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Post news RSS Our approach to puzzles in Harmony's Odyssey

Hi everyone! In this article, we wanted to present a deeper dive into our perspective of designing engaging and creative puzzles and riddles that will be showcased in our upcoming 3D adventure puzzle game, Harmony’s Odyssey. As we mentioned before, it is our biggest and most ambitious project ever, consisting of diverse mechanics and novel gameplay ideas that we look forward to bringing to players next year.

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What inspires our team?

We are greatly inspired and influenced by animations and cartoons that bridge the gap between generations - productions of Studio Ghibli or Pixar always stood out for us, thanks to the multigenerational approach and their clever winks and frowns thrown at viewers. This type of content stood the test of time and still carries valuable lessons, regardless of people’s ethnicity, spoken language or age.

Since most of us were born in the mighty 1980s, we do remember lots of great ‘off-line’ entertainment - solving jigsaws, playing cards, chess & checkers, all the great board games like Mastermind or if you were a slick handed player - pick-up-sticks. Great thing about all these ‘party games’ is that families, friends and whole communities bonded over very simple ideas that are still here - we just want to make them more interactive and fun on the digital channels.

How about video games? We tip our hats to studios behind Into The Breach or the Civilization series as well as offline puzzle games. They are all bringing tile-based gameplay to a next level and somehow pave the way for creators that want to follow this route. We also really enjoy deck-builders like Wingspan, that bring original and friendly themes - expanding players knowledge about certain things.

Tasty race

What is our approach really about?

We could sum up our approach to making video games in the points below:

  1. Pleasant, relaxing themes
  2. Brain engaging which allows to enter the flow state
  3. Accessibility
  4. No language barrier
  5. Can be played together with a younger one
  6. Focus on value, rather than exploiting players time

Sounds nice? Let’s briefly expand on all these points. Firstly, we want our games to have a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere. The idea is to relax yourself and enjoy the moment, rather than being constantly anxious about not having time or money to dive into everchanging meta or microtransactions. You want to simply have fun, maybe learn some new skills and we hear you loud and clear.

Are our games accessible? In Hexologic or our dot-connecting puzzler One Line Coloring, the idea was to play almost effortlessly - whether it’s the gamepad, mouse & keyboard or a touchpad in your laptop - we want players to focus on finding the solution and enjoying all the riddles, rather than becoming a champion in who presses spacebar more times under one minute. The Control scheme in Hexologic is super easy to learn - you can even play it on Apple TV’s remote. We are always thinking of new ways of utilising the platform's advantages - touchscreens, gyro, you name it.

Comment ça va? Wie geht’s? We hope you’re doing ok and even if you didn’t understand these exotics at the beginning - don’t worry. We get that learning a foreign language is a tough cookie and players all around the world want their content to be localised. Our games rarely utilise written language as we want them to be understood without any words.

So you are 6 years old bugging your parents for a new video game? Or maybe you are a parent that is constantly worried about what their children play and don’t want them to engage in some shady lootbox-fueled, totally-time-consuming blockbusters? Or this parent is your child and you’re 68, sitting in your chair, looking for an entrance into this crazy world of games? We believe that everyone, regardless of their age should be able to enjoy easy to learn, yet fun and meaningful games.

Last but not least and for sure something we want to preserve and expect others to respect - our time. You don’t really have +100 hours to put into another open world game? Welcome to the club! Now even if you did, think about all other stuff you can do with your precious 100 hours. You can think of a new business plan to turn your life around. You can learn a new, valuable skill and have a fraction of this ‘lifetime’ invested in a time-well-spent entertainment. No guilt about staying up until 4:00 AM with a college semester test right around the corner.

A bit of fun at the pond

What puzzles can we expect in Harmony’s Odyssey?

Our upcoming wholesome adventure puzzle game is greatly influenced by all the things above and follows this direction. Gameplay revolves around tile-based isometric and facade dioramas that players need to solve by changing tiles’ positions, based on interactive elements placed on the tiles and their surroundings. Our initial plan was to focus solely on solving dioramas, however the idea evolved into expanding this main loop into something more - a puzzle hub filled with engaging action/adventure mini games that enrich players' experience and are seamlessly connected to dioramas. Currently, Harmony’s Odyssey offers:

  • isometric dioramas puzzles (horizontal)
  • facade dioramas puzzles (vertical)
  • spot-the difference mini game
  • memorize objects mini game
  • catch the delivery mini game
  • get the cheese mini game (inspired by PacMan)

Harmony's Home

We have at least 3 more mini game ideas that slowly take shape in our mythical oven and will let our community know about the ones that will make the final cut soon. The plan is to further improve level design, balance and overall experience, making every type of puzzle a logical extension of the main, tile-based gameplay.

Phew, that was a long one! If you’re still here, we are delighted and truly happy that our upcoming game and its promise stuck with you. This means, you’re probably interested in what we’re cooking and we would be more than happy to have you onboard. As always we encourage everyone to wishlist our game that you can find here: Store.steampowered.com

Thanks for your attention, IndieDB readers!

Your friendly neighborhood puzzle games maker,

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