“Tiny MMORPG” Book of Travels is one of many games in our purview that suffered from the pandemic, having seen its early access date slip from 2020 to 2021 – in fact, early access was most recently set for Q2 2021, which is half over already. Yet we’ve had plenty of peeks into its beta and development since the Kickstarter, and today we’ve got one more, as the Might & Delight developers are discussing how art and story come together to form the game’s narrative design.
“Working with narrative components as well as items and NPCs, our Level Designer’s task is to ensure that there’s not only a good degree of activity and discovery in all areas of the world, but that the experience of exploring them is rich and rewarding. In areas where the player’s field of vision is limited such as the one above, that means revealing small parts of hidden things – they might be spirits, bandits, buildings or beasts – to prompt further investigation. In areas where land is open and a long field of vision is available, levels must work to suggest possible pathways, challenges and rewards.”
The goal for the studio, of course, is to lead the player to the hubs and provide pretty things to look at since you can’t actually swivel the camera to see things from every angle. “[L]evels are designed to offer suggestions to where you could go next,” the team writes. “A fork in the road, a structure looming in the distance or dialogue with a passerby are among the many things that might alter your path.”