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Feb 23

axiom verge

Axiom Verge Out March 31st on PS4, New Powerup Details

Tom Happ's Avatar Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 // Programmer/Artist/Designer/Composer, Thomas Happ Games LLC

Hey everyone – this is Tom Happ, the sole developer of Axiom Verge. About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to come to PS.Blog and describe the dedicated Speed Run mode feature of Axiom Verge. I was absolutely thrilled with everyone’s response.

If you aren’t familiar with Axiom Verge, please check out my initial PS Blog post about the game. The tl;dr version is that you play as Trace, a scientist who wakes up after a lab accident in a hostile, alien world. You need to uncover the mystery of how that world came to the state it’s in and your role in it all. Similar to classic games like Super Metroid, Contra, Blaster Master and others, the gameplay incorporates a mix of exploration, hidden powerups, strange creatures to fight, and epic boss battles.

Let’s talk powerups!

Powerups are the lifeblood of an exploration-based game. New abilities give you access to areas you couldn’t reach before and open up entire new sections of the game. They also open up lots of room for puzzles that can keep players challenged and thinking the entire way. It’s risky to talk too much about powerups, though, since it’s definitely possible to spoil some of the surprises along the way. So for now, I’m just going to focus on the first few powerups that you’ll find to give you a feel for the game.

The first one you’ll get is a new weapon called Nova. Unlike the first basic weapon you start out with, the Nova can be shot in 2 different ways. The basic way is just to shoot it like a normal weapon. It has a larger size, so you’re more likely to hit your target. But it’s slow. The second way is to detonate it while it’s in mid-air, making it split into 6 pieces. You can use this effectively to shoot at targets where you don’t have a direct line of sight.

Second is the drill. When you first get the drill (after defeating the first boss), you’re in a room where there are rocks blocking your path. This is to show players how and when to use the drill. Later on, though, I made sure to teach players that it’s not only rocks that you can drill through. Some other materials can also be drilled through. The more diligently you explore the world, the more likely you will be to find health upgrades and new weapons.

Later on, you’ll discover the address disruptor. I came up with this idea from the days of my youth playing with things like Game Genie or just finding glitches that weren’t originally intended to be in the game. I found it fascinating to uncover areas that I was never intended to see and corrupt different elements of the game to see how they would behave. I wanted to replicate this feeling of discovery by creating a sort of glitch ray that would corrupt the reality around you. Every enemy can be glitched, and they all respond in different ways. This opens up a lot of new puzzle ideas for people to explore by glitching every enemy to see what it does.

Some of this has been seen before in some of the sneak previews I gave out to press the last few months, so I’ll give you a sneak peek at one powerup that I don’t think I’ve shown to anyone yet. Without any further explanation…

I’m so tempted to talk about more of the powerups, but I really want everyone to discover them on their own!

And now for the biggest news of all: the PS4 version of Axiom Verge is ready!

It’s done! It’s through certification, has all of its age rating stuff done, has been localized into 6 languages (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese), and poked and prodded by multiple playtesters. Technically, you could play Axiom Verge today.

As we speak, review codes are being prepped to be sent out to media outlets and journalists so they will have plenty of time to write up thorough reviews. I feel this is an extremely important part of the process. There’s a lot of content in Axiom Verge and I want to make sure reviewers have plenty of time to play through the entire game and savor the full experience. I’m personally really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish as a solo dev, so my emotions run the gamut between excitement about letting the rest of the world check it out, and anxiety over letting my baby take its first steps in the wild.

Although the PS4 version is ready, I’m still working on the Vita version as there are some tools that are still under development that I’m waiting on. However, when Sony asked me when I wanted to release Axiom Verge, I had a tough decision to make. Should I hold the PS4 version so I can launch it simultaneously with the Vita version? Or should I just launch the PS4 version now? After hearing from so many people who are eagerly looking forward to playing it, I decided just to launch the PS4 version first. But people who are mostly interested in the Vita version should not worry. It’s definitely coming, and it’s definitely going to be cross-buy, so if you buy it on PS4, it will be ready for download on your Vita as soon as it launches there.

So with that caveat out of the way, I am a little freaked out to announce that Axiom Verge will be available for download on PS4 on March 31 for $19.99!

It’s been the greatest experience of my professional life creating this game. I really hope you enjoy it even half us much as I enjoyed making it. Thank you for your support.

