Friday Dev Update: Player Journal and Loot Changes

9:33 AM willsterling23 1 Comments


Hello everyone!

We just wanted to give you an update on a couple things we've been working on in addition to the upcoming cartography patch. These are updates that will likely come soon after the cartography update.

Player Journal


This week we've made some more progress on the player journal, particularly the visuals. If you don't know already, we are working on a player journal that will allow you to write your own entries, add sections, take notes, and whatever else you want to do. Here's what that is looking like so far: 


We've still got more work left on the journal, but it's coming along well.  As I said before, this will likely come after the cartography patch so stay tuned for more news on that front. 

Loot Changes


This week we've also been working on a new system for certain loot in the game. This new system essentially allows us to tag an item as unique. If the item is unique, it will check your inventory to see if you have it already before giving it to you. What this will do is prevent you from getting duplicates of the same items over and over. 

This is going to be particularly relevant in the area of lore books. Salt has a lot of lore books in the world and we want you to be able to collect them all. Sometimes you end up looting the same book multiple times, thus preventing you from finding new ones. Our new system will alleviate this problem. 

This system is not intended to prevent all items from being looted multiple times of course. But there are certain items in the game, particularly some lore books, that we want to be unique and only looted once. This also adds a bit more immersion to game. Instead of finding the same note written in various places, you'll only find it once. Other books, such as guides, may be found multiple times still. 



Also this week we've made more progress on the cartography patch, worked on upcoming boss music, and wrote new lore books (including a play), 

Thanks for reading and as always we would love to hear your feedback! 


- Will Sterling (Sound Lead and Game Design)



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Screenshot of the Week

10:13 AM willsterling23 0 Comments

Ahoy fellow pirates!

Every once in a while we pick three of our favorite screenshots taken by Salt players and vote on which ones we like best. We then a pick a winner, first runner up, and second runner up. If you ever want to enter your screenshot into the contest, just post them on the Steam forums, subreddit, or send us a link on social media.

This Week's Winner

Now, without further ado, this week's winner goes to MASH. MASH took a beautiful screenshot while exploring the seas on his repaired pirate ship. Here is his screenshot!


First Runner Up

Our First Runner Up Award goes to DOGG. DOGG snapped this beauty as the sun was going down, while he was traveling in his sailboat approaching an abandoned pirate ship. 



Second Runner Up

Our Second Runner Up Award goes to TEX. TEX took this relaxing screenshot of some palm trees looking up at the sun. Makes me want to go lay on a beach on somewhere. 



We love to see your adventures and all the screenshots you take. Remember you can use F9 (or F12 if running Steam) to take a screenshot. Also, don't forget to press F1 to hide your HUD. This can make the screenshots look a little cleaner, depending on what you are going for. 




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This Week at Lavaboots: Cartography, Music, and Lore

8:00 AM willsterling23 2 Comments


Ahoy Mateys!

This week we've been working on a few different things and we wanted to give you an brief update on what's been going on at Lavaboots.


Cartography


First up, cartography. This will be our next update implemented and we've made some good progress this week. John and Rob have knocked out some bugs with the current system and have gotten certain functionalities such as the zoom in and out function working well. What is currently left in the cartography patch is for us to add in large island mapping and some icons. Our goal is to get cartography pushed to testing branch within a couple weeks. 

Music and Lore


After the cartography update, we're going to quickly implement the player journal and then move on to finishing the main quest line. Although the quests have been written, we've been spending some time brainstorming the final boss and coming up with ideas as far as that goes. This week I've been working on composing music for the final boss and have made some good progress. 

I've also been working on writing new lore books, notes, letters, and even some other lore type books such as plays to the game. We want Salt to be a game that is chocked full of items and lore for those who want to delve deeper. There are currently over 65 lore books in the game but we'd like to continue increasing that number! For us, lore in Salt provides a way to give you some backstory on the world and add depth to the items and people you discover. 



We expect the Cartography Update to hit the testing branch soon so stay tuned to these blog posts for updates. As always, we'd love to hear your feedback! 


- Will Sterling (Sound Lead and Game Design)

2 comments:

Friday Dev Update: Cartography and Plans for 2016

8:25 AM willsterling23 8 Comments


Hello everyone!

Today we want to talk about our plans for 2016, and give you an update on the current cartography update, as well as some other features we've been working on.


Cartography


Our upcoming cartography patch is coming along very nicely. We've been mainly working on coding and underlying functionality of systems required for the mapping system to work. Here's the gist of how it's going to work. 

