Our Final Public Release
The latest version of our engine demo mostly focuses on speed improvements, bug fixes, and clean-up for future features. Not a feature heavy release, but for my computer, my framerate has doubled, and gameplay feels much cleaner. Not too bad!
Get the goods here (changelog).
Why is this our last public release? Because soon, we’ll be launching…
The Harmonia Tactics Kickstarter Campaign!
We’ve been working like madmen for several months to prepare for this announcement – on Monday, March 23rd, 2015, 8:00am EST, Harmonia Tactics will be launching a fundraising campaign! Our goal is to raise $25,000 to complete our online gameplay and add heaping boat-fulls of new content.
Harmonia Tactics was always intended to be a game where players could explore, build their team, join forces, and face-off against powerful armies in an online battlefield. We’ve been expanding and tweaking the game engine for years now to create the perfect model for this online game, and now the time has come to finally finish it. In the beginning, we were a team of one (yours truly), but now we’ve quadrupled our forces to four to tackle this ambitious project.
We’ve come as far as we can without funding. The groundwork is there; now we need the art, characters, music, storyline, world, and everything else for a fulfilling gaming experience. With proper funding, we can work full-time to produce this stuff and finish the game for a December 2015 release!
The Dissonance is Coming…
“After a long, long age of peace, Harmonia’s tranquility has been shattered. It started with reports from the outlands, of once-peaceful wildlife attacking wanderers. Then came bloody riots and uprisings on the borderlands, seemingly without cause. And soon, in the hardest-hit, bleakest regions, demonic armies emerged and seized Harmonian fortresses to use as their strongholds, to launch further invasions into the heart of the realm.
“From Kingdoms near and far, the best magicians, priests, and mystics gathered together to divine the cause of the chaos that gripped their nation. The answer troubled even the mightiest of them: the magical forces that bound the world together and created order were beginning to unravel. Where the landscape had grown vulnerable to spiritual intrusion, an alternate dimension was bleeding into Harmonia’s own.
“In a last-ditch attempt to ensure the survival of civilization, the realm has put out a call for heroes from all species and walks of life, to turn the tide of the chaos that threatens to engulf their home. On an ever-changing battlefield where the world they once trusted grows violent and hostile, can these heroes beat back the Dissonance and restore balance to Harmonia?”
Our Plan for Harmonia Tactics
Team-based Tactical Gameplay. Each player will control four characters at once in a team composed of characters selected from their account. Players can move their team around as a single unit, or split their characters up and let them explore independently. Every character is free to roam the realm using the mouse or keyboard, but when there’s fighting nearby, they must take turns in our real-time tactical combat system. Like most RPGs, characters will level up and gain equipment to improve their fighting prowess.
Infinite World. The world of Harmonia Tactics will be divided into a grid of several small rooms called sectors. Each sector on this grid will be set in a different biome, each with its own unique set of monsters, encounters (see ‘Encounter-Driven Gameplay’ below), and a possible building or structure. We have six biomes planned so far – 4 are nearly complete:
Liberating The Kingdom. Kingdoms are scattered all over the realm. In the heart of each lies a throne room in a large castle, surrounded by cities that dwindle into small villages as one approaches the Kingdom outskirts. The invading Dissonance is corrupting each Kingdom from the inside-out, engulfing the entire realm in civil war. As the war rages, Kingdoms will constantly switch sides between the Harmony and the Dissonance. It’s your job as the player to clear out the Dissonance from each Kingdom by assaulting the throne room and defeating the boss. But, you can’t do it alone – as you push towards the throne, you must join forces with other players to defeat the increasingly difficult swarm of enemies in your path, culminating in a long, glorious, epic battle in the throne room. Defeating the boss will revert the Kingdom back to a peaceful state… for a time.
Liberating a Kingdom has great rewards. Not only will you get to loot the treasure room with your comrades, the entire Kingdom will open itself up to the world, full of shops stocked with unique equipment, new characters to recruit from the local tavern, and new quests offered from NPCs. For achievement-hunters, you’ll get a badge for each Kingdom you help liberate, and get your name on our score board.
