By: Derek Yu

On: November 12th, 2009


Thomas “T.V.” van der Velden’s Harmony is a new FPS made with the ZDoom game engine. It is 8 years in the making. 8 years… wow, that is some dedication!

The game features original graphics and music. The monsters in the game were modeled from clay figures that the author rigged with wires so that they could be animated. Overall, Harmony looks fairly drab, but the character designs certainly lend it a unique and creepy look. The music is pretty good, too – I especially like the track that’s all drums.

It’s a challenging FPS that hearkens to the early days of shareware – there’s no jumping or swimming here (there is mouse-aiming, though)! Unfortunately, the weapon selection is not as interesting as the monsters, and you’ll mostly be playing with variants of the standard Doom line-up. But the level design is good – 11 large (and I do mean large) maps make you backtrack a lot, but are intuitive and have lots of shortcuts and secrets. The item placement feels right to me, too – ammo is valuable but not too scarce.

An original and complete game based on the Doom engine doesn’t come around that often, and Harmony is an impressive effort, if somewhat rough around the edges. It’s definitely worth a look for fans of old FPS’s. Thanks, jute, for the tip.

TIGdb: Entry for Harmony

  • Derek

    Sorry for the lack of posts – I’ve been very busy. I’ve got some guest reviews lined up, though.

  • Nikica

    No need to excuse yourself Derek, oh and I’m downloading this right now, looks awesome.

  • asdf

    I haven’t played the game but I have nothing but respect for the author if he managed to finish it after 8 years.

  • JoeHonkie

    Saw this in the forum and it looks hot. Need to find some time for it.

  • jack

    Great game, there is a way of jumping on the controls, but only if you want to cheat on a map

  • Salty

    Is “looking drab” a good thing in this game?
    Looking at the picture it seems like the clay-modelled monster does not fit entirely in the environment, it looks odd. BUT, this really could be a plus depending on how it adds to the uniqness of “Harmony”. I’m gonna check it out, defintely, it very likely is fun.

  • AmnEn

    Gosh, this once again showed me how old I’ve gotten. Can’t even beat a single level on very easy. :O

  • Endurion

    Neat, downloaded and started playing. How the feck are you supposed to leave the starting area? There is that huge door that shuts once you come close. And none of the other doors is opening up for me.
    There seems to be something with the right most toilet, but then that’s it for me.
    Any hints?

  • http://www.godatplay.com God at play

    Interesting looking game. Just imagine if the dev would have been able to make it in only a year. It would have been quite notable 7 years ago…

    Kudos to the dedication to spend 8 years making a game, though.

  • AmnEn

    *points at the use key, usually space* :P

  • Lurker

    Just to point out for those not in the know, “TV” aka Thomas van der Velden is one of the better DooM mappers from the ’96-’97 period. His maps generally gain quite a bit of recognition in the still-active DooM community.

  • Neko_Baron

    Nice game, currently on level 4. Only issues are armour being pretty ineffective making anything harder than ‘Very Easy’ a nightmare compared to usually playing Doom on second hardest difficulty, the par times being stuck at 30 as with the end item count stuck at 50 percent but very enjoyable none the less and some impressive level design.
    I would recommend binding crouch and jump for emergencies, I managed to find a secret on the first level that required you to crouch to get in (as far as I could see) plus managed to get stuck in the 3rd level and had to jump back up somewhere (Couldn’t find anyway back).

  • Anonymous

    I congratulate the guy for sticking with the game until completion. If only every developer had that dedication…

    However, the Doom engine & their variants have really become antiquated novelties. I’m just not sure what the practical aspects are for creating this in such a dated engine. I know that some people want to climb a mountain “simply because it is there” but if you have the skill to climb a mountain, then… Not to be impolite but climb a mountain that’s still worth climbing.

    What next – A text adventure?

  • JoeHonkie

    People still make text adventures.

    I’m not sure how “practical” and “video game” even go together. It’s something you play for fun, and often something people make for fun.