//Add Your Own

57 Comments   13 Replies

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1

+ Gorvi on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:04 am said:

Awesome news! Sadly I’ll be waiting on the Vita version, though, but I’m still glad to see the PS4 version get a date. We’re that much closer. :)


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+ madmanwithabox12 on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:11 am said:

Looking forward to the Vita version. I can wait.


3

+ cmdluke on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:13 am said:

Excellent news! Just recently started getting hyped for this so my wait hadn’t been that long. :-)

Also waiting for the vita version, but cool that it’s releasing on ps4 instead of waiting for simultaneous release.


4

+ walnoj on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:21 am said:

This looks fantastic, and I’m excited for the game. Thanks for hooking up PS Vita owners with Cross-Buy. I don’t want to ask too many questions about this game as I want to learn more about it. Are you supporting Cross-Save, too? Or is that something that you just couldn’t get to work? Thanks for all your hard work, the game really does look like a love letter to the older gamers out there.


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    + Tom Happ on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:48 am said:

    Cross-save is still up in the air, but hopefully can be done once the Vita is up and running via a patch to the PS4 version.


5

+ PSX5K on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:22 am said:

Will there be a demo on PSN?


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    + Tom Happ on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:50 am said:

    No plans for a demo on PSN, but there is one in the retail kiosks in Best Buy, Target, Gamestop, etc.!


6

+ Lackshmana on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:22 am said:

This game looks fantastic. The art design is really well implemented, especially in terms of how it uses the throwback graphical style. It doesn’t just look retro, it looks genuinely good.


7

+ SaberX85 on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:23 am said:

Congrats on the release date, Me myself will wait for the vita version.

Looks really good, can’t wait!


8

+ The_Cowboy_Poet on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:24 am said:

Awwwe yissss. I just finished Guacamelee and I really my Metroidvania fix. Congrats on getting this finished Todd! It’s one of my most anticipated games of the year. I’ll be purchasing it day one, and recommending my friends do the same.


9

+ Ghostwize on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:26 am said:

Well Mr. Tom Happ, you magnificent SOB! That’s another 20 bucks gone next month. Been following this game since it was announced. Looks so fantastic. Massive props to your hard work and dedication on getting something of this magnitude completed. Looks amazing. :D


10

+ ixnine on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:37 am said:

Yay! Finally get to know when I can play!


11

+ kitler53 on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:39 am said:

you will have my money.


12

+ ZombieSamura1 on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:46 am said:

Awesome! This is a coincidence since I just happened to play the PS4 demo at a local EB games, and it was a lot of fun! Looking forward to get it later next month


13

+ DOC_INCOGNITO on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:50 am said:

I’ll be waiting for the Vita version with my wallet at the ready!

(No PS4 yet)


14

+ jacobeid on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:01 am said:

Yes! Day one for me but I think I’ll be lost in Bloodborne for a little while before I get to this..


15

+ Rammel29 on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:02 am said:

Yesss, hank you Tom this just made my day, looking forward to 3/31. Any news on releasing a soundtrack or theme?


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    + Tom Happ on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:06 am said:

    I plan to have the soundtrack available in some form for release, still not sure what form that will take. CDBaby, BandCamp, SoundCloud, something like that. We’re also in talks with merchandizing companies about a physical CD.


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    + Tom Happ on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:16 am said:

    Also forgot to mention, I do hope to do a theme, but I haven’t started work on it.


16

+ jerms0518 on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:05 am said:

Very excited to hear it’s coming out, but disappointing to hear the Vita version is delayed. I have no PS4, so I’ll just pretend it’s not out yet.


17

+ GStylez1980 on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:09 am said:

I just want to congratulate Tom on this momentous achievement! I listened to his interview with the Playstation Blogcast a couple days ago and truly enjoyed hearing him talk about Axiom Verge. And to think, the culmination of 5 years of your adult life is upon you! Axiom Verge truly looks remarkable and I will be picking it up for Vita once that version arrives. Congrats again!

Follow me on Twitter: @brg_esq
Friend me on PSN: GStylez1980


18

+ joyrul96 on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:20 am said:

March 31st? Bad timing imo as Bloodborne releasing around that time a huge anticipated game like yours at same time will take away some of the spotlight, hope Sony gives this game more free advertisement :)
Can’t wait for this game


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    + Tom Happ on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:31 am said:

    Let’s just say they’ll be giving everyone a good reason to buy Axiom Verge when it comes out on the 31st :-)


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+ Kaznasty- on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:22 am said:

Oh man, this game looks like it will fill all my Super Metroid cravings! thumbs up


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+ madness3030 on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:34 am said:

Here I was thinking my Monday was going to suck. Thank you Tom for this amazing news. Now to play the waiting game. :)


21

+ Ribbercage on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:36 am said:

Is there voice dialogue or is the story told all through text?


