Friday Dev Update: New GUI Coming Soon

2:39 PM Unknown 3 Comments

With update 1.4 released, I want to let you all know what you can expect for the future. The next three major goals are:

  1. Upgrade the Salt project to Unity 5
  2. Overhaul the GUI
  3. Add full controller support

Upgrading to Unity 5

The upgrade to the latest version of Unity will likely come with some performance improvements as well as some small visual changes and fixes. It also just feels good to be running on the latest version of the engine. There are a number of small obstacles to overcome to make the switch, but that work is already underway and is going fairly smoothly so far.

The New GUI

Whether you love or hate the current GUI, it has always been intended to be replaced one day. Now is the time, and I can’t wait to dive into it. Our goal with it is for it to be snappy and easy to use. We also want to keep it out of your way as much as possible when you are running around, but, at the same time, have some depth when necessary. As we progress with it, we’ll release pictures and ask for feedback from players.

Controller Support

The main thing holding us back from controller support currently is the fact that it doesn’t work with our interface. Since we are re-doing the GUI, we can design it from the ground up with controller support in mind. At the same time, we don’t want to handicap those that don’t want to use a controller. You can likely expect some form of hybrid GUI control scheme in which you can still make proper use of the mouse.

Along with these main additions, expect to see some more content added and bugs fixed as usual. I’m very excited to get working on this next update, and I’ll keep you all posted with our progress.

- John Gamble (Lead Developer)


Friday Dev Update: Progress on the Story Patch

7:57 AM willsterling23 4 Comments

This next patch is perhaps the most excited I've been for an update so far. We've got a whole bunch of new content coming in the next update and we absolutely cannot wait for players to experience it. We are still working hard on the patch, but we wanted to give you all an update on what's going on and some of the content you can expect to see when it arrives.

The Main Quest

One of the main features of this next update is the main quest. We are implementing the first portion of the main quest for you to experience and then we'll add more later in development. We've decided to do it this way instead of implementing the entire story at once, so as to slowly introduce new content. We've also picked good stopping points during the story so you don't feel like you are in the middle of an important quest, only to have to wait for another update.

Adding the main quest is going to give a real sense of objective in Salt. Although there are currently side quests given out by npc's like merchants, we really wanted some more meaty quests that were chained together and had depth. As we implement the main quest we are trying to utilize different quest types as well so it doesn't get too repetitive. We would love to hear your feedback in this area as to what types of quests you'd like to see!

Story and Lore

In addition to an overall sense of objective, we wanted to introduce some lore and backstory to the world. The main way this will be implemented in this update is through discussion with npc's and lore books. I am particularly excited about the lore books since they not only hint to the backstory of Salt, but also give you interesting tid bits of information about people and items in the world. This update will include a lot of lore books for you to find in various ways. Eventually we'd like to make a bookshelf that you can place on your ship and store all of the lore books you find! We'll also be adding more and more ways to discover the backstory as the game develops. 


One feature of this next patch that is going to be a lot of fun are inns. With this next update, you'll be able to find inns throughout the world with an innkeeper and beds. You'll be able to discuss things with the innkeeper but we are going to keep most of that secret for now. Be on the lookout for a cozy inn in the next patch! 

New Enemies, Weapons, and Armor

In the next update there will also be a new enemy npc. We aren't going to tell you who or what they are yet, as we want you to discover that for yourself. We think you'll like them tough. In addition to the new enemies there will also be new weapons and armor for you to find throughout the world.

Resource Changes

Another large feature of this next update is our new resource system. Robert has been working hard on this one and we are real excited to get it implemented. This new system introduces a sense of logic to the items you find in the world. For example, if you are traveling through an area with tons of trees, then you will be much more likely to find wood logs on the ground. If you are traveling in a big open field, you will be more likely to find plants and flowers. This adds a sense of "learning" to the world and gives you an idea of where to look for things. 

We are very excited to push this next update out and we promise it will be out as soon as possible! We are currently finishing up the main story and polishing some of the new content before we push. In the mean time, we would love to hear your feedback and suggestions! 

- Will Sterling (Game Design and Audio)


Salt Dev Q&A Recap!