  • you

    facepalm to anon

  • Th. Ang

    Hey man, Text adventures are great. If someone can make something interesting with an outdated format, why get on their back about it?

  • MWB

    Hah, I knew memorizing cheat codes for Doom would pay off one day.

    Anyone having trouble can just type in the classic god mode and/or all weapons/keys cheat if you want to get through it.

  • judgespear

    people do it because they have a particular fondness for it, nostalgia whatever what you want to call it.

    i mean you can’t deny that they don’t make games like they used to, whether you like how games used to be or not.

  • jumps

    i bet people will be making doom clones in 100 years from now. dare i say it, some of them will be awesome! (as harmony looks to be)
    geez i’ve got to get broadband interweb.

  • nik

    arent all 2d sidescrolling platform games a bit slightly antiquated novelties then ?

  • Reineke

    I believe most of all it’s the aversion for learning a new engine/environment. I mean if you already spent alot time acquiring skills as doom mapper it appears comfortable to stay with that.

  • you

    Man, this is hard, i am curently on the first stage that have a minotaur on medium, holy modafuka, i am getting my ass kicked

  • Consumatopia

    The appropriate comparison isn’t to text adventures or 2d platform games–we’re not talking about an old genre of games, we’re talking about an old engine for a genre (FPS) that’s still making billions of dollars today.

    It’s more like making a new NES rom or something.

  • Blue Slime

    I’d play a new NES rom.

  • zooba

    hell ye, a new nes game would rule

  • Consumatopia

    Indeed, it would.

  • SirNiko

    Making a new NES rom.

    Sorta like Megaman 9, right?

    Nobody would do that. It’d never sell.


  • Consumatopia

    Just so we’re on the same page, when I said this was like making a new NES rom, what I meant was that this was awesome like making a new NES rom, just like Megaman 9 was awesome.

    Sorry for confusion.

  • Hup

    Jumping and crouching is very much supported in the ZDoom engine the game’s creator used, and despite what he said it appears he did intend both jumping/crouching to be used, considering some of the areas in the game.

  • torchedEARTH

    Just wow. Sorry so many people don’t like it. This or Modern Warfare 2…hmm, I like both actually.

  • sektor666


  • Stargoat

    Really cool game, nice atmosphere… it’s good to see people still making Doom mods. There’s something about that arcadey gameplay that modern FPSs somehow fail to capture.

    On the other hand, the lack of creativity and satisfaction in the weapons is a let-down. Not a game breaking one…

    Other than that, great job.

  • Endurion

    Shame on me, I scrolled the key mappings all the way down and didn’t see the use key :)

    Anyhow, the maps are frigging huge and well done. Esp. the later monsters fit their surroundings rather wall. The pig dog looks weird.

    Nifty game!

  • Ezuku

    Oh, how odd. The instructions say you can’t jump / crouch but you can just bind it through the menu. I’m guessing I wasn’t supposed to do that though.

    Game is very hard however, I quite like it. Map screen is very cool.

  • Vox

    Really? It took him EIGHT years to produce this?!? His workflow must be very inefficient, especially considering he didn’t even make the engine. Nostalgia is all well and good, but this is not innovative or creative enough to get excited about. It’s just doom with different textures. You see the characters and you think: yup, that’s a pinky demon. That’s a chain gunner. That’s a grunt.
    The music is really beepy, even for the era, and the maps . . . meh. Been there. Done that. Nothing new.
    It’s nice to have another free FPS, but I pity the guy for spending eight years on it.

  • zooba

    Found the secret room in the boss area, yey

    Wow, this was the most generic story i ver saw, i think that if in the end you would find a log of a monster saying that they was able to unmutate your friend (you are the alien?) it would be better, of corse it would need some changes in the story

  • Patrick


  • Vox

    I’ll add another thing: it’s really, really, really annoying how dark it is, illumination-wise.
    The levels are full of dark areas, and there are no torches or night-vision goggles. No light switches. Just darkness. If there’s good level design or unique textures, it’s hard to tell.