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    + Tom Happ on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:40 am said:

    It’s all text. But there’s a speedrun mode that eliminates the dialogue if that’s not your thing :-)


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+ Shadow_Enz on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:36 am said:

Congratulations Tom & Dan! Thank you for this news, and I can’t wait to see the PlayStation community support for this much-awaited title.

Looking forward to everything Axiom Verge :)


23

+ yowzagabowza on February 23rd, 2015 at 9:40 am said:

I absolutely LOVE that you WANT to get your game in reviewers hands early. Big publishers need to take note. I love these typesof game. I love the power ups. I love pretty much everything but the price. You had me right up til then. But… then you got me back with your hint of a plus discount. I hope to be playing this on release!


24

+ Seluhir on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:03 am said:

Wish my website were big enough to be considered for a review code haha


25

+ twinspectre on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:13 am said:

@TomHapp i hope this game will be challenging , and i’m keeping my finger crossed for a GameMode+ making the game even more challenging


26

+ Figboy on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:16 am said:

Disappointed that it’s not coming to Vita the same day, but I’ll be buying the PS4 version since I can’t wait to play it!


27

+ paulogy on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:17 am said:

Congratulations! I know a lot of people are very eager to play this game of yours :-)


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+ Neil on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:25 am said:

I’m not only ecstatic to finally be able to play this game but also happy for your accomplish as a solo dev. Very inspiring.


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+ JnF_Gho5t on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:38 am said:

Hi Todd, will it have a platinum trophy?


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    + Tom Happ on February 23rd, 2015 at 11:13 am said:

    Yep!


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+ MrBendel on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:43 am said:

No VITA no buy. Just another game to have the VITA version delayed and never heard from again :|


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+ ultimatepunchrod on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:47 am said:

I am so excited for this! Decided to try the demo at Best Buy, thinking it would take like 10 minutes tops. Cut to half an hour later, and I realized I needed this game. March 31st can’t come soon enough.


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    + Tom Happ on February 23rd, 2015 at 11:14 am said:

    To be fair, the kiosk demo is really long!


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+ PiMDx on February 23rd, 2015 at 11:17 am said:

Can we pre-order?


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+ ariston1116 on February 23rd, 2015 at 12:57 pm said:

Tom, I know it’s too late for this release, but if you do a sequel will you PLEASE consider a level editor. My son absolutely loves being able to make his own levels; and doing so on a game like this would make him go ballistic!

I will be buying this one. Can’t wait!


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+ dava007 on February 23rd, 2015 at 1:32 pm said:

Great, I have been looking for your game since the early announcement some time last year!

Only a few more weeks… I may be the odd man out, but I expect this more than Bloobborne for some reason :-)


35

+ sealsaa83 on February 23rd, 2015 at 3:01 pm said:

Really looking forward to the Vita version(good thing its crossbuy!), until then, I guess i’ll have to settle for hogging Best Buy and Target’s PS4 kiosk. Come at me shoppers.


36

+ Trieloth on February 23rd, 2015 at 3:05 pm said:

This game looks so freakn sweet. Cant wait!!!!But you know what would be even cooler.. this game releasing on disc…*passes out


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+ cyrylthewolf on February 23rd, 2015 at 3:19 pm said:

HOLY CRAP! It’s finally coming out! W000!!

Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication, man! I can’t freakin’ wait to play it! Gonna take the day off and everything! :D


38

+ Tinye310 on February 23rd, 2015 at 3:29 pm said:

This game looks super awesome. I will get it eventually, just depends on what I’m playing at the time and how much PSN cash I’ve earned :) – Good luck with the release.


39

+ aquastorm on February 23rd, 2015 at 5:01 pm said:

Can’t tell you how hyped I am for this game Tom. My favorite game of all time is Metroid on the NES. I can already tell this game is going to be special because it’s very apparent that you were passionate about it and that will show through in the final product.


40

+ TiagoPT on February 23rd, 2015 at 5:27 pm said:

Holy crap. Reminds me so much of Super Metroid (my favourite game). Can’t wait to try it.


