I've had my eye on Book Of Travels for a while, and lately every time I see it I think of Ed saying he doesn't like MMOs anymore. I'm pretty sure I also don't like MMOs anymore, but Book Of Travels isn't one. It's what Shelter series developers Might And Delight call a TMO—tiny multiplayer online. They're planning this little online world to be a calmer space than the likes of your GW2s or FFXIVs, which they've illustrated more today in a new video explaining what kind of co-op tasks you'll get up to on the Braided Shore. They're planning additional videos every week this month until Book Of Travels heads into early access on August 30.
Book Of Travels definitely seems to be going for a chill, low pressure atmosphere. M&D reaffirm that in today's new video explaining cooperative tasks called endeavors. "It can't be urgent or stressful," lead programmer Jens Berglind explains about the activities, "because that would break the tone of the game. Instead it's things that you can leave alone if you want and then you'll just be rewarded for engaging with them."
These co-op feats fall into four categories, Berglind explains in the video above: physical, mystical, social, and mechanical. Physical challenges may be moving rubble out of the way while social endeavors could be about influencing NPCs. Players with different chosen talents will be able to contribute to different endeavors in different ways.
Mechnical endeavors in particular have caught my interest. A ways back, M&D went over some of the ways to travel around the Braided Shore, mentioning hand-powered Draisines as a method that would require collaboration between two players. In today's video, they also mention steam boats that you may be able to use after getting help from other players.
One of the important bits underpinning all this freeform collaboration is that Book Of Travels will operate on an emote-based chat, not text chat. I still wholeheartedly believe that kind of communication system brings out the best in most people most of the time and I'm interested to see how players develop shorthand.
As I'm sure I've said previously, it all rather reminds me of my very earliest MMO days. It feels a lot more intimate than MMOs as they exist now, harkening back to internet communities of the past. No surprise, perhaps, given that M&D still call their former dabble with online gaming Meadow a "forum in games clothing."
M&D previously did a half-hour dive into character creation and exploration that you can check out for other details or their many posts about different game systems. This is the first in a series of eight new videos leading up to launch, M&D say, which you can keep an eye out for on YouTube.
Book Of Travels did also recently announce a short delay. It was planning to head to early access next week, which has been pushed back to Monday, August 30th. You'll find it on Steam.