Death's Door

Tending the crops - JennaJuffuffles

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In this community feature, we're joined by JennaJuffuffles - the curator of the Stardew Valley VERY Expanded and Aesthetic Valley collections for Stardew Valley. These mod lists have risen to the top of the most downloaded and highest-rated Collections available today. With the release of Stardew Valley 1.6 edging closer by the day, Jenna shares her top tips for making a successful collection. 
 

Thanks for joining us today, Jenna. To get started, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I go by Jenna Juffuffles online and I'm a bit of an old lady gamer now—I'll be forty this year! I've always played games. My favorite overall genre is probably survival with base building. My most played genre has been MMOs, because community is super important to me and I've built a lot of lasting friendships. I think my love for modding really took root when I was in college with Morrowind. 


Can you remember how you first discovered Stardew Valley? What is it that keeps you playing the game?

I played a lot of Animal Crossing: New Horizons at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when cozy games became super important to me. That was the first game I live-streamed on Twitch. 

I'd had a few friends recommend Stardew Valley years before, and I had bounced off of it the first time I played (probably because of fishing!) When I decided it was time to expand to another cozy game and gave Stardew Valley a second chance, I fell in love. 

I keep coming back to Stardew Valley because of the stories you can tell, the capacity of mods to expand those stories, and the opportunities to share stories in multiplayer.




Probably the most important question - which villager is your favourite? 

This will probably start an outrage, but my favorite vanilla villager is Haley. I love how much she grows, how she is motivated to improve the lives of others, and I love her (secret) room. She has a lot of space to grow, especially in her relationship with her big sister Emily, and if you become friends you get to help her find those opportunities. 

I know most player's first interaction with her is considered rude, but you HAVE been doing the hard sweaty work of cleaning up the farm, you probably do smell awful!


If you had to pick your two favourite mod authors for Stardew Valley, who would it be and why?

I think I'd have to say Pathoschild, for sure, since their Content Patcher mod makes so much of what I do possible, and their Automate, Lookup Anything, and Chests Anywhere mods add a whole other level to multiplayer games that I find critical.

I also want to show appreciation to the creative team working on East Scarp. It's a large ongoing project but they have a wonderfully welcoming community, and I'd love to take this chance to appreciate them all!


You're the curator of two of the most popular collections for Stardew Valley - Stardew Valley VERY Expanded and Aesthetic Valley. What was the inspiration behind these two mod lists? 

I wanted to create a multiplayer collection for myself and a couple of friends to live stream on Twitch. I wanted to create a collection that elevated the vanilla game and made the world feel larger but still be the game we all loved. I wanted the world to be big enough for us all to have our own adventures, both on and off the farm. 

My friends HickoryHamSamm, TracyNeproski, and I streamed the Stardew Valley VERY Expanded collection for over a year, and had a chaotic, wonderful time before retiring our farm. Even when I'm between games, I'm happy to continue maintaining the collection so others can explore this (thanks to the mod creators) ever-growing world.

Aesthetic Valley was meant for a dear friend who wanted to play a smaller, but more beautiful game of Stardew Valley with me. I really loved the visual enhancement collection I put together for us to use... and she HATED it! Hah! But that's the lovely thing about visual mods, you can have a near completely different list than your friend and still play together when they have outrageous opinions about player noses.


What would you say are the challenges in curating a good collection of mods? 

I would certainly recommend against just throwing all of the mods into the Luau pot without any research. This will create more work for you in the long run (and the governor will NOT love the flavor!)

There can be conflicts between mods or their requirements so a lot of reading is necessary. I found it helpful when I picked a mod to consider what other mods were supported by its requirements, to help keep my requirements list under control. 

There also needs to be an understanding of the kind of game experience you want to create, and considering the collection categories might be a good place to start. Do you want to create a Total Overhaul or a Vanilla Plus collection? Maybe a Themed Collection, or an Essentials Collection? Or is your idea something totally different?

Before you start your list I'd recommend looking at what is already available. Review collections and popular mods to get an idea of what your collection might contain. You might even find another curator has already done the work for you!




Do you have any tips for new curators looking to build their perfect Stardew Valley loadout? 

Create the collection that YOU want to play! Get other people excited to try it out by making your collection description fun and informative. I even created artwork for my description, just to add my personal flair! 

Creating your collection is only the first step. Be ready to add updates and help people find solutions when their installation doesn't work out quite right! When you share a collection, you volunteer to be a steward for that collection and the wonderful community that might grow around it! 


