This Week at Lavaboots: Challenge Chests!


Ahoy mateys!

This week we've been working on a fun and new repeatable challenge for you to participate in along your pirate journey. We are calling this new content challenge chests. So let's hop right into what you can expect!


Pirate Challenge Chest


Now, whenever you visit a pirate island, you will come across a new unique looking chest. Unlike other treasure chests, this one cannot be opened with a key. Instead, you have to clear the island of all the pirates to unlock it. These chests will have some unique rewards different from normal chests so as to encourage you to loot them as well. There will also be different tiers of challenge chests depending on the island difficulty. 


Deer Challenge Chest


Get your bow ready. You will now have a similar opportunity to unlock chests in hunting shacks by hunting down all the deer on an island. As with the pirate chests, these will contain unique loot and rewards. You will also get better rewards for opening chests on larger islands. 


Tokens



Each chest you open will have a guaranteed token drop: either a pirate token or a hunter token. You can collect these tokens and trade them into Sea Collectors for really nice and unique items. Speaking of the Sea Collector, he is going to have a lot of new items you are going to want to get, including some nice looking new ships! 


Additional Changes


This week we also added in a fun new cloak that allows you to glide in the air. This won't be easy to get and you'll have to figure out how on your own, but the reward is definitely worth it! We also added in some new arrow types that you can craft with feathers you get from hunting birds. These arrows have unique effects and will provide a good reason to try your bow skills against the islands new flying inhabitants. We are also still working hard on Sea Treasure and are making some good progress in that regard! 


As always, thanks for reading and let us know if you have any feedback or questions! 




This Week at Lavaboots: Birds!

Hey everyone!

We're still working hard on the next update and expect to have it out on the testing branch soon! This week we started working on implementing a new feature we are very excited about: birds! We've also been working on some new quest related NPCs, added some new item rewards, and more!

Birds




In this next update you can expect to see little birds flying around islands! The new birds add, not only new wildlife to hunt, but a new sense of atmosphere to the game. There will be multiple colors of birds, some more rare than others. There will also be quest related items that you can get from birds such as feathers. We are also adding in the ability to make special arrows using the feathers you get from hunting birds!

Overall we think birds are going to add a fun new gameplay and aesthetic element to the game!

New NPCs and Items



This week we've also been working on getting some new quest related NPCs in and working. In addition to that we've been adding in some more new items. Some of these are related to the new quests and some are items you get from collecting bird feathers!


Thanks for reading and as always we'd love to hear your feedback!

This Week at Lavaboots: Death Screen, New Quests, In-Game Options

Hey everyone!

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our blog post on Update 1.9.5, coming out soon. That post contains a lot of information on the main content you can expect to see in the next update. We're still working hard on that and have added a few new changes this week! Here's a look at what we've been working on.


New Death Screen


Let's face it, it was high time for a new death screen. This week we implemented a brand new death screen with the option to respawn, quit, or rage quit (quit to desktop.) We also added a nice little randomized text at the bottom of the screen. 


In-Game Options


This week we also added in a new in-game options menu so you can control graphics, sound, and gameplay options in real time. We even added some new graphics options such as motion blur, anti aliasing, and a brightness setting. 


New Quests and Items


Along with the new Sea Collector NPC will be some new quests! This week we began implementing a new quest line we are calling the "Path of the Ancients." As with most quests, there will be some nice loot at the end if you can figure out how to complete it. We've also got another Sea Collector related quest that involves a new spider boss!


We expect this update to be on the testing branch soon but we'll keep you updated when we know more! As always, we'd love to hear your feedback as well.


A Look At Update 1.9.5 - Treasures in the Sea


Ahoy mateys!

Today we wanted to give you a look at the next patch coming out, Update 1.9.5 - Treasures in the Sea. This is a pretty big update as far as content goes and we're still working hard on getting everything implemented and polished. We are also still working on multiplayer implementation and are making some great progress with that.

Let's dive into some of the content coming in the next update!


Sea Treasure


You've been requesting more content at sea for quite some time, and so we've started implementing some new ocean content we are calling Sea Treasure. Sea Treasure will spawn randomly out in the ocean and you'll have to find it and pull it up via a boat upgrade item known as the Treasure Grabber. In order to get the treasure though, you'll have to rank up with a new NPC known as the Sea Treasure Hunter. He'll require special coins that can only be found in Sea Treasure to rank up with him. As you rank you up, he'll get give you better treasure hunting items to find more rare treasure. And of course, the rarer the treasure, the harder it'll be to find. We are working on some neat puzzle mechanics for finding rare, epic, and legendary sea treasure. 


