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Shelter developers will beta test their new "tiny MORPG" this summer

Looks mighty delightful to me.

The folks who've brought you all those cute animal parent games: Shelter, Shelter 2, Paws, Meadow and the lot, revealed last year that they have something new in the works (aside from the planned Shelter 3). Might and Delight's "tiny MORPG" is called Book Of Travels and is planned as a "unique social roleplaying experience" somewhat in the vein of the studio's multiplayer experiments in Meadow. After being successfully crowdfunded, they are looking forward to beta testing starting this summer and an early access release for the autumn.

I quite liked Shelter back in its day and although I've not kept up as closely with all of Might and Delight's subsequent games, I've kept a closer eye on this tiny online game. As with their previous games, Book Of Travels appears to be quite a minimalist experience while still encouraging interaction between players.

Might and Delight tested out player interactions based on symbols in Meadow, a system with more than a passing resemblance to Thatgamecompany's Journey, which just arrived on PC last year. They'll be using what sounds to be a similar wordless language for Book Of Travels.

In an update post on Steam today, Might and Delight are very brief but do say plainly that they plan for beta testing in their new slightly magical world to begin in May or June. They are also currently planning for (though these things do often change) an early access release in October.

I'll be quite interested to see how Book Of Travels' plans for wordless socialization play out. There are quite a number of interactions between players that may lend themselves to impromptu moments of collaboration.

There are events in the game that we call Endeavours. A group might find a machine that requires them to collaborate to activate it. They might come across a boat to reach a far away island. They might simply encounter a social situation that demands more than one player.

Among the stretch goals that its Kickstarter campaign listed and met are even more possible interactions. There will be manually powered rail vehicles that players can use to ferry one another across the world. Players will be able to play instruments together and collect new tunes. They'll be able to play an in-world version of rock-paper-scissors as well. There's more, but I'll avoid being exhaustive.

Backers who pledged at the associated level will get to participate in the beta this summer while the rest of us will be able to join in October. You can stay up to date on Book Of Travels' plans by wishlisting it on Steam.

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