Axiom of Maria is a fast-paced and story-driven action-adventure game by a solo dev Henry Lee. The free demo and the official release will be available in early 2023.


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LINKS & CONTACT

email to “ganzheit.studio at gmail”
or if you want a faster answer, try Twitter DM.

GAMEPLAY

The concept for this game development originated from the sensational gaming experience of punching and defeating opponents during bike fights in the game “Full Throttle.” The phenomenal sword fighting in “Devil May Cry” and “Ninja Gaiden,” along with the new progressive style, fusing directing and playing together of “Another World,” and the impressive bike fighting scenes in “Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children,” inspired me to create Axiom of Maria as my very first game out of 20 other potential game development ideas I have conceived.

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Based on these gaming experiences and ideas, I wanted to make a game with a story inspired by “The A-Team,” an American action-adventure TV series from the 1980s, set in the future of Seoul. Rather than lengthening the playtime with repeated actions, I included fast-moving and new actions with an intriguing story as key features. I spiced up the game with some retro vibes.


STORY

Concept

The initial storyline was envisioned as an homage to “The A-Team” but plot in the future of Seoul. As I added the characters with superhuman powers to fight against the opponent AI organizations, stories of myths and legends came to mind. One story is about the battles between a hero and the god of harvest, and the other is about an ungodly Indian chief. I approached and designed the story of this game from the point-of-view of AI that became analogous with the time when our ancestors became conscious of embarrassment, fear, and inner struggle between eating and storing grains. The relevant stories are revealed later in this game.

Background Setting and Story

Due to a population cliff and epidemic in 2043, the population of Korea plummeted below one million people in 2074. Seoul, which has become a ghost town and empty of government agencies, has been managed by AI and it is unknown how much AI has taken over. In 2070, superpowers called the “irregulars” began to appear. Scientists reported that the irregulars were associated with the epidemic of 2043. Irregulars do not know they are irregulars until they experience their superhuman powers. The government considers the irregulars as a threat and attempts to control them.

Kay, a former instructor for the 707th Special Missions Group, lost consciousness when she was hit by a stray bullet during training. When she reawakened without any wounds, she realized that she was in a hospital of the 15th AI Special Operations Command (AISOC) which controlled the irregulars. It turned out that Kay, who cannot be physically wounded but feels pain, and her daughter were detained by AISOC while her husband vanished without a trace. There is an institute in Sankt Gallen, Switzerland that helps and rescues detained irregulars. This institute is called “the School” in South Korea. The School helped Kay and her daughter successfully escape from the SOC. At Kay’s request, the School dispatches “Principal”, “Mr. Jung,” and Kay to Seoul to find Kay’s husband.


DEVELOPER

My name is Henry Lee. I started making games when I was 10 years old using an Apple II home computer, an 8-bit system. I started my career in 1992 as an artist in the gaming industry and I have worked for 30 years in this field. In 1997, I released my first PC game as a director. Except for programming, I was involved in all aspects of gameplay, story, graphics, music, video, directing game scripting, etc.

I directed an Xbox game, Kingdom Under Fire (referred to shortly as KUF below) that was released worldwide in 2004. Fortuitously, KUF: The Crusader was awarded “Best Strategy Game” and “Most Surprisingly Good Game” by major media around the world such as E3, OXM, etc. I developed more console games and worked on other online and mobile games as a game designer and director. In general, my work involves directing, game system, scenario, game script, level design, producing, video, recording, and prototyping. In creating a prototype, I also worked on programming, graphics, and sound. I have experience in programming 3D game engines and processing procedural animation of arbitrary body structures.

I have created more than 20 ideas for game development since 2000 and have chosen Axiom of Maria as my very first game.

I have worked on this game mostly independently: programming, story, directing, planning, music, graphics, etc. Some parts of the graphics were purchased from Marketplace, and some of the character modelings provided by a friend.

For character modeling, I started directly with a mockup rather than detailed original drawings to save time.
I used Cakewalk to compose the music. Game music composition is the most fun and favorite part of game development for me.