ethnicities - Marnie is Korean, Gus is Latinex, Leah is Indian. But I wanted to marry Demetrius before I realized he was married. I like them tall dark and handsome.
 

27dschild

Tiller
I would love to have more marriage candidates of color. I’d love to be able to have a virtual family resemble my family IRL. When I play, I make some of the characters have different ethnicities - Marnie is Korean, Gus is Latinex, Leah is Indian. But I wanted to marry Demetrius before I realized he was married. I like them tall dark and handsome.
The thing is, pelican town is a small town. In places like that there isn’t going to be much diversity
 

Nanny Pixel

Greenhorn
I agree 100% with both more ethnic diversity of NPCs and non-binary options for PCs required (I assume the Dwarf and Krobus are non-binary, though some human NBs would be good too).

In terms of gay relationships,
I believe Leah has a cutscene where she talks about an ex girlfriend in the city.
There could certainly be more diversity there too, and certainly they shouldn’t *all* be surprised about a same-sex romance.

Agree that Stardew Valley is clearly not set on modern day Earth and therefore is free to have whatever diversity it wants, and allow its players to marry a Black woman if they so choose.

If Zuzu Is being added, please please please take this as an opportunity to draw some of the characters as diverse in terms of sexuality, ethnicity, gender.
 
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Lappy

Farmhand
In terms of gay relationships,
I believe Leah has a cutscene where she talks about an ex girlfriend in the city.
Kel, Leah's ex, is gendered to match the player's. I haven't played as a woman, but I would assume Leah wouldn't be surprised, as Kel is referenced, and later seen.
 
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