Despite making a strong impression when it debuted in 2021, the peaceful "tiny MMO" Book of Travels struggled to find an audience. Layoffs at developer Might and Delight quickly followed, and while the studio promised that work on the game would continue, it was easy to assume that it would eventually be forgotten, and slide quietly into oblivion.
But it doesn't look like that's going to be the case. In August 2022 Might and Delight laid out ambitious plans for the future, and in a recent Steam update the studio said that it's just about ready to "put out new gameplay content, and expand the world of Braided Shore."
"We have put a lot of work into our backend, development tools, and improving the game performance overall," Might and Delight wrote. "This work has enabled us to finally inch our way to opening the gates to not only Kasa, but other new areas in Braided Shore as well.
"Right this moment, there are ways to sneak into the locked city, and as the mysteries of Kasa develop, you will find new stories to pursue, and new areas to explore. There are both technical and narrative reasons as to why we’re rolling out the city in these 'chapters,' but we’re confident that the slow burn will be worth it, and we hope that you’ll find the new adventures rewarding."
Book of Travels is a gorgeous game, but it's not the easiest thing to jump straight into because its game world really isn't designed to cater to players. Instead, much like a real world, it just is: Associate editor Lauren Morton called it a "distinctly inconvenient" game when she chose Book of Travels as her Game of the Year personal pick for 2021, describing it as "purposefully slow-paced and often opaque"—but in a good way.
"The day and night cycle is tied to the server your character is on: US East and West, Europe, or Asia," she wrote. "There's a night market you can only visit one night of the week, quest giving characters that only appear at a particular teahouse on Friday nights, and events that happen at particular times of day. Even its trains and boats between certain locations run every few minutes."
Might and Delight's work since then, which includes updates to the combat system (because yes, Book of Travels features combat) and the addition of an in-game journal, promises to make the game more conventionally accessible, but doesn't sound like it's going to have much impact on the placid nature of gameplay overall. That's a good thing: I love the way it looks, but my real interest in Book of Travels is rooted in its willingness to do something genuinely different, even if that means I have to work at it to enjoy it.
Might and Delight promised that "in-depth looks" at the new features coming to Book of Travels as they get closer to release.