Friday Dev Update: Secrets in Salt

1:16 PM willsterling23 4 Comments

Have you ever had that feeling of excitement when you discover something new in a game that you didn't know was there? I have. And I love that feeling. That feeling is something we wanted to translate into the gameplay of Salt. We want Salt to be full of mystery, new places, and other things for you to discover.

In short, we want Salt to be full of secrets. 


Secrets are a really fun aspect of video games. They keep players intrigued and sucked into the world in which they are playing. It is our goal to continuously implement new secrets and mysteries that will not only clue you into the backstory of Salt, but also keep you wondering, "What else is there?" Because of this intentional design mechanic, we have to keep a lot of what we implement, well, secret. We don't want players to always know what's ahead, as that would ruin the feeling of discovering it for yourself. Salt is about you creating your own adventure and secrets are a large part of that. 

Not everything in the game is going to be a secret of course. There are a lot of things to look forward to as we push out updates and you'll be able to see that in our patch notes. Just keep in mind that not everything implemented will always show up in the patch notes. We are intentionally leaving things out, so that you can discover them for yourself. 

One particular aspect of this that I've enjoyed is watching players come up with their own theories. It's fun to see players find items and not know what they do or what they are for. All kinds of theories begin to arise (I won't tell you which ones are true), and it shows that our design mechanic is working. I believe that deep down, this all comes back to hand holding. I don't think players really want to be handed everything, but rather they want to discover and overcome challenges on their own. This allows their adventure to become their story and not something designed by the game studio. 


Be on the lookout for a new update within the next couple weeks! It just might contain a secret. 


- Will Sterling (Audio and Game Designer)

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Playstyle Focus

10:44 AM willsterling23 0 Comments


When we began developing Salt we agreed upon an idea we call, "playstyle focus." This concept revolves around the idea of the player being able to play the game the way they want. This means if you want to play the game as a calm exploration game, you can do that. If you want to play the game as an adventure and RPG game, you can do that. If you want to play it as a survival game, you can do that. You get the point.

We've tried to provide multiple ways to progress and move further along in your adventure. We didn't want anyone to be forced into one particular playstyle, but to be able to play the way they want. Let me give you an example. Let's say you need food. One obvious way, and probably one of those most common in Salt, is to hunt deer. However, maybe you don't care to hunt deer and would rather just focus on exploring. Well, in that case you can also find fruit or mushrooms on the ground. You can find food in chests, at merchants, on pirates, in crates, etc.

This theme carries over into a lot of different aspects in Salt. There is almost always more than one way to achieve something and it usually caters to different playstyles. We've been very intentional in this fact and we hope it helps players to have a more enjoyable experience playing the game.

One area we are going to be pushing more hard for in the upcoming updates is the RPG and adventure playstyle. Currently, we've got a good bit of things to craft and find during exploration. Now we want to start adding more adventure and RPG aspects. This means we'll be working on adding goals, quests, and lore throughout the world. Soon you will be able to discover more of the backstory of Salt and achieve goals/quests to earn epic loot.

Until then, we hope you are enjoying sailing across the world and discovering the world that is Salt!


- Will Sterling (Audio and Game Design)

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Tin Foil Hat Fishing

12:51 PM Unknown 9 Comments



Now that the fishing update has been released, I would like to take a moment to talk about it and some of the design decisions behind it. When we started the design of fishing, we had three primary goals in mind.

    1) Make it relaxing
    2) Make it satisfying
    3) Make it superstitious

Salt is a game where a relaxing, serene adventure is a fully viable play-style, and we want fishing to fall right into this category. Although complicated fishing mechanics can be very fun, we elected to keep it simple on the surface and deep underneath. I'll explain the depth in more detail in a moment. In short, we wanted the player to be able to find a beautiful spot, sit back in their chair with a drink in hand, and fish while they watch the sunset.

Although the feeling of relaxation that fishing invokes can go a long way, it needs a sense of satisfaction. Many factors play into this, from the way the physics and animation of the pole behave, to what you actually catch with it. There is also that wonderful feeling when you finally catch one of the rare fish. We want fishing to be a useful tool with respect to other aspects of the game. There are a number of different fish with interesting uses, and you can look forward to a lot more in the future. Fishing is now a core part of Salt that will get its share in the upcoming waves of new content.

As for our third goal, you may think superstition is an odd thing to shoot for when designing game mechanics. However, this is where we have chosen to add some depth to fishing. It is our full intent to breed superstition and theories among players as to where and how certain fish are caught. Governing the fishing system is a tree of conditions and modifiers to chances. Each fish can have their own conditions that determine when, where, and in what way they can be caught, or are more likely to be caught. Our options on conditions are practically limitless. We could make it where you are more likely to catch a certain fish while on land, on a boat, while moving, during a full moon, during sunrise or sunset, while using certain bait or lures, while jumping up and down... you get the idea.

Overall, though, we want to keep with our normal paradigm of play-style freedom by giving players the option of fishing as little and casually or as much and superstitiously as they please. We look forward to hearing feedback and suggestions from you all.

- John Gamble, Lead Developer

9 comments:

Salt is on Greenlight!

6:42 AM willsterling23 0 Comments

Salt is now on Greenlight! We're excited to get Salt on Steam and it's something that's been requested a lot. We love Steam as much as everybody else and we know how great it is to have the majority of your gaming collection on one platform.

If you'd like to see Salt get on Steam, give us a greenlight vote here -

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=311763404

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