Ever since a Let’s Play got me into Stardew Valley, I’ve fallen in love with the world. It’s something special, a place to relax and get away from the world’s problems. Here, you can pay bills with the sweat of your own brow, make friends, fall in love, and can escape the drudgery of modern life. It’s magical in its own way.submitted by doctorsirus to StardewValley [link] [comments]
I’ve played hundreds of hours over multiple save files. I’ve been wondering one thing just recently, however. I remember when I first asked Robin for house upgrades and the sheer bowel-emptying amount she asked for. Seriously? That much for a kitchen? Now that I haven’t left my house for the past several weeks, fear human contact, and have deep dived into the paranormal, I’m overthinking something constantly: with regards to modern housework, does Robin the carpenter over or under charge you for her work?
To figure this out, it’s going to require a fair bit of math and a lot of guesswork. I’m going to have to establish a lot of ground rules but I’m going to try and be as accurate to real world costs as I can. We need to learn four things:
As for crafting recipes, there really isn’t anything worth talking about. Magic items I won’t talk about because it has no real world comparison; that also throws out the wizard shop’s items. The furniture catalog has nothing of note to pinepoint a date, and nor does Pierre’s General Store, Joja Mart, Joja Warehouse, the Blacksmith, Stardrop Saloon, or Marnie’s ranch. Leah doesn’t mention anything about her laptop, so that is of little help.
So the casino gives us a low bound. Although manufacturing of the plasma screen TV stopped in the US in 2014, plasma screen TVs were losing their market shares around 2007 and factories were shutting down. As you can buy them like hotcakes and fill a shed with them, 2007 is our upper bound.
The price for plasma screens was quite pricey for residential homes. 1995 was the year 42 inch plasma screens became commercial, and some had home installation priced somewhere around US$15,000. Still not quite the size of the queen or king sized bed you and your spouse have (the size of the plasma screen in the game), but sixty inch plasma screen TVs were sold around the year 2000, and that is plenty big. Given the size of the screen in the game is roughly three tiles just like your bed, I think it’s safe to say this is around the size of our estimate. Our rough year range is now 1995 to 2007. Let’s split the difference and say the game takes place in 2001.
We have our year.
To calculate the size of our farmhouse, we need some baseline measurement. Luckily, the game is pixelated so we can be quite accurate in our measurements. Unluckily, we have no confirmed height of anything, so we have to intuit some things. Reddit user asparagus made this excellent size chart, so while I can just use that and save myself a lot of work, let us do some measurements of our own and then measure the farmhouse with both this method and asparagus’ method.
First, there is the height of plants, but those can vary widely. For instance, you can pot prickly pear cactuses in your farmhouse, but their height can vary anywhere between one and seven feet. Plant height is a no go. The average height of a minifridge is forty three inches (109 cm) tall, so unless you are a dwarf, that’s not right either. The fences are also a good starting point, as most agricultural fencing stands at four feet (1.2 m).
Here we don’t have to do much; all fences are forty eight pixels in height. Four feet equals out to forty eight inches (121.92 cm). It doesn’t get more perfect than that!
Trigger warning: incoming math.
Now comes the really tricky part: getting the dimensions of each iteration of your farmhouse, and squinting at my computer screen like a mole in order to count pixels; we must include walls as well as that is included in square footage. Our first iteration has pixel measurements of 704x496. Add in the doorway (136x64pixels), and then we’ll still convert for square feet. 704 * 496 + (136 * 64) = 318,452 pixels/sq, which (dividing by 12^2) converts to 2,211.47 ft/sq. Damn, we’re well on our way for most modern mansions.
I have to have messed something up (205.45 m/sq, btw). The average firebox (the inside of a fireplace where you burn wood) tends to be around 32x20 inches (81.28x50.8 cm). Ours is... 72x40. Twice as large. I also haven’t even begun to calculate the farmhouse’s height because Robin is beginning to scare me.