The mapping system will be a chart and grid type system. The chart will have individual squares in which you'll be able to click and add an island to. Once you've added an island to a grid square, you can then add icons to that island detailing what kind of features and content the island has. We've even added a system where you can add your own custom icons, if you don't want to use the ones we've provided or if you'd like to add additional information. 

A couple functionality features we've been working on is the ability to click and drag to move across the chart, as well as the ability to zoom in and out on the map. We are currently still working on some remaining code work needed to run these functions as smoothly as possible, and working on designing the visuals. 

Plans for 2016



Cartography and Player Journal


First, we are going to finish implementing the cartography update. We expect this to be done fairly soon and will continue to give you updates on our progress. 

Last week John added in the ability to input text into the game, and began work on a player journal. Here's how the journal will work. The player journal will be divided into sections. Within each section, there will be an unlimited amount of pages that you can use. Each page can have a number of entries and what we are calling "section links." Entries are just the text that you or the game inputs into the journal. The section links will take you to a new section of the book. There is also a feature to go back to the previous section in case you mistakenly go to a section or want to instantly go back. This journal is also going to act as a quest journal, where the game can add short entries to give you updates on your quests. 

We are still working on some systems related to the player journal and visuals, but overall it is coming along nicely. We expect this to come very shortly after the cartography update. 


Finishing the Main Quest


Once cartography and the player journal are implemented, we're going to finish adding in the rest of the main story. The remaining quests have been written, and we just simply need to add them into the game, as well as some of the content that goes along with them. The remaining quests will include new rewards such as weapons and items, new backstory and lore, new bosses, and some other fun new features. 


Multiplayer


Once this is done, we will finally begin working on multiplayer implementation. This will likely be a long development process. Adding multiplayer into Salt is going to be a huge hurdle technically, and require a lot of design and balancing. We aren't sure exactly how long it will take yet, as we haven't dived into it to see what all will be required. However, we'll be keeping you up to date throughout the process and asking you to help us test multiplayer (we'll probably need a whole lot of testing) once we get the basics of it up and running. 

We are extremely excited to add multiplayer and this is definitely going to be our biggest focus this year. We believe that the ability to play with your friends is going to add an entirely new dimension to Salt and we could not be more excited. 


Other Features


Depending on how quickly we can get multiplayer implemented, there are some other areas we'll be focusing on this year. One area is settling. We want you to be able to build some basic structures on islands and create yourself a home if you so choose to. We've also got features such as steam trading cards, achievements, cloud saving, and things of that nature that we'd like to work on as well. 

As I said before, our main focus this year is going to be finishing cartography, adding in the rest of the main quest, and implementing multiplayer. 


We'll be keeping you up to date throughout the development process this year and we will definitely need your help testing out the new content! As always please be sure and let us know your thoughts and feedback. 


- Will Sterling (Sound Lead and Game Design)

8 comments:

Community Feedback: Journals, Weapon Rebalancing, and More

11:10 AM willsterling23 0 Comments



Ahoy mateys!

Throughout the development process you all have given us some fantastic suggestions and helped us shape the game into something better than we could do on our own. We want to make sure you know your voice is heard, and so every now again we’re going to round up some suggestions, questions, and general feedback, and respond to it in a blog post.


Player Journal


This suggestion comes from Poser Nutbag on the steam forums.

“First off, compliments to you, this is an incredible project. I have been digging this game the past few days. It's a great way to spend a winter night. I can almost smell the summer ocean breeze. My biggest suggestion would be an in game journal of sorts (apologies if this has been suggested, 65 pages is a lot to read through). The compass and sextant are great tools, but I find myself having to keep alt tabbing out or write on a piece of paper to remember coordinates and the like, which isn't cool, it takes a lot of the submersion out.”


So you may know that we are currently working on a cartography update. As part of this update, John just added in the functionality for inputting text in the game. This functionality is going to be additionally useful for journals, jotting down your own notes, stories, or whatever you want!


Weapon Rebalancing



This suggestion comes from user Judgement50.

“I am one of the early beta testers...still LOVING the game, but I feel that many of the weapons just are too underpowered to be used. I believe that the aspect of an RPG-style-leveling up system should be taken into account for the player. A simple one would be great to test out and we could give a ton of feedback. Please take this into consideration and I would love it if I could get some DEV-feedback on this!”


We agree completely that there needs to be some rebalancing in weapons, and other areas as well. Since we’ve kind of just been adding weapons and armor in as we go along, it’s been a bit difficult to keep a cohesive balance to everything. So, one of our goals is to take a look at all of the current weapons and armor in the game, and make sure that the stats fit accordingly with its rarity, weapon/armor type, etc. That being said, this is something that will come a little bit later. Right now our primary focus is to get the major content implemented into the game. We then want to polish a lot of areas such as stat rebalancing.


