Associate Editor Lauren Morton chose Book of Travels (opens in a new tab) as his personal choice (opens in a new tab) for Game of the Year in 2021, but she also acknowledged that her unusual mannerisms – it’s “distinctly awkward”, as she put it – might turn off some players. This seemed to be the case in December 2021, when developer Might and Delight was fired (opens in a new tab) much of its staff, although it is committed to further development of the game.
To his credit, Might and Delight stuck with him. Earlier this week he released a new early access development roadmap, and today he went deeper into what it all means. (opens in a new tab)and what players can expect in the future.
“It is important to understand what we are trying to solve,” the studio wrote. “We’ve always said we wouldn’t stand in this game. The downside is that sales have suffered because people are saying there’s no content. We have dozens of negative reviews where people played for a few hours, found nothing to do, then reacted negatively.”
Might and Delight said the challenge was to get people into the content without abandoning its non-handling commitment: “To nudge players without drawing a big arrow saying ‘It’s this way,'” like the said the studio. Some of the changes to achieve this will be small and subtle, like tweaks to item descriptions and gossip, and others, like adding a prologue that will help “pave the way to Kasa”, the main town from Book of Travels. , will be more explicit.
Vehicles are also being rewritten to make them “more reliable” and predictable, a new movement system that can include controller support (which is apparently always in the air) is being worked on, a new timing system is being worked on, permadeath will “sort of return” and the game’s economy will undergo a “major change”.
The lack of a quest log is also being investigated, though this is a particularly tricky complaint to address due to Might and Delight’s overall goals for the game.
“We hear the frustration of not being able to write stuff in-game and not having a direct quest tracking system,” the studio wrote. “We can add a quest tracking system, but that defeats our purpose of not holding hands. We have an idea that falls between those two ends, but basically tracks where you’ve been and if you’ve seen or heard something useful but won’t say, ‘There’s something behind that tree’.”
It must be a tough position to be in: wanting to retain the distinctiveness of a deliberately unusual game, while simultaneously needing to attract a large enough audience to keep the lights on. Might and Delight clearly has big ideas for making Book of Travels more accessible without giving up its essentiality, and I really hope it gets the chance to realize them.