Alright, new plan, we’re going with asparagus. I married Haley and took her measurements. She is 104 pixels tall, and since she is 65 inches (165.1 cm) according to asparagus, that gives us a measurement of .625 inches/pixel (1.5875 cm/pixel).
Side note, I really want some Twizlers right now.
So instead of having pixels as at a 1:1 ratio, we have something a little more lenient, but things are looking a little... grim. We’ll have to convert each individual amount, so we have (704 * .625) * (496 * .625) + ((136 * 64) * .625^2) for 124,395.31 inches/sq, 863.86 ft/sq., 80.25 m/sq. But still, we haven’t even begun to calculate the actual volume of our farmhouse yet, so these numbers are going to explode.
I’m beginning to think Robin is Hestia. Yoba is not the only deity in this town.
Alright, calculating the rest of the floor spaces is a little boring so let’s speedrun this.
Wall height for the farmhouse is 140 pixels, so (140 * .625) * 124,395.31 inches/sq / 12^3 = 6,298.95 ft^3 (178.36 m^3) for the farmhouse, and 25,800.51 ft^3 (730.58 m^3) using my method.
Just... let’s move on.
Second iteration has me doing a fair bit more work.
Wall height is 135 pixels, and rightmost—wait, the walls are shorter? Weird. Anyway, the rightmost room has dimensions of 486 for width by 375 for depth (and the same cubby dimensions), giving us cuboid dimensions of 24,603,750 pixels^3, which converts to 14,238.28 ft^3 (403.18 m^3), and 3,476.14 ft^3 (82.83 m^3) using asparagus' method
Middle corridor has a dimensional width of 42 pixels by 87 depth, giving us a total of 285.47 ft^3 (8.08 m^3), and 69.69 ft^3 (1.97 m^3) using asparagus' method.
Leftmost room (the kitchen) has a width of 870 and depth of 375, with a doorway of 136x64. That gives us a cuboid area of 314,019.38 ft^3 (29,173.11 m^3), and 6,388.74 ft^3 (180.91 m^3) using asparagus' method.
That gives us a grand total for a tier two home of...
... 328,543.13 ft^3 (29,584.37 m^3) using my method and
... 9,934.58 ft^3 (281.31 m^3) using asparagus' method.
So Robin added at a minimum 3,635.63 cubic feet to your house in three days by herself. Even if you extend the days and months to roughly align with our own calendar, that would be a mere nine days. How much powdered starfruit did she snort in order to do that by herself? I 100% believe Emily is the town’s dealer. I didn’t even calculate the length of the farmhouse loft. It’s doable, and even though you can’t enter it in the game, a bigger farmhouse means a bigger loft judging by the look of it.
Anyway, I’m not going to calculate the loft area right now. I’m not going to calculate the other tiers of your farmhouse either, even though that was my intent when I started this analysis. The math is easy enough, but it gets boring to type, and no doubt to read. Plus, I’m a little stunned by Robin's carpentry acumen. C’mon Robin, stop upgrading my house. Exercise with the girls, dance with your husband, smoke some weed, I dunno, RELAX.
But in a strange way, it makes a weird sort of sense. Pretty much no one plays the game with auto-run turned off, but do so for a moment. See how fast you move. That is your normal pace, and auto-run is you, an Olympian god, sprinting around town every second of every day, helping the shit out of everyone whether they want it or not, snorting the same starfruit mixture you got from Robin to keep going, who may have gotten it from Linus (my money is still on Emily). We’ve become so accustomed to seeing the run animation as our default I almost didn’t realize it doesn’t translate to modern life. The boards in your house, I almost took those as your normal 2x4 planks of wood (which actually measure 1.5x3.5, the world lies to me). They are not. They are almost the width of your entire body, and your walking pace (sorry I can’t get an exact pixel measurement) covers roughly one and a half boards, a similar length to a normal human gait. The art style fooled even me until now, but your house is massive.