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+ BoD_GodlessGOD on February 23rd, 2015 at 8:50 pm said:

Thanks for releasing the PS4 version asap! I can’t wait to get my hands on this!


42

+ zepified on February 24th, 2015 at 12:28 am said:

This game along with Hotline Miami 2 is perhaps my most anticipated PSN Indie game this year!! As I appreciate making two versions AND making them cross-buy, I also will be waiting for the Vita version to drop before first playing it… though it will be extremely tempting to just play the PS4 version. But I feel the Vita version is going to be the best way to play for me because #1, it like every other 2D sprite-based game (i.e. Guacamelee) will look stunning on my OLED display and #2, it will sound the best using my audiophile ear canal phones hooked up to the Vita and its wonderful DAC, and #3, playing Metroidvania type games to me just fits best when played on a portable. The vast majority of my favorite Metroidvania gaming experiences/memories, including all of the portable Castlevania’s, have all taken place on portable gaming systems. Therefore it’s only natural that when I play this game for the first time it be on my Vita, which it just so happens is the best portable system ever for these types of Indie games, imo of course.


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+ zepified on February 24th, 2015 at 12:28 am said:

^^^^continued^^^^

Anyways, thanx for making this game in the first place… and don’t take too long with the Vita version. Although I would rather you perfect the Vita version and take your time doing it vs forcing out an unfinished game. These next few months will be long but worth the wait!! Thanx again for all the hard work!!


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    + Tom Happ on February 24th, 2015 at 1:38 pm said:

    Thanks, trust me, I will stop at nothing until the Vita version is in your hands :-)


44

+ Boykie- on February 24th, 2015 at 1:08 am said:

Day 1 purchase.


45

+ Thiagots85 on February 24th, 2015 at 4:44 am said:

Axiom Verge, Bloodborne and Helldivers the same month? Yes ,please


46

+ JanusDS on February 24th, 2015 at 8:11 am said:

It’s awesome to see a developer so excited about their product, as well as engaging the potential customers, reviewers, etc. While that should be the norm, it seems fairly rare these days and is refreshing to see. I rarely buy games day 1 nowadays, retail or digital only, but this is definitely going to be one. I’ve been anxiously anticipating this game for awhile now and it’s great to hear a release date…now if I can only make it another month with this excitement! :D


47

+ AbscissaAbscissa on February 24th, 2015 at 8:38 am said:

Please do a PS3 version! I have no plans to get a PS4 or Vita anytime soon, since fancy graphics and portables don’t really excite me (only great gameplay!), but if there’s ever a PS3 version of Axiom Verge, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it!


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    + Tom Happ on February 24th, 2015 at 1:35 pm said:

    Unfortunately we’re sort of at the mercy of forces beyond my (or even Sony’s control) since we’d need the ability to run C# on PS3. But I’m with you! I still use my PS3 for most of my gaming needs!


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+ AbscissaAbscissa on February 24th, 2015 at 6:27 pm said:

Have you considered Unity3D? Unless something’s changed, they advertise C# support on PS3 via Mono (as used by the PSN game Rochard, probably others too). I’ve dabbled with Unity3D a bit and find it quite nice to work with (fellow programmer here, and did a little bit of PC indie ages ago, nothing nearly as cool though). Of course, I don’t know anything about your current engine/codebase, so I don’t know how hard it would be to port over to Unity, but FWIW I’d be surprised if it would require a particuarly large effort.


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    + Tom Happ on February 26th, 2015 at 2:14 pm said:

    From what I gather the Mono that Unity uses is based on some old .NET that’s not compatible with Monogame, and the newer versions of Mono don’t support as many platforms (and also are more expensive to license). Xamarin’s bread and butter is going to be mobile so I think it’s unlikely they’ll support any but the most recent generation of consoles (but never say never).


49

+ AbscissaAbscissa on February 24th, 2015 at 6:34 pm said:

FWIW, if you wanted to chat pivately, my *real* PSN id is NitrodePants, or Abscissa on GitHub. I probably should just be using my real PSN account here (don’t know why I signed up to these boards with a separe id, must of been some tinfoil hat moment :p).


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+ WorkingTavo on February 25th, 2015 at 7:19 am said:

This is one of my most anticipated games of 2015! I was planning to play it on the Vita but what the hell! I’ll play it 1st on PS4 and then again on Vita! Congrats on making this awesome game as a solo dev. Truly outstanding.


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