A glossy spread in Killscreen may not be what anyone was expecting out of Might and Delight, the Swedish studio whose adorable little indie MMO Book of Travels just ticked past $200,000 raised on Kickstarter with only a few days left to go. But that is precisely what the game, via its Art Director Jakob Tuchten, has got. And since the game’s artistic sense and hand-painted graphics are a large part of its appeal, we figure it’s worth thumbing through Tuchten’s brain for MMO players too.
For starters, Tuchten says that the studio’s games act as an “oasis for people that are drowning in Steam games that all are so gameplay-based, fast-paced, and action-packed.” There are three full-time illustrators on Book of Travels, including himself, in what he describes as a “bohemic, rogue-like” studio that would rather “fail with something that [they] love than succeed with something [they] don’t like.”
“Our titles are… if you play them, you know. They’re hard to get into. They have a bit of a threshold. They’re a bit meaningless, so to speak. They always tend to challenge you to understand what they’re about. But if you’re that type of person that feels like you’re investing in something, then you might get something back. […] Some of the inspirations that we like to bring in on this project are games like Baldur’s Gate, old school fantasy RPGs like that. That game, as well, had something of a quite rare mix where you could just walk around in these nature environments that are basically all empty. And then you encounter a ruin or something, and that becomes a super, super powerful experience. That has been an inspiration for this, as well. To sort of create the everyday life situation in this fictional world. So we’re not going to overthrow people with the more fantastic, like say World of Warcraft.”
The interview does some traveling of its own, touching on the failure of many games to stay on a proper schedule to what it means to be a “tiny multiplayer online RPG” to roleplaying.
“We in fact want roleplaying to be the main dish of the title,” he says. “It sounds a bit cheesy, but we believe that having your own play style and expressing yourself through your character, focusing more on the personality and persona rather than classes and stats, brings the social interaction, the acting aspect of roleplaying, to levels where it feels like it’s fitting of a community that we want to build. That it’s a sort of nontoxic, very friendly multiplayer. So that is one of our strongest sales pitches to backers. If you want to see an RPG that has that type of friendly culture surrounding it, yeah, then this is the project.”