Encounter-Driven Gameplay. As you explore the world map, new rooms will throw different random encounters at you, such as a horde of monsters, a wandering merchant, an enemy patrol, or a lucky treasure pick-up. The difficulty of the encounter will depend on the population of the sector (from empty wilderness to bustling castle) and the level of Dissonance (from peaceful to enemy stronghold). Many encounters will have multiple paths to victory, and your actions may affect later quests down the line. For example, sparing an enemy general from death may persuade him to join your team – but turn some of your allies against you.
Rogue-Like Elements. Harmonia Tactics is the kind of game where you sit down, start a new game, and play over and over again, rather than building up a single party over weeks or months. Each playthrough is a new experience from start to finish with random characters, random equipment, and random encounters in a random corner of the world. New characters will join your team as you adventure onward (no more than four at a time), and they’ll level up quickly so you’ll get a piece of the action without days of grinding.
In rogue-like tradition, when characters die, they’re off your team for good. Rather than being killed-off from the game entirely, they’ll return to your account, reset to Level 1, and be available for your next playthrough. This means rare characters earned from complicated quest chains or challenging encounters will be unlocked for all time, giving all players more interesting team choices the longer they play on their account.
For an ambitious project like this one, $25,000 doesn’t stretch as far as you’d think. We’d like to give our project a $3,000 buffer for Kickstarter expenses, reward expenses (shipping and time spend on individualized gifts), taxes, and other unforseen expenses. That leaves $22,000 to be divided evenly between programming, story content, art, music, server and website maintainence, etc. Among the four of us, that leaves $5,500 apiece which should support us for six months of hard work: exactly how much time we need.
This is the minimum budget we need to deliver a satisfying version of Harmonia Tactics – however, we have several stretch goals with exciting new content and features prepared if the crowdfunding gods deem us worthy of additional cash. To name a few: more player-vs-player features, extra biomes (the Moon?!), support for iOS and tablets, and much more!
How You Can Help
1. Donate $10 to purchase the game early. Want to get in on the ground floor? Donate $10 to our Kickstarter Campaign and you’ll receive a free copy of Harmonia Tactics with early access. Connect directly with the developers in our forums, suggest ideas, offer feedback, and check out new features as they come in, fresh out of the oven. Help us polish the game so it’s fantastic on launch day!
2. Donate more to fund our work. Of course, the more you can give, the more you’ll get from Harmonia Tactics. Every $50 we earn translates to roughly one hour of work on the game for us, which means more content for everyone!
3. Spread the word. Just like fighting the Dissonance, you can’t do it alone. Let others know what we’re trying to do here. Post on your favorites forums, reddit, Facebook, Twitter, talk about it in the office, show your friends our trailer, shout “Harmonia Tactics” as loud as you can on the bus… whatever! It helps us a lot more than you’d think.
4. Tell everyone you know to give at least one dollar on day one. You might not think one dollar goes very far, but every donation pushes our ranking up on Kickstarter and puts that many more eyes on the project. We’re hoping to be on the front page with this one!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Harmonia Tactics an MMO?
A. Yes, and no. We’ll have servers running 24/7 to handle the bulk of player traffic, but you’ll still be able to play the game single-player and open private servers yourself. We have no plans to let characters or accounts be transferrable between servers, so if you want to build up an army, we suggest you play on the most populated hubs.
Q. Can I play single-player?
Absolutely. If you’re playing solo, the difficulty curve will be scaled accordingly so you won’t need large teams of players for the more difficult battles. Plus, there will always be game modes that are playable solo against the AI or with bots (like ‘Battle Arena’ and ‘Tower War’).
Q. Can I host my own server?
A. Absolutely. Harmonia Tactics is packaged with the server and several mods for smaller games. If we have the time, we’d like to program a “mother” server that makes player-run servers easily accessable for everyone in the “multiplayer” menu.
Q. Will I have to be connected to the Internet to play?
No way! You’ll only need Internet access if you want to play online, for obvious reasons 😉 No authentication necessary, and all account/character information is stored locally on servers.
Q. Can I have a team greater than 4 characters?
A. We’ve talked about the possibility of unlocking more in-game team slots through heroic feats of player control, but we first need to see how well players will react to our gameplay, make refinements, and settle the final numbers during the alpha/beta phases. We may even lower the team size to 3 if larger parties prove overwhelming for most players.
See you on March 23rd!