Friday Dev Update: Secrets of the Jungle

6:24 AM Will Sterling 4 Comments


Hello fellow sea farers!

Our jungle island update is almost finished. We're putting the final touches on it and polishing up all the content that is going into it. It's going to be a big update and we are very excited about it. Today I wanted to talk about one particular aspect I'm excited about in relation to this update, which is secrets!

Since Salt is primarily about exploration and the freedom to adventure out on your own, we wanted to make sure there were mysteries and aspects to the world that you actually wanted to discover. We didn't want Salt to be just about going from island to island and gathering loot. We wanted you to have an adventure, and an adventure means figuring things out on your own. With this in mind, we knew that Salt needed secrets.

Encouraging Exploration Through Secrets


I won't spoil it, but if you've played Salt for some time and been around on the community forums, you've probably heard of The Dark Guardian. The Dark Guardian is a secret boss in Salt that requires a set of secret steps to be completed before he can be found. We knew that this content would likely be missed by a lot of players but that the reward someone would feel for discovering it on their own would be worth it. This adds a layer of depth to the game that you didn't know was there otherwise. 

This depth is something we strive for in Salt. We want Salt to constantly unfold more and more layers of depth as you play. We also want you to constantly be on the lookout for new secrets, and so we believe that by adding secrets into the game it encourages players to continue exploring and to look more closely at the world. 

Encouraging Community Through Secrets


Another great feature of secrets in a game is the encouragement of sharing these with the community. Lets say you did miss The Dark Guardian and never even knew about him. Well perhaps one day you are browsing the forums and all the sudden you see a screenshot of a boss you didn't even know existed. Perhaps you thought you had completed all the quests and content the game had to offer. Now all of the sudden another layer of depth has unfolded and you want to go back into the world to explore again, looking for something you may have missed. 

This encourages players to share their experiences with others and talk about what they have found. It gives you a sense of pride if you find it on your own, but even if you don't, it gives you a desire to go back and discover content you didn't know was there. 

Get Your Tin Foil Hats


One of my favorite results of having secrets in a game is what I call the tin foil hat response. Once a player discovers that there are secrets with hidden rewards, they will begin to question and look more closely at everything. That quest you did for the merchant ten times already? Maybe there was something you missed (lower your tin foil hats for this one, it's just an analogy.) That statue you thought was just something visually in the world? Maybe there's something to that. 

This also goes back to community involvement where you can discuss your theories with other players, trying to figure out how to unlock these secrets. One of my favorite aspects we see this occur in is fishing. We wrote fishing with a lot of conditions that need to be met to catch certain fish. I'm always seeing discussion on the community about how to catch certain fabled rare fish such as the blue crab or the dragon fish. These moments add a degree of depth and immersion to a game that goes beyond the gameplay itself. 



With our next update we will continue to add more secrets into the game for you to discover. Even after this update we plan to always add more secrets to Salt so you'll always be left wondering if you've truly discovered it all. 

- Will Sterling (Game Design and Audio)

4 comments:

  1. Nice! I am looking forward to explore the jungle!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's going to be awesome for sure.

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  2. Thanks for high grading the content and recommending it too and do visit again for more..Lion Country Safari

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