Hello readers! We’re 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 loveable characters, and a compelling story we hope all kinds of players will enjoy.
One of the main features of our game is the Augural, and that’s what we’d like to talk about in this blog. The Augural is the game board and visual representation of our main character, Polly’s, gift of clairvoyance. It is the place in which you will foresee and make all your choices in Harmony: The Fall of Reverie.
We wanted to the Augural to be a peaceful and beautiful place where you can prepare your next move without any stress. That’s why the Augural is set against a placid lake reflecting a starlit sky, and this starlight conveys the idea of an astronomical map where fates can be deciphered.
When we first set out to build the Augural, the intention was to offer significant choices that were well-informed, so you need never be surprised or caught off guard by the decisions you make. From there, it evolved naturally into a way to expose the ‘core’ of the story and show how events are connected to one another. We wanted to do something new in the Choices Matter sub-genre.
We experimented with graphs and trees during conceptualization. One of our main references was Augury, the Ancient Greek art of divination, which they performed because they believed that the gods were willing to communicate with mortals. This was a good way for us to make the link between Polly’s clairvoyance and this method of representing it.
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 biggest issue however was readability; the Augural went through quite a few iterations!
Some versions that we experimented with but ultimately didn’t make it into the game are more complex trees that would spread in several directions, cards that would reveal themselves on the board as the story progressed, and at one point there was even a building you could rotate in 3D! In the end, we made the system more user-friendly with lots of testing, removing any unnecessary visual elements, simplifying the background, improving readability at any level of zoom, and spent a lot of time tweaking the navigation.
As the Augural is a very visual way of playing, we had to create a system in which you can see even the seemingly trivial decisions eventually build up to greater outcomes down the line. This is so you can visualize how you’re going to play to reach the outcomes you seek. During the game you’ll also make decisions which have an immediate impact on the