Salt Game Design: RPG Elements

11:34 AM Will Sterling 5 Comments

Salt Island Sunset

Hey everyone!

We are still hard at work on getting the foundational system in place for multiplayer. As we've mentioned before, the multiplayer update is going to take a while but we will keep you up to date throughout the process. Right now, John has been hard at work setting up a system for efficient communication of information between clients and making sure we set multiplayer up to run as optimized as possible.

Over the next few weeks I'd like to talk about some of the game design principles behind Salt and why the world of Salt is designed the way it is. Today I want to talk particularly about the role playing elements in Salt, and how we use those to add more adventure into the game.

Loot, Loot, and More Loot

Sword and campfire

If you've ever played many RPG's, you'll know that loot is often a large aspect of the game. Finding rare items, upgrading your gear, and searching for that legendary weapon has become a staple of many RPG's today. This aspect of game design has always appealed to us and we knew early on that we wanted to incorporate it into Salt. Although Salt is a game primarily focused on exploration, we wanted players to have a reason to explore beyond mere discovery. This is where loot came into play. 

Items in Salt are separated into five rarity categories: uncommon, common, rare, epic, and legendary. This rarity is reflected in the color of the item so that there is an instant visual cue for the loot if you open a chest or loot an enemy. The rarity of an item is also reflected in its stats and abilities. Usually the rarer an item, the more powerful and valuable it is. 

We've done our best to add in a ton of different armor sets, weapons, and other items in the game of various rarities so you are always left wondering if you've found them all. 



Another RPG element that we've always been a fan of are quests. Quests can provide a linear sense of objective in an other wise open world.  In Salt, we've included side quests and a main story quest for players to experience. Completing quests gives the player some unique rewards that can't be obtained elsewhere. Side quests are mainly short missions given by merchants that have various rewards whereas our main quest line involves boss fights and gives hints to the lore behind the world. 

We did feel it was important however to leave quests as an optional aspect of the game. One of our early design philosophies was what we called playstyle focus, which essentially just means that we wanted to players to be able to play the game the way they wanted. So if quests are your thing, they are there for you to experience, but you are also free to pick a direction and sail free of any constraints. 


Salt Final Boss

Along the lines of loot and rewards, we wanted to include bosses as well. There's nothing quite like fighting a difficult boss and looting a really rare weapon or piece of armor. We've included multiple bosses in Salt of various types of difficulties. Some are even fairly secret and difficult to find, but of course rewarding should you find them. 


Lore Book

Last but not least, we wanted Salt to have lore. Because of this, we have chocked the game full of lore books. Some books are relevant to the backstory of the world, while others are merely stories of adventurers and travelers. Lore is one of those things that is easy to pass up but should you dive into it, it can add a sense of depth to the game that previously wasn't there. We even try to reward players for reading lore by included crafting recipes and hints to secrets in some of the books. 

Overall, we feel like Salt has a lot of fun RPG elements and we hope that you all enjoy them as much as we do! We'd love to hear your feedback on the RPG elements in Salt and perhaps even some RPG themed ideas you'd like to see added into the game? 

- Will Sterling (Game Design and Sound Lead)


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  2. Is there any plans on making somewhere to store these Lore items?
    Books take up a lot of valuable space in Crates and Chests etc, Some sort of Book shelf where you could keep like 30 books would be great!

    Any ideas on what will be happening with the Multiplayer? Naval Battles? Co-op? Haven't seen any information about it yet.

    Great Job on the game so far!

    1. We were actually just talking the other day about adding a tab in your inventory to at least sort all of the books together. I like the idea of some sort of bookshelf though as well! This is one of those things that I can't say if it'll get implemented it not. Obviously our main focus right now is multiplayer and then we've got some other things such as steam cloud saving, achievements etc. If we get time though I would implement something like that!

      As for multiplayer, our goal is for it to primarily be coop using Steam. So what we want is for you to be able to join friends easily and play with whoever you want. As far as naval battles go, we aren't sure yet. That's another one of those things that will just depend on time and resources!

      Thanks for your feedback!

  3. I was playing this open world rpg game, and these adds which are presented in this review are quite usefull at least for me.