8:42 AM willsterling23 3 Comments

Hey everyone!

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and interested in Salt. We had a lot of really great questions asked during the Dev Q&A session yesterday and enjoyed interacting with you guys. We will likely do this sort of thing once a month or so and give you guys an opportunity to keep updated on whats going on.

Below is a list of the questions and answers given during the session that you can look at, just in case you missed something!

Question from a fellow early access dev: How has having a freely available demo for Salt affected sales?

It's hard to tell since we've always had a demo available, so we don't have any data to really compare too. I think having a demo does hurt your sales to some degree. You lose impulse buyers and such. But we think it's far more important that people test out the game and really decide that it's for them before buying. We want to build trust with our community and we don't want to hide anything. This is the main reason we have a demo!

Are you planning in future updates, add somekind of flag creator with the option for uploading our own png?

We've talked about letting players customize their flags, and we think it's a great idea! It's very likely this will be in the game at some point.

In the future will there be ghost ships that we can obtain that glows blue at night like the moon rock?

All I can say about this is that we've discussed ghost ships, and if there comes a time when ghost ships are added to the game, it will most likely be a secret! ;)

In the future will there be forts?

We definitely plan on letting players settle on islands. Building mechanics will be a part of that, though I can't say how robust they'll be.

Will there ever be any dailies that we can do with live 24 hour clocks?

We don't plan on adding any kind of daily quest. While we do enjoy MMORPGs, Salt is not meant to be like them.

Will we be able to farm crops on our base so that we can have an infinite supply of food?

Farming is definitely a possibility when settling is implemented.

Can we have a waypoint to our base so that we can warp there?

Teleporting is not too likely to happen, as I feel it takes away from the exploration aspect of the game. We'll keep our minds open, though!

Will we ever meet the person that gave us the strange journal at the start of the game?

Who knows if you'll ever meet such a strange person in this strange land? They probably hang out in strange places at strange times. What a strange question!

Will we ever have pets that can help attack enemies & also distract enemies so the enemy attacks pet instead of us?

There will probably not be pets that help you fight. It's a really cool idea, though!

Will there be coconuts & bananas in the game like trees we can bang to get the bananas & coconuts like we do the current fruit?

Yes! I love coconuts, specifically for their consistency. Those palm trees should start bearing fruit soon!

Can we get a crossbow and maybe a way to bait deer with the fruit. Can the black stripe vains on the ground be made to hold gold that we can use the pick axe for? Craft bobbers that glow in the dark?

A crossbow is very likely! We think that would be awesome. Deer bait is a possibility but we haven't looked into yet. Some kind of gold ore might eventually make its way into the game if we find good uses for it. Glow in the dark bobbers are very likely! Maybe it could even help you catch a certain type of fish!

Do you think we could see in the future cooking?

Cooking is definitely happening. There are some pretty nice improvements to crafting in general that we have planned, and cooking will be a part of that.

Are you planing to implement villages or baytowns?

Larger villages are a possibility, but they're not in the works currently.

Climbable masts, with platforms at the top? Ship-mountable weapons? 

We will be adding a crows nest to some ships. Ship mountable weapons are a high possibility! Especially cannons and maybe harpoon guns.

Will you ever implement firearms?

Firearms are up in the air but it's a high possibility.

Will you ever include hostile AI ships?

Hostile AI ships are also up in the air, due to the current pathfinding system. Later in development that's something we'll take a look at it.

How much longer do you expect to be in the early access mode?

It's hard to say. As we get more things implemented and get closer to a release state, we'll be able to give a more accurate date and timeframe for release. Currently we have to implement the entire main story, add weather, overhaul the GUI and combat system, add in new island types, npcs, wildlife, etc. And of course multiplayer!

Will there be improved weapon/combat animations, and perhaps improved archery mechanics ala Skyrim(just for example)? 

Absolutely! We are going to take a good bit of time to refine combat and make it feel a lot better.

How about going underwater? Dangerous fish/sharks, wrecks, treasure, etc?

Underwater content is something we will likely do to a small degree. As of right now there is no actual underwater. The ocean is really a plane and there is nothing underneath. We would like to make it where you can go slightly underwater to find certain resources and things of that nature. So it is a high possibility but we aren't sure yet if and when it will get implemented.

