Friday Dev Update: Progress on the Boat Upgrade Update

2:26 PM John Gamble 8 Comments

I've been looking forward to being able to make my ship my home in Salt. Finally you will be able to do just that after the next major update. We've been working hard the past few weeks coding new systems and creating new items for use in customizing your ship. Along the way, we've also made a few other optimizations and fixes. I want to take a moment to give a brief overview of the upcoming update.

Boat Customization Items

Customizing your ship will use very similar mechanics to those that are used to place ships in the water. To place an upgrade you activate (right-click) it from your inventory and it will activate the placement preview. Once you position and rotate the preview as you see fit, left click to place the upgrade.

Some upgrades you will be free to place it almost anywhere on your ship. Torch holders are one of these items. Other upgrades -- such as a new mast and sail -- will have specific spots or aspects of the ship that they upgrade.

These items will be crafted or found/looted/quested for throughout the world.

New 'Retrieve' Button

In conjunction with the upgrade system, we have added a new button to retrieve upgrades. This button will be set to 'F' by default. To retrieve an upgrade from a ship, look at it so that you see the interaction hand, then hold 'F' for just a moment, and the upgrade will be removed from the boat and returned to your inventory. We decided to make a whole new button for this action so that the normal interact button remained free to interact with the upgrade you placed. For instance, resting in a bed, raising a sail, or placing a torch in a torch holder.

Boat Stability Improvements

Any of you who have gotten a larger ship already know how bouncy they can get, especially in larger waves. We've done some adjustments on these ships that will help with their stability so that they will be actually useful in deep ocean, which is where the larger ships are intended to shine. We are also doing some re-balancing of boat speeds.

Performance Improvements At Far Distances

With a large world, we have to have large numbers to keep up with all of the positions of objects in the world. However, the numbers we use only take up a certain amount of memory. This has an effect where the larger the numbers become, the less precise they are. Less precision results in some strange things in the game such as all moving objects and some visual effects appearing to stutter or lag badly. We have largely mitigated this by implementing a system that periodically resets the positions of the objects in the world back to low numbers while keeping up with an offset so that we know where things really are.

However boats and player physics were still experiencing issues when far away from the home island, which primarily manifested as strange movement while riding boats. This will be fixed in the upcoming update.

Also, previously the position reset would only occur when the game was saved. The position reset now occurs on the fly as needed, separate from saving.

You can expect this update to roll out within the next couple of weeks. Also, thanks to all of you great players who constantly offer your great feedback and ideas. We look forward to hearing more from you all regarding this update!

- John Gamble (Lead Developer)


  1. Very excited about boat customization. One thing missing that I find odd is a Map (craftable), and coconuts. A map is more essential for marking specific islands and your future home island, coconuts are just for fun! Keep up the great work, loving Salt.

    1. A map is something we definitely want to get in soon! We're going to start working on that at some point in early 2015. Currently we're trying to get this boat upgrade done and some things like Mac support, a GUI overhaul, and things along those lines. A map and cartography system will come soon though!

  2. Boat update/homing is a very huge step forward in my eyes. And nicely timed! Making the game feel abit "safer". It would be wise to try to gather people on one social platform! fex by linking this blog to facebook and steam pages! You guys deserve MORE action, and feedback from players! PS: I will be playing Salt until the arrival of Salt 2 ;)

  3. Nice work guys.
    I feature I would request would be underwater exploration, or even just an underwater camera. I know its so easy for us to be asking for these things but much harder for you to make them, but underwater exploration would really increase the immersion IMO.
    Keep up the great work guys :D

  4. Nightime needs a better Skybox honestly, maybe some stars a few galaxy's.

  5. There seems to also be a bug as where shooting doesn't seem to effect most NPC's at far distances when clearly they were shot. Pirates(Pirate Battlemaster's) tend to have a glitchty hitbox after death causing them to still hit you. Gravity needs to be fixed. Bonfires can be rested at even after they extinguish by clicking on them fast enough before they disappear.

    Over all I'm loving this game, Keep up the good work!

  6. Loving this game! and I'm excited by how active the devs seem to be, both in this blog and in active updates for the game. :) I only have a few hours in, but I love how I get to discover so much about Salt on my own. Still trying to figure out how to make a fishing pole, won't be long before I find the right combination!