Friday, 24 May 2024

Axiom Verge: The Passion Project of a Visionary Designer


In a world where collaboration is the norm among artists, one designer dares to go against the tide. Tom Happ, inspired by the nostalgic allure of 8- and 16-bit games from his childhood, embarked on a personal journey spanning nearly half a decade. With unwavering determination, he single-handedly created Axiom Verge from scratch, pouring his heart and soul into every aspect of the game. Join us as we delve into the extraordinary story behind this indie gem.

Axiom Verge

The Accidental Designer

Tom Happ’s path to game development was far from conventional. After initially pursuing a major in physics, he serendipitously found himself enrolled in a computer science course that awakened his passion for creating games. Despite facing difficulty securing a game programming position after graduation, Happ’s persistence led him to join a graduate program for computer animation. This unique blend of programming and animation expertise would later prove invaluable in his solo game development journey.

Nurturing the Vision

Happ’s extensive experience in the industry, working on notable titles such as Crash Nitro Kart and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, fueled his desire to create a game entirely on his own. In 2010, he started visualizing his ideas for Axiom Verge on paper, meticulously crafting the art assets before writing a single line of code. Drawing inspiration from his favorite games of the 8- and 16-bit era, Happ envisioned a game that seamlessly combined elements from Contra, Bionic Commando, Blaster Master, and Rygar.

Embracing Glitches

Glitches have always fascinated Happ, offering glimpses into a hidden world beyond the boundaries of traditional game design. Determined to create an immersive experience, he intentionally incorporated glitching as a core mechanic in Axiom Verge. As players explore the game’s world, they encounter areas that appear distorted, with flickering visuals and corrupted tiles. These glitches are not mere imperfections but integral elements of the gameplay.

Glitching in Axiom Verge

With the Address Disruptor tool, players can either fix or exacerbate these glitches, opening up new possibilities. For instance, turning an enemy into a platform allows players to access previously unreachable areas, while glitches in walls enable players to phase through into different rooms. Additionally, Happ introduced a Game Genie-like passcode system that enables players to experiment with different passwords, resulting in unexpected effects and potentially even breaking the game.

Unraveling the Mystery

The storyline of Axiom Verge revolves around Trace, a scientist who awakens in a mysterious otherworld after surviving a building collapse. Trapped in a futuristic yet ancient environment devoid of human life, Trace must face monstrous mutations while uncovering the secrets of this alien landscape. To aid him in his journey, Happ has provided an extensive arsenal of over 20 weapons and 60 items and power-ups, each offering unique abilities and playstyles.

The Home Stretch

For over four years, Tom Happ has poured his heart and soul into Axiom Verge, dedicating his evenings and weekends to bring his vision to life. Recognizing the game’s immense potential, major publishers like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft showed keen interest in collaborating with Happ. Ultimately, Happ entered into a partnership with Sony, receiving an indie pub fund scholarship and ensuring support for marketing and royalties upon the game’s release on PS4, Vita, and PC.


  1. Can Axiom Verge be played on multiple platforms?
    Yes, Axiom Verge is available on PS4, Vita, and PC.

  2. What inspired Tom Happ to create Axiom Verge?
    Tom Happ drew inspiration from his favorite 8- and 16-bit games, aiming to pay homage to their classic gameplay mechanics.


Axiom Verge stands as a testament to Tom Happ’s unwavering dedication and passion for game development. The game not only captures the essence of beloved classics but also introduces innovative mechanics that create a fresh and captivating experience. As we eagerly await its release, let us celebrate the remarkable achievement of one visionary designer who dared to dream big and venture into uncharted territory.

Please visit Wqaindia to learn more about Axiom Verge and other captivating projects.