Update on Multiplayer

7:29 AM willsterling23 7 Comments

Hey everyone!

As you know we've been working hard on multiplayer implementation and so we wanted to give you an update as to where we are in that regard and what some of the next steps are going to look like!

In-Game Chat System

One of the first aspects of multiplayer we implemented was an in-game chat system. We felt important to be able to communicate with other players so we've added a nice little chatbox. It even gives you your own unique text color!

Friends List and Inviting

Of course, to chat with friends you're going to want to invite them. So we've implemented the ability to see your friends list and invite players to your game. 

Other Players

Say hello to the ghost pirate. Don't worry, we're just using him as a fun placeholder to test other player's characters in the world. You will have a fully formed pirate body when it's all said and done! 

Currently we have it to where you can see other players moving around in the world. You can also see other player's boats and ride them. This was a big milestone for us to hit and while we've still got a lot of kinks to work out, it's coming along well. 

An Overview of the Networking System

Salt is making use Steam’s API in order to provide networking functionality. This make it easy to connect and play together with your Steam friends. Steam’s API provides the ability to send simple messages between two Steam clients. We have to write systems within Salt to use this messaging ability in an organized and efficient way that will result in a multiplayer experience within the game. We have now got a lot of these systems written and mostly working. Bug fixes and efficiency tweaks with them are still common at this point in the development.

After these systems are written and in place, the next step is to write code to use these systems to sync the worlds of players playing together. The goal is to provide a seamless multiplayer experience while sending as little data between computers as possible. Everything that syncs across the network must be told when and how to do so. This includes things like the positions of players and boats, what animation to play for a character, the health of an enemy, time of day, ocean waves, etc.

Salt is going to use a server/client model. The player who invites other players into their group is the server host. All players must wait on them to join a game. Once the host joins a game, all other players can then choose any of their created games play as long as it uses the same world seed as the game that the host just entered. You can also choose to create a new game with the correct world seed if you want.  All player’s progress is stored locally and not on the host’s computer. This means that you can play single player or multiplayer interchangeably as you desire in any of your games.

The next steps are more polishes and bug fixes on the networking systems, and work on syncing more and more things in the world such as enemies, items, and player animations. Also any multiplayer related UIs will need to be created or polished.


This Week at Lavaboots: Player Instruments, New NPC, and Achievements

11:51 AM willsterling23 0 Comments

Hey everyone!

It's been a good week at Lavaboots. As you probably know, last week we pushed out Update 1.9.3 which introduced some new content and Steam cloud saving. If you haven't downloaded that update yet, be sure to head on over to Steam and get updated. We are also continuing to work hard on multiplayer implementation. We're pushing out small updates during the process to keep new content in the game while you wait on multiplayer to get finished.

Today I want to mention some of what we've been working on this week in regards to the next smaller update and what you can look forward to.

Player Instruments

Our next update is going to introduce player instruments. These instruments will be items you can click on that will play a song and apply a buff. Each instrument has it's own unique song but we are exploring possibilities of adding multiple songs or version to instruments. As an audio guy, I've been very excited to implement instruments into the game as it gives players a little bit more control over when they want to hear music. 

New NPC and Quests

In order to get your hands on some of the new instruments, you'll have to talk an NPC known as The Composer. He will get you started on a set of quests that will reward you with some nice instruments and have you feeling like a true musician in no time. 


This week we've also started to look into adding achievements into Salt. We are very excited about achievements and we think it's going to give some new goals and challenges for our players. We'll update more on this as we get further along in it's development. 

As I said before, we are still working hard on multiplayer and making great progress in that regard. We'll be posting a blog update soon giving you a look at some of the progress we've made and what's yet to come. 

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


Update 1.9.3 - Cloud Saving

8:56 AM willsterling23 1 Comments

With this update we are introducing Steam Cloud saving, as well as some new content and bug fixes! Let's dive into what you can expect from this update.

Steam Cloud Saving

Salt now takes advantage of the Steam Cloud for storing save data files. Steam will automatically handle uploading and downloading your latest save file data between computers. Along with this, when the game saves data has been altered slightly. Your inventory and other certain game states are no longer saved constantly. Instead, the state of the game will save both when you manually save, and periodically as an auto-save. By default, loading a game will load the most recent save, but you can chose to load the last manual or last autosave by clicking on the gear icon next to the save slot in the Load menu.

A side effect of the save changes is that the game now requires Steam to be running. However, this does not mean it requires an internet connection as it will work just fine when Steam is in offline mode.

Your current save files will automatically be converted to use the steam cloud. No action is required on your part.

New Items

With this update we've also added in some new armor, items, and lore to various places. You can now find new armor sets in both hunting shacks and ancient chests. We've also added a new epic weapon that requires a full set of the new armor to find. In addition to that, we've added some new items to pirate chests and added some new lore books in the game. 

