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Die Gute Fabrik on why Saltsea Chronicles is your next indie story-driven adventure to watch

After Mutazione, Die Gute Fabrik's next conversational adventure is about to set sail, and in this interview deputy story lead Sharna Jackson tells us more about its characters, its colourful art style, its quirky humour, or its embedded card game.

Audio transcription

"Okay, we are at the Play Days of Summer Game Fest 2023 and we are taking a look first game we are seeing today is Saltsea Chronicles. We're getting a bit salty to start with and this is, if I'm correct, a conversational point-and-click adventure full of text, colorful characters, really nice art and cats."

"Yeah, and cats. Yes, Saltsea Chronicles is an adventure game, it's based on a flooded world 500 years after a flood and a crew are looking for their missing captain and that search takes them across lots of islands across the Saltsea archipelago. So yeah, there's text, there's lots of different lengths of text, there is beautiful graphics in the style of children's picture books and read-a-graph, there's a lovely soundtrack and there's also a card game within there as well called Spoils which has different rules across the different islands. There's lots to do inside of the Saltsea world. Lots to do in very different ways because for the little I've played I could choose between different characters and then I could choose between different dialogue options and then all sort of affects what's gonna happen and how characters relate to each other, right? Yeah, that's exactly right. So yeah, on every island you choose who you want to go with, you can choose to pick characters up or let them go on certain islands and we've got this really cool branching safe system actually. So for the example you played level four but that's just one version of level four, there are three level fours in our game and you can come back to a choice you've made and then take a slightly different path if you want to. Yeah, so all the choices that you make in Saltsea Chronicles have consequences. And what can you tell me about the tone of it, the story, the humor? I found some really funny anecdotes and dialogue choices and you sort of define the characters around this, right? Yeah, yeah. So the tone of it is warm, it's open, it's friendly but it's not soft. There's some real conversations in there about justice and what it's like to live in a world without police and how do we look after each other, how do we find comfort in worlds like that? But you know, the writers room was collective. It wasn't just me writing the story, there were up at one point six of us and we come from different worlds. So I write children's books about murder and art and my colleague is a poet and another comes from theatre and somebody worked on television series. So we're all coming with different perspectives on the story and I think that's what makes it so rich. Okay, and considering that background, I asked you before, for kids starting age 10, around 10 is good to start playing this game?
Yeah, I mean there's no violence in the game, no. But I think if you're 10 you can get a little bit more of the nuance that is in there. So if you're 10, I think you'll like it. No violence at all? I could have used some violence to get rid of that bird. There are ways to get rid of the boxer without violence. Yeah, I see what you mean. So for viewers that might not know how do you solve puzzles in this game? And it's all about the conversations and your choices. I don't know if the card game also plays into the puzzle solving or how does that work?
For example, how could I get rid of that bird? Spoiler alert. So there is a bird causing havoc on Los Gatos and what you need to do, you need to smoke them out and to do that you need to use a herb. Sounds a bit sketchy. But you need to do a herb and you have to find that by having conversation. So no, there's no violence. But yes, it's all conversation and the card game Spoils is not connected to that. It's a separate thing so you have different modes of play within the game. And finally, tell us a bit more about the art itself. It's of course full of text but it's surrounded by really nice art and even the text itself has different font styles for the different characters so you sort of hear their voices, right? So what can you say about the art and the characters art as well and the amazing environment art? Even though it's simplistic, it's really good. Thank you so much. So the art was all made by co-founder Neil Senekin along with his colleague Angus Dick and Rosanna Wang and it's amazing. It's inspired by children's picture books and a technique called risograph. So it looks like it's textured, looks like paper and because the islands are so diverse as you know, we're on Cat Island but you can go to an island that's an upturned cruise liner and there is so many different islands. They all look so different but they're all with their own vibe and tone. So I'm really chuffed that you noticed that and the design of the characters as well because a lot of work and effort went into that and went into all of it but that in particular. And yeah, because it's a lot of, it's a game that has a lot of text, we really thought about the accessibility of it all and that's why, you know, it's differently indented. There's different languages like you noticed. But yeah, we like really think about, okay, how are you gonna play this? How long are you gonna play it? We'll have some short text here, some longer conversations there and then the game spoils. So you can, you're always doing something a little bit different. And for players coming from Mutazione, what can they expect? Any sort of references or parts of the games are similar in a style to Mutazione? Okay, well there's a similarity in the art style and our creative director, Hannah, loves to hide bikes within the game. So you might find a bike or two as a little callback to Mutazione. But in Mutazione, it was like a soap opera, a playable soap opera. But Hannah and co-founder Doug Wilson were thinking about, okay, what would it be like if you could play more than one character in an ensemble cast? And that is what Salt Sea Chronicles is. And when is Salt Sea Chronicles set in sale?
Set in sale in 2023. So it'll be out this year. And on which platforms? On PC, on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5. Thank you so much for your time, Sharon. Thank you so much."

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