Looks cool. The graphics are simple in a very beautiful and unique way. Also, is it pronounced "swords" or "SWØØØØRDS!"? (SWØØØØRDS! sounds a lot cooler imo)
If you want to be pedantic it is indeed SWØØØØRDS! but I coloquially just say "swords". Hopefully the name makes it clear what the game is about.
I like the old-school polygon look of the characters, but they need more shading (take a peek at Virtua Fighter). Currently they are too flat and I think that defeats the whole purpose of going 3D.
Maybe the purpose was simply to avoid having to write a tilemapper and
fitting a physics engine in there and
animating each sprite separately?
I like the flatness. Reminds me of the really
old 3D games
I use an alternate shaded material on most terrain objects. The visual look has changed a ton since I last tried using shaded materials on the characters so I'll revisit that and see how it looks.
It's made in Unity3D so the physics and such are already handled, there's actually no true tile system, it's just much easier to construct everything and modify it in real-time (such as opening up a side-room connected to an existing main room) using cubes. Any simplicity, abstractness, or lack of polish is indeed due to a question of priorities like you think, though: I am concentrating on getting good combat and decently exciting / ridiculous / gratuitously violent visual effects. The game is designed somewhat as a vehicle for the player to explore and enjoy the combat system, it's quite focused.
I was originally trying to avoid having 3D animated models entirely but I decided to stick with them but make a few time-saving choices: characters have no thighs or upper arms, simplifying all the animations on limbs. They don't actually use skeletons, they are just a bunch of animated shapes. The walk animation is just their feet shuffling back and forth with a bit of movement in their arms. This is my first attempt at 3D animation and I'm totally taking a utilitarian stance on it: just enough effort to make the combat feel good.