Let’s just answer our other two questions. What is the exchange rate? Calculating the exchange rate of a fictional world is always tricky as they have different concepts of rarities, but I’ll give it the ol’ college try. Once again, I can’t do anything with magic. Let’s first list some things of note:
But by far the biggest challenge of this question is figuring out whether or not items you produce factor in the cost of your labor or not. For instance, lace is made of simple materials that even in the days of Victorian England, it was easy to get. However because lace was so time consuming to make, it could command absurd prices. Thus, one of the first things we need to discover is whether or not the game takes into account cost of labor or not.
So I am going to take you all back to school and talk about someone who’s old and dead: Adam Smith. It was he who talked about the cost of labor in his book The Wealth of Nations, and because of that, I bring up this particular line:
“...From century to century, corn is a better measure than silver, because, from century to century, equal quantities of corn will command the same quantity of labour more nearly than equal quantities of silver.”Why did I mention corn above? This is why. Prices may vary, but agriculture has been around for thousands of years and the cost of a farmer’s labor equals about the same.
According to Dylan Baumann, Stardew Valley corn plants have a profit value of 535 gold per plant. Our corn plant profits are about as high as they can get without adding something new into the mix, and we don’t want that yet.
Let’s set some ground rules:
The USDA has a 2001 labor value of corn at US$2.92 per acre (and that matches the Iowa labor statistic), and using 156 bushels per acre, that brings our labor cost per bushel at... US$00.02. That’s a real pittance. Considering bushels of corn retailed around $2.11 per bushel in 2001, that is an incredible markup of 184.85 times.
We’re almost done with the dreaded math, I swear.
Corn retails at 100g apiece in Stardew Valley(You get 50 gold from Pierre, so he has a 100% markup), meaning the labor cost should be around 184.85 times less that amount, meaning it takes about 0.54 gold to make one ear of corn.
Your average US farmers salary $55,000 and $100,000, and we’ll take the middle of $77,500 for our measurements. Dividing the farmer’s salary by the total ears of corn our farmer grows in Stardew Valley, we get a labor cost per ear of corn in US dollars of $2.10 per ear of corn. Now we multiply this by our markup ratio to get the IRL retail cost of corn in Stardew, getting US$237.08! Damn that better be some good eating! We divide that number by the Stardew Valley retail cost of corn, netting us a real world conversion of gold of, drumroll please, $2.37 US dollars per gold in 2001.
Now just for funzies, let us calculate the actual salary of your famer in Stardew Valley. Multiplying your 36,850 ears of corn by 50 gold (your selling price of gold, not the retail price of 100g), that nets you 1,842,500 gold per growing season. Multiply that by the dollagold conversion we just calculated and your real life gross income comes out to be US$436,672,500.
Give me all of the golden clocks, wizard.
Three questions down, one more to go. Currency conversion was rather tricky because it involved quite a lot of math, but this last question, what is the cost of Robin’s labor, that requires the most assumptions. There’s an easy answer and a hard answer.
Robin’s upgrades, except for the last, require you the farmer to give her resources in addition to gold. The simple answer is you are providing materials in order to keep the raw gold cost down. This means that the first house upgrade, 10,000 gold, is strictly her labor cost as the 450 wood is all the raw materials she needs to build. 3 days * 3 months (to adjust Stardew month lengths to our month lengths) comes out to Robin working an IRL equivalent to 9 days. Taking 10,000 gold / 9 days equals a cost of 1,111.111 gold per day, and considering Robin has snorted enough powdered starfruit to have 20 hour work days, that comes out to 55.56 gold per hour.
Just to be sure, let’s see if the math holds up for the last upgrade. That one requires a cost of 100,000 gold and comes preequipped with 33 casks. You do not provide the resources for the casks, meaning that comes included with the cost. Casks cannot be sold, but the materials required to make them are 20 wood and 1 hardwood, which Robin will provide for the same 100% markup (meaning 4 gold and 30 gold respectively). 4 gold * 30 gold * 33 casks comes out to 3,960 gold. Using the same calculations for the first house iteration, we get (100,000 gold - 3,960) / (3 days * 3 months) / 20 hours for a total of 533.56 gold per hour.