Are you excited about Stardew Valley's 1.6 update? Are there any new features that stand out to you? 

The super honest but boring answer is I'm most happy to see major improvements for modders. I know there are really important changes coming on that front, and I'm deeply excited to see performance improvements. 

Teasers for this update have been great, from new events to winter costumes, so I can't wait to see what ConcernedApe (Eric Barone) will surprise us with! I think this update will be a good excuse for some of us to start a new game or return to our favorite farm.

Personally, I will be putting all of the hats on my cat. 


What are your feelings about The Haunted Chocolatier - a new game developed by Eric Barone which is due to release around 2025? 

Been grooving to the bee jam for a while now! Can't wait to learn more, but I know ConcernedApe will release it when it is ready. Totally trust that whatever he brings to the table with his next game will be amazing and fresh. Plus, the concept is just too cute—ghosts and chocolate? Heck yes!


Have you got anything else you'd like to share with the community? 

Of course, I couldn't do what I do without the amazing mod community who shares their creations on Nexus. It is a true privilege to help showcase work of all of the creators that are featured in my collections.

I am also constantly humbled by how many people have told me that my collection has helped them find new life in a favorite game they'd put down a long time ago. Thank you all for your continued encouragement!


A big thank you to JennaJuffuffles for taking the time to talk to us! If there's an author or mod project you'd like to know more about, send your suggestions to Happybara or Pickysaurus

20 comments

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  1. GoofiestGoober7
    GoofiestGoober7
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    Thank you for the all of your hard work and the tips! 
  2. AgentPhoenixCupcake
    AgentPhoenixCupcake
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    Hi there, I'm one of the upcoming East Scarp mod makers. (I'm not published yet, but someday!) Thanks for the shout-out. Your words here are really sweet! We're all super excited to bring updates to our stuff with the new features in 1.6, and can hardly wait to enjoy everyone else's stuff too. <3
    1. Kamalei
      Kamalei
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      lol
    2. Zakken21
      Zakken21
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      Thank you for your upcoming work!!
    3. drkaii
      drkaii
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      lol
    4. Beastrider69
      Beastrider69
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      Just got this game last week and I love it, it is a top notch game for sure, you doing a great job.
      On a side note, trying to find a mod with no ponds for the stranded farm map, there a few out there but they all seam broken(  ,
      have tons of time on my hands so extra building room on that map would be nice. I'm sure a lot of other people  would love that as well.
    5. idaa
      idaa
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      lol
    6. Goodguy39
      Goodguy39
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      yes thank you too I'm glad to be part of this nexus mods
    7. VearCon64
      VearCon64
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      For a second I thought the title was tending the cops. XD
  3. VearCon64
    VearCon64
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    For a second I thought the title was tending the cops. XD
  4. digitalmeta
    digitalmeta
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    Thank you for upcoming work.
  5. ManjarateGang
    ManjarateGang
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    TeamHaley Forever!!
  6. jayserpa
    jayserpa
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    Nice one! I know now what I'm installing in my next Stardew Valley playthrough. Thanks for sharing!
    1. Idkusertakenisidk
      Idkusertakenisidk
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      Wait you play Stardew Valley???
    2. LordMithro
      LordMithro
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      I knew jayserpa was a person of good taste and style. This confirms my instincts.
    3. PayloadG
      PayloadG
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      my favorite skyrim modder here.dang,just surprised.cool
  7. Madmaster01
    Madmaster01
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    The Very Expanded collection is a very nice intro into Stardew modding. I have little to no issues with it. I do think there are some mods that could be added to the collection like some of the character mods related to East Scarp, but overall is a complete package that expands Stardew Valley without feeling overwhelming or vastly different from the tone of the vanilla game. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting a first modded playthrough of Stardew Valley.
    Thank you JennaJuffuffles for all the work you do curating the collection.
  8. Echelon
    Echelon
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    I thoroughly enjoyed this read. And those collections, WOW! I will be booting up SDV after a 3 yr hiatus just to play those. Love how modular and compatible you have made them. Keep up the great work!

    I am also constantly humbled by how many people have told me that my collection has helped them find new life in a favorite game they'd put down a long time ago. Thank you all for your continued encouragement!

    This couldn't be more true!
  9. 2077v2
    2077v2
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    Another great interview. Thank you Nexus and thank you JennaJuffuffles for sharing.
  10. hxntxihero
    hxntxihero
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    thanks to her!