New Quest

This update also includes a new quest line involving the search for a mysterious jewel. There's an item that can be found somewhere in the world that will trigger this quest line when turned in. As with most quests, you'll find yourself going to various islands, defeating some tough enemies, and even uncovering new lore and items. 

Battle Music

While we do have boss music in the game, we wanted to add some music for fighting tougher than normal enemies that aren't quite bosses. Now when you encounter any pirate captains or commanders, you will have some music to go along with your battle!

Change List

Integrated saving with the Steam Cloud.
Improved appearance of informational popup messages.
Added new battle music for pirate captains, named captains, and commanders
Replaced some ambient sounds with smoother looping versions.
Added a new armor set to hunting shacks.
Added a new armor set to ancient chests.
Added new items to bronze and silver pirate chests.
Added new lore books to hunting shacks.
Added a new quest line with new items and lore.
Increased the drop rate of ceremonial keys from cultists from 8 to 10%.
Fixed some items having the Armor stat instead of Physical Armor.
Fixed some recipe descriptions.
Fixed missing texture on augmented moonrock sword.
Fixed poacher’s lure. It can now be equipped as bait.
White ink no longer requires a red flower to craft.
Made bamboo on jungle islands consistent with other islands.


2016: A Year In Review

11:52 AM willsterling23 1 Comments

Well, it looks like 2016 has come and gone already! It was a good year for Salt and we wanted to go over some of the major content highlights of the past year, as well as what you can expect in 2017.

A Look Back

Quest and Player Journal

One of the first major additions we made in 2016 was the introduction of the player journal. We wanted players to be able to log their adventures and write down any interesting things they found such as locations, discovery details, etc. We also wanted the journal to automatically keep track of quests so that the player would be free to continue exploring and not worry about forgetting what their quest details were. 


Along with the journal we also implemented a brand new cartography system that gave players the opportunity to create charts of their world. We always loved watching the community share coordinates and interesting places they discovered, and we wanted to make that even easier and more fun with the in-game charts. We also added a cartographer NPC that rewards you for map accuracy. 

New Pirate Islands

In 2016 we added a brand new end game pirate island to challenge players even with the best of gear. With these new islands we added pirate forts and multiple new pirate types, including bounty hunters and even a Pirate King Boss. Of course we also chocked it full of new items, rewards, and even related quests. 

The Main Quest

While Salt is a game primarily about freedom and exploration, we wanted a main story and quest line to give players a sense of objective and depth to the world. This past year we completed the implementation of that story line, adding a fun end game boss battle and a whole lot of new loot. 

Island Distribution Change

One of our favorite changes we made in 2016 was a change in our island distribution system. Over time as we added more and more content into Salt, things weren't really spread out evenly. The way the old system worked, it was quite common to encounter a lot of islands without much content and vast stretches of ocean before reaching more island clusters. With the island distribution change, we spread content out more evenly, giving players a much higher chance to find new content frequently.

Pirate Graves

A fun addition we made this past year was the introduction of pirate graves. Now when exploring the world you can find little tombstones with a description of how the person died, as well as a nice lockbox. We added multiple lockboxes with lots of loot for replayability. 

New NPCs

We also introduced three new NPCs this past year with multiple quests and a ton of items. These are friendly characters known as the Sea Scholar, Fisher, and Hunter. Each one has unlockable levels of items as well as a repeatable quest that gives you rare, epic, and even a chance at legendary item. 

Island Music

This past year we also introduced our first ever island exploration music. Now when exploring large natural islands, there is a chance for music to play during the day and at night. We made the music non-obtrusive so as to add to the feeling of exploration and not take away from anything or be too distracting. 

Crafting and Inventory Changes

In 2016 we also made some nice additions and changes to the crafting and inventory system. For crafting, we added a new recipe discovery system so that you could see all potential recipes of an item, which gives you a reason to go look for new items and helps you discover some potential recipes you may have never known existed. We also added in some sorting options to help keep your inventory a bit more clean, and added the ability to drag and drop items. 

Overall, 2016 was a great year for Salt. In addition to adding a lot of new content, we fixed a lot of bugs and made a bunch of small improvements to the game. Now, let's talk about 2017. 

Whats to Come in 2017

Our main goal for 2017 is finish the implementation of multiplayer and release Salt out of early access. We also plan on implementing some other things such as Steam cloud saving, achievements, and other improvements. We are making some great progress on multiplayer and will share more information about that soon. 

Thank you everyone so much for supporting Salt and allowing us to continue developing this game. We are very excited for this year and can't wait to see what the future holds for Salt and it's community.