Might And Delight of Shelter series fame have been working on the lovely online game Book Of Travels that they call a TMO or “tiny multiplayer online” game which I very much hope becomes a thing. They’ve just revealed a whole half hour of gameplay narrated by creative director Jakob Tuchten who, much to my delight, spends nearly a third of the time in the character creator.
Until now, we’d not seen a very thorough look at Book Of Travels. The painterly online world is meant to have rare encounters between players who can interact with emotes and music. The Braided Shore is full of magic, though it’s of a humbler kind fueled by knots and tea rather than fireballs, it looks. A quick teaser from earlier this year shows just a glimpse of those things.
Today’s new gameplay video is much longer and comes with explanations provided by Tuchten. To start off with, character creation is a familiar affair for RPG players. You’ll choose a “form” which Tuchten likens to classes, a background, personality, skills, and more. During creation you’ll also choose positive and negative traits like “focused” or “disoriented” which forces you to resurrect further away from where you fainted in combat. You can even manually write a backstory, a blank slate which I’m sure will daunt me for hours.
Out in the world, Tuchten explores off the main road, stopping for such distractions as petting a pig, speaking to a child who wants nails for their treehouse, and avoiding a group of bandits. It’s still exceptionally pretty. Look at that water.
Partway through, Tuchten uses a skill that turns his character into a deer who can gallop across the world quicker than a human. He collects reagents for magic, goes fishing, and trades with the blacksmith at his destination. There are survival elements as well like tiredness and hunger, which Tuchten says aren’t the “major aspect” of the game but still important.
Tuchten refers to combat and difficult areas in the world that will require advanced skills, though we don’t see that in this demo. Although it wasn’t shown off here, I imagine finding out how combat works will be another quite important reveal as Book Of Travels continues development.
It’s seems to be a quiet, thoughtful experience and I’m still so eager to see how it holds up to player behavior. So far, I’ve gotten the feeling that Book Of Travels is aiming for a minimalist multiplayer experience like Journey with a magic system that favors preparedness like Outward. I’ll admit I’m hanging some of my bottled up dissatisfaction with modern MMOs on Book Of Travels but it does truly look like a lovely, novel experience.
And oh, the music. Listen to the music.
Might And Delight say that Book Of Travels will enter early access sometime in 2021. You can find it on Steam in the meantime.