The girl, the tree and the time

Posted in Development on 01:06 AM by Swordtales

This is a game with an unusual protagonist in games, the girl.

This is a relationship with a yet more unusual character, the tree.

This is an adventure against the most ruthless force of all, the time.

Naturally, a lot have been asked about Toren gameplay. We can say that it puts the player in the beggining of an experience of growth and continual change, interacting with the solution of puzzles that the game presents. The interface, which is being tested, uses the same philosophy present in Heavy Rain to give immersion for the player feel every action and every effort during the game. The life that was given to that princess lasts only one day.

If your life and all in all its phases lasted only one day, what would you do with it?

Seek for freedom?

The day dawns and a life starts, colorful …




..and curious.

But time, time reduces everything to dust and he is not alone.

Today we put the time in the game interface, and we will take this test version for the Brazil Game Show, what did you think? :)

Evolution of visual

Posted in Development with tags on 02:58 AM by Swordtales

Hello everyone, today we’ll talk about graphic evolution in our development of Toren,

All our efforts, since the early stages of development, being focused in the poetry with a special care for the game art. It’s interesting to see how the technical aspects and engine usage influenced our early builds. A lot of people are saying it looks like ICO, and we believe that’s because of the same classic archetypes, even though Toren shares other influences, specially in its gameplay. Our will to make an adventure game, much like old classics, yet with a more mature and intense tone, working with dilemmas coming from human condition, with ups and downs. We think it’s more like a “spiritual Zelda” in a claustrophobic environment, waiting to break free, a similar feeling we have, as independent game developers in Brazil, a country with little to none incentive to games, but a lot of incentive to mediocrity.

“Brazil is not for Beginners” by Tom Jobim.

The base for the gigantic tower, our game environment, should look like a misterious and magic prison. Since we’ve already had established we’d use more realistic and concret “magic” and fantasy, we chose the oldest shape from ancient altars: the Circle. It was very hard to use that circular shape to the tower itself, and we understood, at least, why there are so much games with straight rooms and staircases.

The princess is always confined in her prison: The Tower. It’s the same deal in Toren, but she will have her own share of experiences there; she also have a life inside the tower. Sad and tough times, and magical ones as well. That helped us in the graphic evolution in our game:

You can see that inicially the game was almost entirely inspired by greek architecture, but went to an abundance of colors, almost like Miyazaki movies, and finally got that sad look of imprisonment in the first renders and game tests. In the early phases we were experimenting and learning which characteristics favored the game visual and added to the key experience of the player, to feel like playing a poem.

As soon as we mastered the characteristics of the game engine we walked a few steps back to a more coloful and alive, bringing a more powerful identity to the game. There are many games that, to bring a so-called “realism”, use a low saturated scheme, or greenish/yelowish schemes, to reflect how these games face life.

“The world is cruel” or “This is the reality” are aspects of the western games I’m talking about and the reason is this desatured look. TOREN tries to be an exception, not only because we liked that most, but because we miss the old Japanese JRPGs and other oriental games which portraited the ups and downs of life. That’s our princess: A human being with hopes and dreams enduring her own quest to find her freedom.

Cheers, everyone!

Here’s the 30 second trailer to the Brasil Game Show’s finals, with some visual differences we’ve done in the past 3 weeks:

Toren: FINALIST in the biggest event in Latin America.

Posted in News with tags , on 03:14 PM by Swordtales

We are proud to announce that our project is one of the FINALISTS in “Art/Design” category in the biggest games event in Latin America.

Brasil Game Show, the biggest fair of eletronic games in Latin America, wich  will be taking place between the 5th to october 9th, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro. The conference is aimed at game developers from Latin America market, but also gather game enthusiasts from different areas.

All the finalists are AWESOME.

We will be waiting for you all to come and to chat witch us about fun games in Brazil.

INDIEGAMES.COM posts about Toren

Posted in News with tags , on 03:40 AM by Swordtales

The reaction you have when you receive a notification about a tweet, informing of a post about your game in the greatest indie games site of the world is indescribable, feels like:

Help us, people, and spread the word… that way we all can help the game development  in Brazil to produce more cool games!

Thank you Tim for your post on, it really made the difference and motivated us to keep working on Toren with full force to deliver a game that can meet your expectations.

The concepts

Posted in Development with tags on 12:55 AM by Swordtales


Hello everyone,

About a year ago we are discussing a game concept to show for our post-graduation with the masters and professionals from the late Ubisoft Brazil  in PUC-RS. The concept need to be unique for the final piece of our graduation. Between cups of coffee we came up with a concept about inner and phisical growth using archetypes from classic games we like, such as Legend of Zelda with the introspective narrative of Braid.

The game is being equally conceived by 3 professionals from distinct areas of expertise: Me, Alessandro Martinello, with 2d arts and 3d enviroments, Conrado Testa with animation and Luiz Alvarez , the programer behind the intricate design that compose the game interactions. Over the blog you all will get to know ourselves and our friends and helpers.

The inicial concept was a mix of Kagero, Zelda and those entertaining grow-kinda-games. Soon our desires took shape along with the game and we could syncronize ourselves to the same vibe:

A relevant story about life.

Our idea was to provide a touching experience for the player, and the visual, strong colors, prove our oriental influences like Hayao Miyazaki movies.

Soon we would discover which emocional and life relevant concepts could make we overcome ourselves and teach us how to make a game.

Swordtales presents: TOREN

Posted in News with tags , , on 09:56 PM by Swordtales


Welcome to TOREN Development Blog, an exploration 3d game filled with puzzles, that is being made by Swordtales, a brazilian new company.

This blog is your conection with Swordtales during the development time, where we shall present some inside informations about this project.

Toren began its development with a simple concept:
“What if a little girl could interact with a tree during her lifetime?”
Through this relationship between distinct lives, we soon incorporated the mood and gameplay with the most classic story of all: the Princess being rescued by her Knight.

However, as we twisted the perspective, focusing on the princess rather than the prince, we could give a new approach and meaning to old fairy tales and ancient phylosophy.

We could only have a happy ending when the princess reaches the top of the endless tower to be saved…

and that depends on you!

Sit tight and wait for more news from Swordtales first release!