I’m very sad to hear about the layoffs at Might & Delight. To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of the studio prior to the Early Access release of Book of Travels, but this game has charmed me so. While I appreciate the transparency from Might & Delight, this news did bring a lot of questions to my mind. Did their launch so underperform? Has the indie video game industry, at least on PC, become overly reliant on Early Access-type experiences? Were there other troubles that were simply exacerbated by a perhaps disappointing launch of this tiny multiplayer RPG?
I hadn’t actually logged into Book of Travels for several weeks (whoops), but I did hop back in the other night. The experience feels more polished than last time, and I had fun exploring some new-to-me areas and continuing my fishin’-and-tradin’ routine. I do worry, though, that there won’t be enough new content for a long time, especially in light of the smaller team, to keep me eager to come back with a high frequency. Not a knock against the game or a lack of interest, but it’s something I’ve enjoyed most logging in and playing casually in a relaxed setting for as long as I want, somewhat aimlessly. I like the lack of an urgent quest or progression cycle, but the quiet teasing out of more information out of the world doesn’t give me an incentive to log in every day–or even every week. That’s fine! I like the quiet and the peace! But maybe it’s ultimately hurting regular player numbers in the game. Then again, surely player numbers couldn’t have been that crucial since there’s no subscription fee and this is Early Access–unless they were relying on potential investment that fell through because of low engagement figures. I hope that’s not the case. I want to see this game thrive for years to come, and we’re just a couple months out from release.
What I’ve been trying to do off and on for a while now is to persuade some friends to get the game. I think playing with some buddies with voice chat through Discord, getting involved in group endeavors and chatting as we wandered over a beautiful and peaceful land, would be an ideal way to regularly interact with the game. As much as I’ve loved the spontaneous, quiet moments I’ve had with strangers in the game, it’s still a social-lite experience in a setting and playstyle that seems ideally set up for in-depth roleplaying. (Alternatively, having a more combat-focused experience could easily mix up the gameplay, so I might roll a new character just for that.)
Anyway, with the Steam Winter Sale going on, and in light of the apparent financial woes at Might & Delight, I picked up much of their back catalogue of games. I’ve heard good things about the Shelter series while reading about Book of Travels, so I’m interested in trying that out. Plus, if it helps to support the studio while they continue to build out Book of Travels, I’m on board with that. They’ve also released the soundtrack to Book of Travels, and it’s truly beautiful music in that game, so I got that as well.
If you haven’t checked out Book of Travels, as part of the Steam Winter Sale and through January 5th, you can pick it up for 20% off now. Yeah, it’s weird to push this game in light of a setback, but I really do love it, and I really do want other people to experience it. Please, please, please consider checking it out.
(This isn’t a promoted post. I’m getting nothing for it. This is a small personal blog. I just really love this game and want to see more of it, and I think most people would like it too if they gave it a chance!)