Friday Dev Update: Directions, Lore Books, Resource Cues, and More

10:49 AM John Gamble 8 Comments

This Friday's post will be primarily about the progress we've made towards the next patch. I'm going to talk about progress for the main quest, a new NPC that gives directions, a dialogue system, lore books, cues for finding resources, and the potential of updated pirate models (which may not be in the next patch).

Main Quest

We have designed the initial part of the main quest that will be implemented, and have begun laying the required additional groundwork to facilitate the needed mechanics. Basically, we need things like an improved ability to talk to NPCs, conditional loot (such as loot that only appears when you are on a certain part of a quest), and a system to keep up with quest progress.

New NPC and Directions

With the last major update, we changed some of the underlying island generation structure to make elements that spawn on islands more independent of each other. This opened up the possibility for the game to quickly-enough search an area of the ocean and find the locations of things without generating entire islands. This means that we could add in an NPC which could give you directions to something in the world, and we are doing exactly that.

Progress on this is coming along well. I have written a system that successfully produces the location of an islands that contains what I ask it for, such as a merchant.

Dialogue System

To facilitate both the new quest elements and the NPC directions, a dialogue system was needed. I have designed and implemented a new dialogue system that you can use to talk with NPCs. I have also nearly finished implementing the GUI to go along with it.

It might be interesting to note here a design decision that we have made in regards to dialogue. We never want to force your character to say anything specific. In Salt, you play as yourself. Because of this, no dialogue options will contain direct quotes from you. Instead, you will select from a list of actions. For example, an action option may say "Ask about merchants" instead of "Where is the nearest merchant?" This is a subtle (but satisfying to me) way to have players feel more like they are their character, and thus feel more immersed in the world.

Lore Books

Lore is something some people love, and some people care nothing about. Personally, I am a mixture of both, and it largely depends on the style of game that I'm playing. In the Myst series, for instance, I was ecstatic every time I found a new journal to read. It made the world feel so much more alive and meaningful. In other games -- World of Warcraft for instance -- I'm a story skipper. I click through the quest text and just go straight for the next objective.

Whatever the case may be with you and Salt, more lore books are coming in! They will be very small stories that add little tidbits of depth to the world. Some will be small journals of unimportant pirates while others will hint more at the larger story of the world. The new books will be obtainable in a number of different ways, and there will be multiple volumes of some, so you will need to collect them all to get the full story.

Will has been doing tons of writing, so we have a good number of the new lore books completed.

One thing that we would love to add in the future is a way to store and display all of your books in your home or ship. Bookcases would make a nice addition to a captain's cabin. The bookcase won't be in this upcoming update most likely, but you can look for it to come in a later one.

Visual Cues for Resources

Robert, who has always been bothered by the fact that logs can spawn on an empty island, has been working on ways to improve visual cues in regards to the location and presence of resources. This includes changes such as having certain flowers only spawn in fields or mushrooms only spawning in dark wooded areas. And of course the amount of wood being tied to the amount of trees on an island. I'm personally very excited about this because it adds another element of player progress through learning and intuition. Additionally, the realism will improve immersion.

Updated Pirate Model

As crappy as they are, I have come find the pirates with their bad textures and goofy faces very endearing. They are, sadly, a placeholder for an improved model that we can better work with. We have contracted a professional 3D artist to create an updated version of them for us. They will likely be slightly different yet reminiscent of the current ones in their shape and demeanor. The updated models are currently in the early stages of development, so I can't say for sure how long until they are in.

We are looking forward to getting these updates finished up and in your hands! As usual, we will push these changes to the Steam testing branch to work out the kinks before we officially release the update, so you can look for these additions to pop up there first within the next few weeks.

- John Gamble (Lead Developer)


  1. I'm really excited for these updates coming up and everything you have planned. This is why I love Salt so much. Constant development and updating the players on what is happening. Really looking forward to the lore books. You know that you have hooked all of us Elder Scrolls fans with that.

    Now, back to the game. Have to figure out how to beat Captain Bobo. I have a breastplate and moonrock sword and he's still killing me in a couple seconds. (and that's with potions, poisons, and arrows being used against him.)

  2. Good to see the pirate models being updates :)

  3. I'm loving Salt, and can't wait for new content to be added in. One thing I do wish though, nights are sooo long and so little to do. I love the fact that you have moon phases and they actually seem relevant to the game, but I wouldn't mind if night went by just a little faster than day. You devs are doing a great job, keep it up!

    1. That's what Campfires and Beds are for! "Rest until Sunrise" is your best friend. Braziers will work as well, but in the last patch they were changed to only rest in 5-hour increments. Still, it's a way to make time pass quickly so you aren't sitting around in the dark being bored for no reason.

    2. The 5-hour change to braziers was actually a bug. It should be fixed as of

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  4. I want coop in this game or i want back my money MF . I pay this game because it's beautiful but is mandatory multiplayer or coop (4 people)

  5. Frankly I'm sick of multiplayer crap. If that's what you are after I'm sure there are a ton of games out there for you. I'm not sure where you get off going off on the devs about multiplayer and wanting your money back. No where on the Steam page or anywhere else I've looked has this game stated that it has multiplayer at present or even soon. If people were required to give your money back based on your reading comprehension I'm guessing you would be very rich. Multiplayer is listed SPECIFICALLY" as a future plan.