Not even close to our first estimate. We could just average them together for (533.56 + 55.56) / 2 = 294.56 gold, and that would be the easy answer. It would be nice to settle for the easy answer.
Let’s find the hard answer. We are going to calculate labor cost per square footage, and luckily most of the work has been done over the course of several google spreadsheets. To find the cost of materials and money per upgrade volume we get the formula (Upgrade volume - Base Volume) / 10,000 gold. This gives us a grand total of cubic material built per gold of...
...2,573.26 in^3/gold, 30.27 ft^3/gold, 2.89 m^3/gold using my method and
...628.24 in^3/gold, 0.36 ft^3/gold, 0.01 m^3/gold using asparagus’ method.
Let’s see if the math holds up for the basement upgrade and dammit I just realized I got to do more pixel measurements now. Hold on, be back in an hour.
Alright, I’m back. We don’t need to do any subtraction for the previous volume of the house considering the cellar is its own little area, but we still need to subtract the value of the materials used for the casks. The cellar comes out to a grand total of cubic materials built per gold of...
...386.91 in^3/gold, 0.22 ft^3/gold, 0.01 m^3/gold using my method and
...94.46 in^3/gold, 0.05 ft^3/gold, 0.0015 m^3/gold using asparagus’ method.
Before I get into my reasoning why, let us outline what we know first.
Here me out. I have three pieces of evidence.
The first is when Robin is hired to take on a house upgrade job no one helps her, not even her husband Demetrius. Your house is right next to hers, so you’re not paying for travel. As we have shown by our calculations above and in the gDoc spreadsheet, that is a massive amount of work. It’s simply not possible for a human to accomplish such a monumental task. Robin claims she built her own home herself with this line from the game...
“Have I told you that I built our house from the ground up? It's definitely been the highlight of my career so far.”...so we know her carpentry acumen is impressive enough for the job, but she has severely understated her skill. Homeadvisor pegs a house costing anywhere between US$150,000 to US$500,000 (US$102,005.53 to $340,018.44, adjusted for 2001 inflation), but even adjusted for inflation, Robin absolutely underbids the current housing market. Those inflation adjusted values, when converted to gold, come out to a range of 43,040.31g-143,467.70g. Granted, these prices are for a complete house, not adding onto a current house, but even if we half the value you are getting one hell of a discount.
The second piece is Robin’s language. The sheer passion for her work speaks wonders..
“Wood is a wonderful substance... it's versatile, cheap, strong, and each piece has its own unique character!”...but perhaps she is just passionate about what she does. Many people are, but knowing what we do about how dirt cheap and blindingly fast she works let’s go into more detail about some things, specifically three lines. The first...
“Our little plan worked out well, don't you think? Pam and Penny seem really happy.”...is said after Pam’s house undergoes an upgrade. “Our” plan? Sure, you are the one that buys the upgrade and Robin has to build it, but I can’t help but feel there is a double meaning behind this language. It is done out of the kindness of Robin’s heart and the materials have to come from somewhere, so she can’t do it for free, but it wasn’t about the money, as we have stated previously. It was about Penny.
Pam is a somewhat contentious person because of slobbish and slovenly nature. She is immediately and irrationally angered when Penny tries to pick the place up. She drinks heavily...
“\sigh*... My mother definitely has a problem with going to the saloon too much. But it's best not to dwell on bad things, right?”*...doesn’t seem to understand not paying her tab has some consequences, and doesn’t realize what her habits have done to her daughter’s psyche.
Then you, the player come along. Pam is okay with the simple things in life, but you help Penny with her worries and insecurities, and then with you and Robin together, you give Penny everything she needs to help her shed those worries. She has a house that doesn have problems with rain, two friends who look out for her, her mom has a job, and most importantly she has peace of mind and in a world fraught with problems, that is truly priceless.