What is the situation on the implementation of multiplayer? 

We will definitely be implementing multiplayer! Currently we are focusing on finishing the single player content, and we've still got a little ways to go on that. Once that's implemented, we'll move on to adding in multiplayer!

What are the plans for weather implementation for the game?

Weather is coming! I'm super excited about getting storms in there. Boat damage may not be added for a while, but when it is you can be sure a rough storm will be rough on your boat. Waves will be based on weather. I'm looking forward to it!


Friday Dev Update: An Interview with Nerdroc

1:20 PM willsterling23 1 Comments

Hey everyone!

This week's dev blog will be a little bit different. We're still working hard on implementing the main quests and we can wait to get it pushed out on the next update.

We recently did an interview with one of our favorite YouTubers, Nerdroc, where we talked a lot about the design behind Salt and our experience developing the game so far. If that's something you are interested in, you can take a listen below.


Friday Dev Update: Revealing the Story

8:39 AM willsterling23 0 Comments

Open world games often struggle to find the balance between freedom and story telling. On the one the hand, it's great for players to have the complete freedom to ignore the story and make their own adventure. On the other hand, many players want depth to the world and want to know why the world exists and what's going on.

As we implement the main story of Salt, we are going to try and find the right balance between these two elements. Here are a few ways we're going to do this.

Freedom to Ignore

One aspect I have really loved about the Elder Scrolls games is that you are completely free to ignore the story should you choose to do so. I love being dropped in a vast and mysterious world, where I know nothing and am free to make my own story. This is a feeling we are constantly striving for in Salt. We want you to make your own story and adventure. We want you to be able to tell your friends about something you found wandering the deep ocean, or some crazy boss you came across super far out in the world.

An Adventure Unique to You

Because we love secrets in Salt, we are going to put in a lot of secrets in the game that will be very rare and very difficult to find. For example, you may find a super rare island extremely far out in the world with a rare boss and an epic weapon drop. You'll go tell your friends about this knowing that in all likelihood, they haven't found it. It is your unique experience. 

Now, of course it's pretty hard to keep secrets hidden from all players. People are really good at finding things in games and that's okay. When you experience some awesome secret content, our goal isn't for you to think that you are the only person in the entire world that has found it, but rather that it is very unique to you and not something common that many people find. We want the experience to be new to you. 

Just to note, we will also have plenty of really fun content that isn't just super rare. We don't want to force you to play hundreds of hours to get to the good stuff. There will always be awesome bosses and weapons that you can find without having to get extremely lucky. 

A Discoverable Story

We've talked a little bit about this before, but I want to go into more detail. The story in Salt will be discoverable. It's not going to be impossible to figure out, and if you seek, you shall find. What we don't want is to hand the player all the aspects of the story. We want you to discover it naturally and on your own. There are couple of ways we'll be doing this. 

One way is through the main quest line. As you progress through the main quest, you'll discover a lot of the story. You'll encounter events, people, and other things that will give you insight into what is going on in the world currently and how it got that way. This will give you a good overview of the main story. 

Even with the overview of the story revealed through the main quest, we want you to be able to delve deeper. To do this, you'll have to find certain lore books, items, and other things in the world to figure out a large portion of the mythology in Salt. For example, you may hear about a certain person in the main quest line and learn a little bit about them, but if you want to you'll be able to find lore books and possibly items from that person in the world that reveal more about their life, who they were, and things of that nature. 

We'll be taking a lot of inspiration from Dark Souls in this aspect. We want you to feel like there is depth to the world. That mysterious ring you found? It's not just random. There's a reason it's there. That epic weapon you obtained? Someone had it before you. But what happened to them and why is the weapon so powerful? These are questions we want you to ask and we want you to search for. 

In Salt, there will be both the ability to create your own story and the ability to discover the mythology of the world. We believe this will add a lot of depth but maintain that element of freedom that is so important in open world games. I'm extremely excited to start implementing the main story and you'll see the first portion of that in the next update!

- Will Sterling (Audio and Game Design)