I’m kind of falling in love with Book of Travels

“Serene” “Emotional” “Pastoral” “Roleplay” “Calm”

These aren’t usually keywords that get me really jazzed about a game, but you know what? We have our fill of loud, boisterous, in-your-face titles. Maybe it’s high past time we had a quiet, contemplative, and incredibly immersive experience.

Up until this point of my life, I’ve only Kickstarted two things (Ashes of Creation and Project Gorgon), but now I’ve added a third: Book of Travels. Ever since I originally wrote a news post on this newly announced “tiny MMO,” I’ve become deeply intrigued with this concept. The combination of a hand-painted art style and a slower paced RPG world that’s far more thoughtful than your typical combat-centric game really appeals. I’m so tired of the fact that the term “RPG” has been boiled down to combat, levels, and gear. Those things are fun, but I want more. I want a well-rounded virtual life where all aspects are thought out.

This might be that game. Or something, at least, worth investigating.

Book of Travels definitely is marching down its own path without much concern whether or not it will be a mainstream hit. There are tantalizing hints as to what the game might offer, with references to choosing your own path, a heavy emphasis on exploration, skills that tie in to your character’s personality, and magic systems that are highly unconventional (magic tea, anyone?). Then there’s this:

“Events that are usually trivialized in RPGs are instead made into strong emotional moments. Witnessing a death, for example, will weigh more heavily on your character for each day that passes, but by visiting the deceased’s resting place, your grief will be transformed into a new energy – one that will remove that weight and strengthen you instead.”

Can’t remember the last time an MMO dev sat down and spent time thinking about how your character feels — and then included that as a game system. That shows a team that’s throwing out the overused playbook and is starting from the ground-up (which reminds me a LOT of Project Gorgon’s team and attitude). And I’m really rooting for it.

My 2020 gaming dance card is starting to fill up, but right now Book of Travels is at the top of my must-play list for next year.