Many people find playing MMORPGs cathartic and as an escape from the troubles of the real world. There's something soothing about grinding for a highly sought piece of gear or some extremely rare vanity pet. Still, most MMORPGs tend to be action-packed, with a heavy focus on build optimization and raiding endgame content. Book of Travels shuns that notion and lets player create their own stories with those they meet along the way and from events encountered at random.
Book of Travels lets players simply wander a strange, exotic land filled with mystery and awe. Player interaction is at the forefront of gameplay, but developer Might and Delight restricts players from using text; rather, a set of symbols are used to communicate with other fellow travelers. Indeed, Book of Travels might just be the next MMORPG to suck you in.
About Book of Travels
This MMORPG is developed by studio Might and Delight, based in Stockholm, Sweden. Among their past work is the Shelter series, Tiny Echo, and Meadow. With a target of $25,376, the studio has well surpassed their goal at the time of this writing.
Might and Delight describes Book of Travels as a Tiny Multiplayer Online (TMO). This is not to say that the game world is small. Instead, the team limits the number of players on a server to a smaller number. Unlike other MMOs, where players are numerous and even sometimes annoying, Book of Travels aims to make every encounter with others exciting.
Like any MMO, players create their own character. Book of Travels doesn't have character classes like warriors and mages. Character customization involves choosing different personality traits, a backstory, flaws, and more. Cosmetically, players are able to choose eye color, height, and items as well. The land you inhabit and wander—where you create your own stories along the way—is called the Braided Shore. It's a land filled with wonderful scenes of nature, but early signs of industrialism are starting to show; the Kickstarter even hints at darker, fantastical elements tucked away, too. Spirits called Sefra inhabit the Braided Shore. According to the Kickstarter, these spirits are not technically malicious in nature and often coexist with humans without trouble, although their "their unpredictability and their tempers can have huge consequences."
The developers tout Book of Travels is a game that can be enjoyed either alone or with others, despite other players inhabiting its world. Along the way, Might and Delight says players will encounter events at random which can only be triggered under certain parameters. These seem to be a replacement to the typical MMO quest, of which there are none in Book of Travels. The developers say that anything from a flock of deer to a traveling merchant counts as an event. According to the campaign:
"Events have certain conditions, such as ‘can only appear during night’ or ‘only occurs in x location when raining’. This complex design is what makes the game truly unique: it will present something different each time you play, giving every player a different story to share."
Those who stick with the group can experience more through what the developers call Endeavors. Endeavors are split into four categories, like Mystical and Mechanical. These Endeavors seem to require teamwork to complete. Curiously, player interaction is both integral to the gameplay but also restricted. Communication is restricted to symbols and emotes, and more of these unlock as you continue on your adventure. Encountering certain things like a boat, as the Kickstarter points out, will unlock a symbol of said boat for players to express themselves.
More akin to traditional MMORPGs, the Kickstarter hints that there are "items and skills to aid your survival," and you can learn some unspecified powers and abilities, though likely not in the typical MMO sense. Interestingly, there are things called knots, and there's the the ability to brew magical tea. Creating and drinking magical tea can lead to certain effects like invisibility and weather resistance. Knots are used to cast magic in Book of Travels, although they don't seem to be those typical mage-like spells such as flinging a fireball or turning someone into a sheep. The Kickstarter reads:
"In Knotcraft, binding can be used to conjure magic energies – they are always potent and usually benign. One type of knot may conjure ‘light’ while another may conjure ‘smoke’ or ‘shelter.’"
Book of Travels Kickstarter Pledges and Stretch Goals
At the time of this writing, Book of Travels has surpassed several stretch goals. Some of these goals requires a certain number of backers, while others require a specified amount of money to be raised. Right now, crowdfunders are looking at the possibility of a new minigame, a draisine players can ride, and even the ability to play music with each other. As for some of the pledge tiers, $20 gets you a PC copy of the game, a cosmetic Traveller's Knapsack, and your name in the credits. The $52 tier gets you some extra digital goodies such as the soundtrack, concept art, and a set of maps. The $186 tier, in addition to what comes in previous pledges, gets you a "framed memento from the studio," each one being unique.
The team at Might and Delight are readily capable of creating and completing Book of Travels, and assures backers that while there might be a small delay or two, the game will release. With the funding goal already met, look forward to discovering the painterly world of the Braided Shore when Book of Travels releases some time in 2020. Check out the crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter here.
What are your thoughts on Might and Bright's approach to the MMO experience? Let us know in the comments below!