Interview: Ska Studios – Salt and Sanctuary

Hi everyone, while going through my YouTube subscriptions the other week, I found a video by VaatiVidya who is well known around the Souls series community.  He put up a preview video for an upcoming game called Salt and Sanctuary by Ska Studios.  After falling in love with everything I saw in his video, I knew I had to reach out to the developers in hopes of an interview.  Lucky for me, the two person team were more than willing to answer a few questions for us!

 

-First off, to get formalities out of the way, could you introduce yourself to the readers who may not know who you are?

-We’re James Silva and Michelle Juett Silva, a husband and wife indie game development team. We have two cats named Neko and Gato and we create stylistic, usually violent, 2D interactive entertainment. Our games include The Dishwasher: Vampire SmileCharlie Murder and I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!1 We’re currently working on Salt and Sanctuary, a 2D Soulslike headed to PS4, Vita, and PC.

 

-And could you tell us a little bit about Salt and Sanctuary?

-Salt and Sanctuary has been aptly described as a “2D Soulslike,” meaning it draws heavy inspiration from the Souls series. Likewise, it draws themes from PSOne and DS era Castlevanias, like Symphony of the Night and Order of Ecclesia, and it draws much of its stylistic, visceral combat and brutal difficulty from our own The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile.

 

The game introduces you as a sailor shipwrecked on a mysterious and dangerous island, attempting to make rhyme or reason of the land’s creeds, sanctuaries and monsters. There’s a heavy emphasis on exploration: you’ll explore a vast interconnected world full of traps, hidden passageways, and monstrous bosses, and you’ll explore an endless variety of loadouts, build strategies, and play styles.

 

-So, looking at the material available for Salt and Sanctuary, it seems that it holds a lot in common with the Souls series of games by FromSoftware.  Are you two fans of those games? Were they an influence in the design of Salt and Sanctuary, and whether they were or not, what was your influence behind Salt and Sanctuary’s design, in both game play and art?

-We’re obviously pretty huge Souls fans, and the series has been a major influence on us and on Salt and Sanctuary, which you could say was more or less born of really, really wanting to craft and explore our own Soulslike universe.

 

-Do you have any plans to implement character customization beyond skills/equipment?

-You can currently customize gender, race, hair and eye color.

 

-How about an online aspect?  Are there any plans to implement direct interaction with other players?

-We’re working on a local co-op mode that we can almost promise, but it definitely has to feel integral and not tacked on. We also plan to include asynchronous online features similar to Souls games.

 

-And do you have any plans for replay-ability, such as a New Game+ mode? or am I starting to get too into the secret “Yet To Be Announced” details? lol

-Absolutely!

 

-Well, are there any tips you’d like to pass on to future players for when the game finally gets released?

-Take it easy! Patience is rewarded, button mashing is a bad, bad idea. Take the time to really explore the island; we’ve put a ton of time into filling it with tons of intricate details.

 

-Moving on from details about the game, Salt and Sanctuary marks the first game you have developed for a SONY system (being exclusive to the PS4 and Vita (and PC!)); All your previous games were on the Xbox or Windows phone.  What’s it been like working with SONY to bring Salt and Sanctuary to life?

-Sony has been amazing. We’re thrilled with their level of enthusiasm and support for getting our game onto their platforms.

 

-And which company do you prefer working with more? We promise not to rat you out to the big guys upstairs lol

-Working with Microsoft was always great, and we honestly owe our company’s existence—including every game, soundtrack, T-shirt and vinyl we’ve ever produced—to Microsoft, XNA and XBLA.  Unfortunately, two of those three things are no longer active, and that’s just how it is.

 

-I think we’ve reached the end of our questions, thank you for taking the time to answer them. Are there any parting words you have for the readers and anticipating fans?

-No problem! Thanks for talking with us. If you aren’t already following them, please check out our development Twitch streams that we do three times a week! If you follow us on Twitch.tv/SkaStudios, you can chat with us Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 1pm PST.

 

Our sincerest thanks to Michelle and James for working with us and answering our question.  If you’d like to learn more about them, Salt and Sanctuary, or their previous titles, you can visit their website here, or follow their twitch.tv account in the link above.  If you’d like to check out VaatiVidya’s preview video on the game, you can click the link here.  We look forward to covering more of Salt and Sanctuary as it develops, until then, stay frosty readers.

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