Book of Travels studio discusses its unusual combat and ‘slow’ gameplay loop


Book of Travels’ early access launch this fall was always destined to be on the smaller side since it’s a bit of a niche “tiny MMO,” but I don’t think we were prepared for how bewildering the gameplay would be. Part of that is the minimal but tactical combat and the slow start to the game, both of which are addressed by studio Might and Delight in a new interview by GameDeveloper (fka Gamasutra).

“We always liked the idea of the moment before combat being equally, if not more, important than the actual battle,” M&D creative director Jakob Tuchten says. “Judging your opponents prowess, weighing the odds, and preparing are parts of that. To be honest, we are not fully there yet. The feature needs more love and polish, but it shows promise. The timing part is especially intriguing to us — having various players express their character through how willing they are to play with the odds. A young adventurer might strike fast, swarming with low probability strikes, while a methodical warrior might wait until they have a 80 percent chance. That’s roleplaying through combat.”

And as for that slow-building game loop?

“We deliberately made this a ‘slow’ game loop because we want to signal that the journey and the preparation is more important than the end or usage. You are not granted skills upon leveling up and cannot use them with a mana pool that regenerates automatically. When it comes to engagement we are asking a lot from players in this regard. They are asked to go through many, many steps in order to get boosts like this compared to other games. We just have to stand by our vision and hope that players will see the charm in the struggle and the journey, as we do.”

The whole interview is worth a read.

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