This is the second line...
“Hey! I heard some weird noises last night, and woke up this morning to find the quarry bridge completely repaired! It's a miracle of woodworking!”...and it occurs once you offer items to the community center junimos to get the quarry bridge repaired.
It is also a bald-faced lie.
The junimos are good, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve seen what Robin can do with our own two eyes. She is absolutely incredible at her job, and while I may give it to her she has no idea what junimos are or what they are capable of, we have proof that the act of restoring the bridge in one night is not out of the realm of possibility for her. A miracle, yes, but I’m certain she can beat the junimos’ time.
Lastly, there is one quote from her that is just... it opens up some very interesting questions. When she says...
“My parents were bewildered when I told them I wanted to be a carpenter. They were pretty old-fashioned.”...how old are her parents when they consider carpentry too new-fashioned for them? Carpentry is one of the world’s oldest professions. If they were old-fashioned, why were they bewildered?
This line is just so fascinating to me. Robin is incredibly skilled, but I cannot rationalize carpentry being too newfangled for parents to wrap their head around. Who were they? Where are they from? I know your secrets, Robin, I know your parents are gods, too.
The third and final piece is the contrasting pieces of the world at large. Just like ours, it’s a little depressing. Joja Corp runs dozens of what even Cyberpunk would consider a dataslave farm. The world is flooded with consumerism run amok, Orwellian surveillance, and rampant urbanization. The Ferngill Republic is in the middle of a war with the Gotoro Empire and Kent still suffers PTSD from being in a prisoner of war camp.
Stardew Valley isn’t just a town to retire in, it is a place of respite and healing. There are three confirmed magic users deeply tied to the town’s mystical roots. The bears speak and encourage you to manage the world around you. You are rewarded for restoring balance to the valley by being able to recycle things you don’t need. Your main resource in the game, gold, also doesn’t matter that much; if it ever slips into the negative, nothing bad ever happens. You must just work to raise it back up. There is no lose condition in the game.
In many respects it is similar to the Gaiaism philosophy that all living beings are connected, each relying and depending on each other in order to maintain a peaceful coexistence. You help Shane with his nihilism and depression, Sebastian with his ability to express and accept affection, Sam with his dreams, Kent with his problems, Leah with her ambitions, Haley with her generosity and narcissism, or even simple goals like Penny’s idea of a quiet domestic life.
Whether it is the addicted, lost, or scorned, everyone is welcome and everyone can have a home in Stardew Valley. No one embodies this more than Robin who just wants a simple life. Whether it is her own house or her own boat during the Dance of the Moonlight Jellies, Robin builds it herself. The feel of wood grain, the smell of lacquer, the stickiness of stain, the thrum of the saw, and the bite of the axe. Robin doesn’t charge you nearly enough for your house upgrades because it is not about the money. Woodworking is what she loves and she lives in a place where barterism, kindness, family, and friendship substitute so many of life's modern problems and inconveniences.
Friendship increases in the game aren’t just a measurement of achievements, a means of getting more recipes, or more candles lit on a grave. You are making friends and getting to know these people for who they are and everyone’s life is bettered because of it. The amount of love I’ve seen for Linus is just staggering. Shane, in all of his melancholy and despite him not being a suitor in the original version of the game, is loved by so many. I know some despise Haley, but I love that I was able to show her what kindness can do for people.
You are in a gentle and loving place, and you are loved.
What a better place for a god to reside? A quiet town filled with peace and love, seeped in nature and the old magics of yore. A loving mate, a family to raise. Land to share with those that forage from its bounty. It’s all she needs.
Robin’s role in all of this? She desires neither worship nor admiration. She is just a friend. A god, certainly, but a friend first and foremost who is just settling down in a quiet town looking for a little peace.
Image by MagicallyClueless
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