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About the Story
The Salt Keep is a text adventure (think interactive fiction with Choose Your Own Adventure and RPG mechanics) and should feel familiar to fans of classic gamebooks and fantasy fiction in general.
- THE STORY -
Set in a high fantasy world with low fantasy stakes, the character-driven story of The Salt Keep follows a struggling merchant named Doyle who stumbles into a life-or-death mystery. During the last legs of a months-long journey as a traveling salesman, Doyle stops in the seemingly deserted village of Cardwyke to meet a friend who has promised to help keep him financially afloat, but what he finds is even more dangerous than the crushing weight of debt.
- THE SETTING -
The world of The Salt Keep should be familiar to any fan of fantasy — it has breastplates, and swords, and other fun stuff like that — but is shaped by the vaguely industrial and creeping decline of feudalism. Sprawling merchant conglomerates and faceless business structures pull the levers of power as much as the dukes and knights.
The world is meant to be both a reflection of traditional fantasy settings (the England-coded sword and sorcery and D&D-style locations we're used to) and an answer to some of their most frustrating tropes. It's not a world of prophesied heroes doing Great Man Theory or of grimdark anti-heroes exposing the essential evil of humanity, but of ordinary medieval schlubs trying to survive within alienating and oppressive political systems.
In other words, it's not a world a character like Doyle has any hope or intention of changing; he only means to survive.
- THE GAMEPLAY -
The Salt Keep is a text-based game, so the action is described through text and the player navigates and makes choices via button inputs. Through these basic mechanics, you'll be able to:
- Guide Doyle through the village and the towering keep that looms above it as he searches for a means of escape.
- Collect items and discover their uses.
- Equip gear to improve Doyle's ability scores.
- Succeed or fail at percentage-based challenges.
- Earn experience and level up based on those challenges.
- Talk to and work with NPCs to make progress.
- Uncover secrets and missable areas.
- Risk grievous bodily harm.
Despite the prevalence of choices and risks, there is no chance of death or dead-ends. The story always moves forward. In turn, you'll change the outcome of Doyle's story (as well as those of the NPCs) not just through the things you choose to do, but through the things you fail to do, and the things you choose to ignore.
- THE DEMO -
If you want to spend some time in the world of The Salt Keep before you commit, you can play a demo in the browser here:
The Salt Keep on itch.io
The demo includes the prologue and first chapter of the game, and any progress you make can be transferred to the full version.
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: February 10, 2023
Current Version: 1.0.6
Development System: Custom
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful