Hello readers! We are very proud to launch Harmony: the fall of reverie on PlayStation 5 on June 22nd. It’s a narrative adventure with two vibrant worlds, a cast of likable characters, and a compelling story that we hope players of all types will enjoy.
One of the main features of our game is the Augural, and that’s what we want to talk about in this blog. The Augural is the game board and visual representation of our protagonist, Polly’s gift of clairvoyance. It is the place where you will foresee and make all your choices Harmony: the fall of reverie.
We wanted the Augural to be a peaceful and beautiful place where you can prepare for your next move without stress. Therefore, the Augural is placed against a calm lake that reflects a starlit sky, and this starlight conveys the idea of an astronomical map on which destiny can be deciphered.
When we first started building the Augural, the idea was to offer key choices that were well-informed so you never have to be surprised or caught off guard by the decisions you make. From there, it naturally evolved into a way of exposing the “core” of the story and showing how events are connected. We wanted to do something new in the Choices Matter subgenre.
While conceptualizing, we experimented with graphs and trees. One of our main references was Augury, the ancient Greek art of divination, which they performed because they believed the gods were willing to communicate with mortals. This was a good way for us to link Polly’s clairvoyance to this way of depicting her.
But it came with its challenges – we wanted you to feel the gift of clairvoyance and still be surprised by how the story unfolds. The main problem, however, was readability; the Augural went through quite a few iterations!
Some of the versions we experimented with that didn’t make it into the game in the end are more complex trees that would spread in different directions, cards that would reveal themselves on the board as the story progressed, and at one point there was even a building that you could rotate in 3D! In the end, we made the system easier to use by testing a lot, removing unnecessary visual elements, simplifying the background, improving readability at every zoom level, and spending a lot of time tweaking the navigation.
Because the Augural is a very visual way to play, we had to create a system where you can see how even the seemingly trivial decisions eventually lead to better results. This is so that you can visualize how you are going to play to achieve the results you are looking for. During the game you also make decisions that have an immediate impact on the story and you unlock branches while closing access to others.
When it comes to the bigger decisions, you use Crystals. This resource, which is your connection between the two worlds, is another unique aspect of the game that you will see and manage in the Augural. As the story progresses, you collect crystals from the Aspirations – ancient divine beings living in Reverie – who helped you on your journey or were helped by you. What crystals you use and whose influence those aspirations will feed into the real world until one of them rises above the others as the heart of humanity…maybe.
Harmony: the fall of reverie is a game that relies on story and gameplay to interact fluidly – the complexity of the story shouldn’t get in the way of understanding. We think we’ve managed to pull it off, but we’d love you to play along and let us know what you think! Harmony: the fall of reverie released on 22nd June on PlayStation 5.