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Exclusive Interview With The Axie Infinity Team


One of the biggest attracting factors which only dApp games allow is the ability for the gamers to collect and actually own one of a kind NFT’s. So you might have already acquired your Cryptokittes and Etheremons but have you obtained an Axie yet? What is that you ask? We had an interview with Axie Infinity Co-founder Trung Nguyen to offer us more insight into the game and tell us there is more to these adorable looking characters than meets the eye.


1) Hello, please tell us about you and your team?

My name is Trung Nguyen, I left my role as a software engineer with a US-based startup to work on Axie Infinity full time. I am the lead engineer of Axie Infinity and have had a hand in all aspects of development: from developing and deploying our smart contracts to implementation and design of our product.

My partner, Tu Doan, is our lead artist and game designer. Tu has been building and designing video games since he was 13. He’s also a competitive Pokemon players and in charge of the the battle mechanics and game designing of Axie Infinity.

Axie Infinity started as a passion project when we learned about the interesting and immutable ownership structures made possible by the blockchain through playing other decentralized games. We’ve always been frustrated by the lack of true ownership made possible by centralized gaming, and thought that the Ethereum network in particular has offered us a playground in which to build our dream game.


2) The art style is very captivating can you tell us how you came up with the character designs and what inspired you?

We wanted the art style to be cute, playful, and inspired by the natural world. We designed the art with the purpose of making the Axies seem as “alive” as possible so animations will always be a key element in the art style as the game is moving forward.


The first sketch I did of an Axie was Puff, our Axie #1 in the game. It was a quick sketch, everything flowing from instinct. The name of the project was originally Chimera because Axies are a mixture of all the coolest body parts that I’ve observed in nature. Puff has the gills of an axolotl, antlers, and a fish tail. I think drawing from nature with its endless sources of inspiration will keep the art unpredictable and exciting.

3) Please offer us a brief overview of Axie Infinity gameplay.
   Has this game been fun to work on?

Axie Infinity is an Ethereum-collectible universe where players will raise, battle and breed fantasy creatures called Axies. Each Axie has a unique genetic code that determines its strengths and weaknesses in battle. Players can position their Axies prior to battles and choose which battle moves their Axies take to each fight.

Axies battle in 3 vs 3 matchups. During each battle, Axies use their moves in a pre-set order that is determined by the player prior to the battle. When a move is used, it moves to the back of the Axie’s move queue and its turn ends. The first Axie team to vanquish all opposing Axies wins. Team composition, positioning, and move-sets will all be key strategic factors in determining the outcome of each battle.

Players can also breed and raise their Axies. The breeding system will be familiar to those who have played Cryptokitties but we’ve made a few adjustments that we believe will help us, for example we do not have a generation system which simplifies things a bit. We’re also really exciting about raising Axies. Players will be able to house their Axies in Terrariums that provide special bonuses. Players will accumulate rewards for completing small tasks like feeding, washing and putting their Axies to sleep the night before a battle. These rewards will have implications for the breeding+combat systems.

Working on the game has been an amazing experience. We’ve been able to propose solutions to some of the flaws that we believe exist in centralized mystical creature games like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! that we grew up playing.

4) Your game looks like it would have been amazing even without
   using blockchain technology? Why did you decide to   
   incorporate blockchain?

We decided to incorporate blockchain to enhance the feeling of ownership that players can feel with their Axies. We like that that our players know that their Axies will exist on the blockchain, regardless of any of our actions.

In addition, blockchain games allow us to make certain immutable promises to our playerbase that centralized games cannot. Remember that Vitalik created Ethereum because WOW warlocks got nerfed.


5) What are some defining game features that set Axie Infinity
   apart from similar blockchain games?

We believe that our advanced battle system will provide an immersive gaming experience yet to be reached by similar blockchain games. The battle replays will have a cinematic quality and we can’t wait to watch our players go at it!

We also believe that the act of raising baby Axies will make our breeding system more fun. Instead of just submitting a bunch of Metamask transactions, our players will need to nurture and form a bond with their Axies in order for them to reach adulthood.

6) What have been the most difficult areas that you faced so far
   in your planned roadmap?

The development cycle we’ve set for ourselves is ambitious. There are a lot of sleepless nights but we really take pride in being able to deploy new features as often as possible.


7) What are the reasons you think that make people love collecting cute things? Why would this translate to digital assets? Is it emotional attachment?

I think people have a primal urge to collect and curate. People have been collecting insects and specimens of creatures for thousands ofKyears. Pokemon was actually inspired by the founder’s childhood insect collecting trips.

It is only natural that collecting would evolve to match the times. People don’t want their collections locked in temperature-controlled basements anymore– they want their collections to be easily shareable on social media. We believe that adding blockchain-enabled proof of ownership will help spur this trend as well.

8) Have you been surprised by the great response you have been
   getting for your game and the high values of Axies in your

We’re definitely excited about the response so far. It makes us want to work really hard and make Axie Infinity as amazing as possible. I’m not sure if we are surprised at the values on the market– they seem reasonable to us.

9) Can you give the gamers any special game hints if they
   read this interview?

You guys should come to Discord for leaks– that’s where they happen!


10) Where do you see your game and the general blockchain gaming
   market headed for in the near future?

I’m a bull on the decentralized application and gaming market obviously. We’re incredibly early in this story and the infrastructure and community around these games has grown so quickly since November when CryptoKitties clogged the Ethereum network. I think now that some of the big names in San Francisco Venture Capital have given CryptoKitties their stamp of approval, we are going to see larger blocks of institutional capital look to invest in the space. Crypto-collectibles also come with much reduced regulatory concerns since they are not classified as securities.

We’d like to thank the whole Axie Infinity team very much for taking the time out of their busy schedules to talk with Blockchaingamer for this exclusive interview!

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