Twine looks very promising. (Kevin got into the open-source code and started doing arcane things to the computer and making appreciative noises, anyway.) I think I could probably get it to do something reasonably akin to what I wanted Cryptic Stitching to do. (Certainly I can import a lot of the text...) There's the inevitable issues of figuring out how to translate things, and Twine would require a certain linearity, so it's less open world (although I suspect that people have worked out clever ways to make it feel pretty open.)
(And there is no limited number of turns. You could presumably burn through the game in an hour or two if you wanted, if you're that sort of person.)
The nice thing about this is that since it'd be locally hosted, it generates HTML and it's open source, I don't have to worry about the developer stopping support. (Heck, it's Python. Kevin can troubleshoot, if things get rough.) (My thanks to people who speculated about Kickstarter, but I A) do not want to go to that well too often B) get really iffy about taking money for stuff that I don't already know is possible and C) was really not keen on taking money for something that hinges on somebody else's intellectual property/engine/thingy.)
So, I guess my next trick is to try to figure out how to port this sucker...