The characters Emily and Shane, though they were always in the town, had additional scenes and dialog added after the game's release. Their additions as romance options came about due to their popularity with the Stardew Valley player community. Games designed for women are out there-even those that emphasize romance-but they generally are somewhere on the sidelines. Two new characters were opened up as marriage candidates in the game more than the others, after a patch added them as choices. The author found the female love interests compelling, which is typically the case when a game is written by a male developer. His seasons on the farm did not have much to do with romance, but he did slowly meet all the people within the town of Stardew Valley. The community response to characters like Shane has shown me that people really do want realistic characters whose story arcs tackle serious problems.