Abandoned Campsites


With this update we are adding a new discoverable place on natural islands: abandoned campsites. These campsites will contain various resources, quest items, lore books, and finally, rum! What's a pirate game without rum anyways? 


Sea Collector NPC 


Many of the items you find at abandoned campsites will be collectible quest items that you can turn in to a new NPC known as the Sea Collector. He will mainly be a trade NPC that will have very unique and rare items, some of which are quest items leading to legendary weapons that he will give you in exchange for the collectibles you find throughout the world. 


New Ocean Waves


In this next update we are increasing the deep ocean wave sizes and adding a chance for rare, huge waves. This new wave system will make navigating the deep waters a lot more fun and challenging!
 

Main Menu Changes


We've also made some subtle changes to the main menu, adding a randomly generated island in the background, some new graphical effects, and the ability to slightly move the camera, giving it a more immersive feel. 


Additional Changes


In addition to lots of new items, weapons, quests, and lore, we've also made performance improvements, made some changes to NPC's such as giving them the ability to turn towards you when talking, and a bunch of audio changes such as new greeting sounds and sound effect improvements. We've also re-textured various weapons in the game to improve their look.



Overall this update is coming along well and we expect it to be out soon! As always, we'd love to hear your feedback!

Game Design in Salt: Music


Often we like to give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of our design and development processes so you can understand why certain aspects of the game are the way they are, and so you can look for these philosophies sprinkled throughout our content. Today I want to talk about our design philosophy behind the music in Salt.

The Importance of Music

We believe that music plays a major role in the development of a game. Many games are even known or stand out for their music. Think of The Last of Us with the haunting acoustic guitar melodies, adding a tremendous amount of atmosphere to the time between the tension. Or Dark Souls with the brilliant boss music adding a new level of intensity to an already tense battle. Some games even have musical melodies that are almost universally recognized among gamers (like Ocarina of Time).

Knowing that, we wanted to make sure the music in Salt felt right. We didn’t want it to be too generic or easy to just pass by. We wanted music that really helped the game and further immersed you into your adventure.

Scarcity of Music

One major design decision we made early on was to have music somewhat uncommon. We didn’t really like the idea of music constantly playing. I often find that this can become over stimulating and actually take away from the atmosphere of the world, thus making you less immersed.

With Salt being a game where you spend a large amount of time at sea, it seemed natural to have music play then. And so we wrote a system where music had a certain percentage chance of occurring while you were out in the open ocean (we define open ocean as being a certain number of units from islands). This turned out to work really well. Often you ended up with some down time on the large expanses of ocean, waiting for another island to emerge, and so it was nice to have some epic melodies play while your boat is crashing up and down on the waves heading towards the horizon.

We recently decided to expand this system to islands as well. We have specifically wrote shorter, less intrusive melodies that have a chance of occurring when you are exploring certain islands. This still keeps within our philosophy of keeping music scarce since it won’t occur on every island, and it won’t always happen. But when it does we feel that it adds a nice sense of calm and relaxation when exploring some natural islands.

Thematic Music

Another big design decision was to split almost all of the music in the game into two categories: night and day. For example when you are sailing out into the ocean, if it’s during the day, there’s a certain pool of songs that the game can pick from. All of these songs are specifically designed with the theme of daytime in mind. This means they will be more upbeat, happy, epic feeling, etc. And vice versa when you are sailing at night, there’s a pool of nighttime exclusive songs with a more sad, eerie, or even relaxing feel. This system also extends to island music.

Boss Music

While we chose not to have music play during common battles, we knew that bosses had to have music. A boss battle just doesn’t really feel like a boss battle without the appropriate music. And so we’ve composed some unique tunes for each boss battle in the game. Some of the songs even share similarities with a twist, such as the Spider Queen vs the Jungle Queen music.

Music You Can Control

In a more recent update, we introduced musical instruments that players can find in the world. One of the design philosophies behind musical instruments was to give the player more control over music in their game. We know that players have different preferences: some want to hear music more often, others would prefer it to be more refrained. Now with musical instruments you have more control over when you want to hear music. We’ve added around eleven new instruments, each with a different theme to suit your playstyle or the feeling you’d like to convey with music in your adventure.


Even though we’re always tweaking and polishing our systems, we are pretty happy with the way the music has turned out. What do you all think? We love hearing your feedback and would love to hear your thoughts on the music system in Salt. 


Update 1.9.4 - Songs of the Seas is Now Available!


Update 1.9.4: Songs of the Seas is now available! This update includes a lot of new content and changes so let's go over some of the content you can expect to see in this update.