Grass, Anti-Aliasing, and Pirate Trading


This feedback from Trumpkin Pie.

“I would like to see a lot denser and taller grass! Some aliasing options would be nice. The ability to trade with pirates or just be peaceful with them.”


One thing we want to do before all is said and done is provide more graphics options. This will include more options in areas like anti aliasing, as well as possibly increased grass rendering options. As for pirate trading, we hadn’t really thought of that but we do have the functionality to do it. It remains on the discussion table for now.



Well, that’s it for this week! Thanks for reading and remember if you have a suggestion, there is a thread on the Steam forums specifically for that. We read these threads and keep track of new and recurring suggestions so we can make Salt the best game it can be.





Will Sterling (Sound Lead and Game Design)

0 comments:

2015: A Year In Review

7:20 AM willsterling23 1 Comments


Hello everyone!

Now that 2016 is upon us, we’ve had some time to reflect back on 2015 and all of the changes that have been made to Salt. Today I’d like to talk about some of the things we accomplished in 2015.

2015 was a great year for Salt, and we feel like the game is in a far better state that it was a year ago. We’ve improved the game graphically, added a lot of new content, and improved a lot of the base functionality of the game. Here’s a look at some of the changes made to Salt in 2015.

New Grass and Island Generation


One of the first major updates we made to Salt in 2015 brought a brand new graphical look for the grass. Our old grass didn’t look very good, and so one of our goals going into 2015 was to change that as quickly as possible. We’ve been very happy with the new grass and we think it looks far better than the original.

We also changed the way islands spawned in the world past a certain distance. Originally, the farther out in the ocean you got, the farther the islands were spread apart. This could result in really long expanses of oceans and then maybe only hitting one or two islands. While the large expanse of ocean can be kind of fun and add to the immersion of the game, only finding one or two islands after you’ve sailed for so long is not so fun. With the new island generation, we made it so that islands past a certain point will spawn in clusters. This means you’ll still hit large expanses of water, but when you find an island, it will be a large cluster of islands giving you lots to do.


Dawn of the Story


Following the new grass and island generation update, we started implementing the first portion of the main story in Salt. This introduced a quest line, new rewards, lore, new characters, and a general slew of content to take part in. If you know anything about our philosophy with Salt, we didn’t want players to feel forced to do the main quest, but we wanted a sense of story and objective there for them should they want to.


A New GUI


Our next update was a much anticipated GUI overhaul. Our original interface was mainly a placeholder until we could come up with and implement something better. The new GUI brought a much more accessible inventory, controller functionality, and even introduced visible character stats.


New Models 



They came. They saw. They conquered.

The original pirate models in Salt were certainly something to behold. Their eyes gave such an emotionless stare as they swung their axes at you that you couldn’t help but feel intimidated. Although we were sad to see the old pirates go, they were never intended to be more than placeholders. With this update we added in brand new pirate models and animations that much improved the look and feel of the pirates.


Jungle Islands



After we updated the models we began working on adding in a brand new island type: the jungle island. This was perhaps one of our largest updates, due to the amount of content that went into it. The jungles featured brand new visual assets, new enemy npc’s, new friendly npc's, quests, new wildlife, fish, secrets, and a batch of new loot. These islands were the first of what we called our “post 50 content.” The idea here was to include tough islands that only spawned past the 50 degree mark.


Stars and Boats


With our most recent update, we added in stars and brand new boat models. The stars added a whole new aesthetic to the game and a reason to sail at night. Along with the new stars, we also added in brand new boat models for a few of the boats in the game.


Other Updates


In addition the major content updates we also made a lot of other changes of the game such as controller support, new lore books, new tree models, quests, in game damage numbers, and more.

Overall, 2015 was a great year for Salt. Next week we're going to talk about what we’ve got planned for 2016! As always, we would love to hear your feedback.


- Will Sterling (Sound Lead and Game Design)

1 comments:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

7:52 AM willsterling23 10 Comments


Hey everyone!

We hope all of you seafarers had a great Christmas and are as excited about the new year as we are. 2015 was a great year for us and we are even more excited about what's in store for 2016! Next week we'll be talking a little more about some upcoming content in 2016 and what we've got planned for Salt.

Also, don't forget that Salt is currently 34% off on the Steam Holiday Sale which runs through January 4th. If you've been waiting for the game to go on sale, now is the time to pick it up.

Salt on Steam


Stay tuned to next week's blog post for an update on our current Cartography Patch, and information regarding features coming in 2016!

Thanks for reading and Happy New Years!


- Will Sterling (Sound Lead and Game Design)





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