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Oct 30

Oct 30

Time-Bending Puzzle Game The Gardens Between Comes to PS4 in 2018

Explore time to overcome challenges in The Voxel Agents' new puzzle game, launching next year on PS4.

Matthew Clark's Avatar Posted by Director, The Voxel Agents

The Gardens Between is a homage to friendship, the kind from our childhoods that felt so impossibly large, when we made bonds that we thought could never be broken.

Arina and Frendt, the two protagonists, are inseparable friends who shape one another markedly as they grow up. They fall into a mysterious world of beautiful garden islands, where cause and effect are malleable. As you follow them on their journey, a story about friendship, childhood and growing up unfolds.

In this game, you don’t control the characters; in this game, you control time.

I’m Matt, and at The Voxel Agents we’ve been working on this wild game idea for some time. Back in 2011, we had a concept for a game based on that scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise is scrubbing backwards and forwards within a memory trying to uncover clues. We built several prototypes around the idea, and one of those prototypes blossomed into The Gardens Between.

The game follows two best friends, Arina and Frendt, who find themselves in this strange and surreal world of garden islands. As a player, you follow the pair and manipulate time to solve puzzles and uncover the gardens’ secrets. As you control time, moving it backwards and forwards, the characters can manipulate the world around them, changing the flow of cause and effect.

One of our driving principles during development was to build a game that anyone can play. We wanted The Gardens Between to have simple controls, to encourage stress-free exploration, and to tell a genuine story without text or dialogue. We strongly believe that games are for everyone, and The Gardens Between fits that perfectly.

At its core, the game is about exploring, but unlike most games, where you explore space, in The Gardens Between you explore time. In some ways this is simpler. On a timeline you can only move forwards and backwards, but time travel is full of its own complexities, and that’s where the puzzle elements come in.

Building a game where you control time is full of challenges. It’s very hard to separate time and space as concepts – but that is also part of what makes the design (and gameplay!) so exciting.

At The Voxel Agents, we’re all about beautiful, simple, crafted experiences — the kinds of games that we played growing up. It’s no coincidence that our game is packed full of 90s childhood nostalgia. We’re super excited to be launching The Gardens Between on PS4 next year, and we can’t wait for everyone to play it. We’ve poured our souls into this, and we think you’re going to absolutely love it!

Find out more at thegardensbetween.com or shout out below if you have any questions or comments!

Add Your Own

h4l0fw1nt3r said:

October 30th, 1:46 pm

Looks beautiful! The Voxel Agents did a wonderful job with this one, can’t wait to pick it up!

    Matthew Clark's Avatar

    Matthew Clark said:

    October 30th, 4:52 pm

    Thank you! We’ve been working very hard on this one, so I’m super happy that you like it <3

    – Matt

Thwip said:

October 30th, 4:02 pm

The Gardens Between sound like a metaphor for something dirty, but the game looks really pretty and unique; color me intrigued.

hongthay said:

October 30th, 9:11 pm

This looks like something my wife and I would enjoy playing together. I’m intrigued.

    Matthew Clark's Avatar

    Matthew Clark said:

    October 31st, 4:07 am

    Hi Hongthay, I think you would both really love it!

    That’s the beautiful thing about puzzle games, it doesn’t really matter who holds the controller. It’s all about observing the environment and using your brain :)

cusman said:

October 31st, 7:10 am

Watching the trailer I wasn’t sure how you play but it reminded me of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Am I in the ballpark of what kind of game this is? If so I am interested to get this for my daughters who enjoy puzzle games, but with simple controls and great personality.

    Matthew Clark's Avatar

    Matthew Clark said:

    October 31st, 4:09 pm

    Hi Cusman,

    You’re pretty close! The Gardens Between is a logical puzzle game with a strong narrative about friendship. It’s logical in the sense that none of the puzzles involve time pressure or rapid response and dexterity. Your only controls in the game are moving time backwards and forwards, and changing the state of things in the world. It’s designed to be a relaxing story driven adventure, but with a focus on puzzles :)

    Cheers!

paulogy said:

November 2nd, 1:50 pm

Looks like a beautiful game and a very interesting concept. Are some objects bound by time and others not? How is that represented in the game? In Braid that difference made for some very interesting puzzles :-)

    Matthew Clark's Avatar

    Matthew Clark said:

    November 5th, 3:58 pm

    Hi Paulogy,

    Some things absolutely need to move outside time (or on different timelines!) otherwise you’re just scrubbing a video. In The Gardens Between the light in the lantern is unaffected by time, and artefacts in the gardens respond differently to the presence or absence of light. As you change the states of the gardens, then the future and history of the characters time-lines in the space also change. For anything else, you’ll just have to play the game and find out!

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