Musical Instruments and The Composer NPC


Hanging out at the Inn you'll be able to find a new NPC known as The Composer. This NPC features an entirely new quest line that will allow you to unlock and earn musical instruments that you can play throughout your journey. These instruments also give you buffs in additional to nice melody for your adventure! With the new Composer NPC you can also earn new gear. And we may have added some secrets as well...

Steam Achievements


We have now added Steam Achievements for Salt! We are very excited about this and we tried to design some fun and challenging achievements for you to work toward. 


Audio Changes


With this update we've also added a slew of audio changes and improvements. One such change is new boat sounds. Now when you are sailing in your big ship you can hear creaks, sail flaps, and things of that nature. We've also added new footstep sounds, and a new save sound. 


Patch Notes


Here is a full list of the patch notes. 

Added steam achievements.
Added a new NPC known as The Composer.
Added new musical instrument items.
Added new quests and item rewards.
Added music for the first time you use the raft.
Added new loading screens.
Added new secrets.
Added new boat sounds.
Added new footstep sounds and increased the variety of sounds that can play.
Added a new save sound.
Fixed white deer set bonus not applying properly.
Updated short sword model.
Fixed a bug that would have you receive multiple "Blood Jungle" items when completing the quest.
The Sea Scholar will no longer charge gold for books you have sold to him.
Fixed an error that would cause sound to sometimes not work properly after a death.


Progress on Multiplayer


We know many of you are awaiting the Multiplayer update, and we want to thank you for your continued patience. It is a large undertaking, but it will definitely be worth the time investment. More and more progress is made daily. We do not yet have an ETA on its completion.

Update 1.9.4 - Songs of the Seas now on Testing Branch!



We have just pushed update 1.9.4 to the Steam testing branch. If you'd like to opt into the testing branch and help us find any bugs before an official push, go here for instructions on how to opt in.

This update adds a lot of new content and changes including musical instruments, a new NPC known as The Composer, new secrets, Steam Achievements, audio changes, bug fixes, and more! Please note that the achievements are hidden currently but their descriptions will be unlocked upon the official push. In the mean time, you can read the patch notes and descriptions of the current achievements below.

Here's a list of the patch notes:

Update 1.9.4 Patch Notes


Added steam achievements. While the patch on the testing branch, these achievements will be hidden until achieved. See below for a list of achievements.
Added a new NPC known as The Composer.
Added new musical instrument items.
Added new quests and item rewards.
Added music for the first time you use the raft.
Added new loading screens.
Added new secrets.
Added new boat sounds.
Added new footstep sounds and increased the variety of sounds that can play.
Added a new save sound.
Fixed white deer set bonus not applying properly.
Updated short sword model.
Fixed a bug that would have you receive multiple "Blood Jungle" items when completing the quest.
The Sea Scholar will no longer charge gold for books you have sold to him.
Fixed an error that would cause sound to sometimes not work properly after a death.


List of Initial Achievements


Gold Digger - Obtain over 10,000 gold. 
Lore Master - Have at least 50 lore books in your inventory. 
Pardon Me - Craft the Pardon Pusher. 
We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat - Craft The Maiden. 
High As A Kite - Obtain a Hightop Bloom Flower. 
Robinson Who-soe? - Sail past the 1000 unit mark.
The Turtle Club - Obtain a set of Turtle Armor. 
Holy Mackerel - Fish up a Gigantic Mouth Seabass.
It Exists? - Fish up a Dragon Fish. 
Monster Hunter - Defeat the Dark Guardian
Arachnophobia - Kill the Spider Queen. 
And My Axe! - Obtain the Loreman's Lofty Axe.
That's Hardcore - Defeat Draegan on Hardcore Mode.
Master Navigator - Obtain the Golden Compass. 
Woodworker - Obtain the Druid Spirit Idol. 
Legendary - Obtain a legendary item. 
Skimmy Dipping - Get the Jungle Skimmy boat. 
Journalist - Obtain all journal inks. 
Mad Hatter - Obtain the Lucky Fisherman's Hat.
Like A Boss - Defeat every boss in the game. 
A True Adventurer - Complete the main quest line. 
Merchant Master - Complete every merchant quest in the game. 
Oh Deer - Hunt and kill The Alpha Stag.
Where Everyone Can See - Place a flag on the tallest of mountains.
Map Quest - Map 100 islands at 100% accuracy.
Lovely Bones - Purify the Ancient Skull.
Galley Gallery - Decorate your boat with a painting.
Shoot Da Fruit! - Knock fruit from a tree and shoot it with an arrow before it hits the ground.
Treasure Tracker - Dig up some buried treasure.




As always we would love to hear your feedback and please let us know if you find any bugs or issues with the update.