Interview with Trung (CEO & Lead Developer of Axie Infinity)

YuurinBee
7 min readJan 18, 2019

Upon visiting for the second time to the Axie Infinity office in Ho Chi Minh City, I stopped by to hang out with some of the team. I asked Trung some questions about the origin of Axie Infinity and some insight, on a more personal level. My questions below are in bold and Trung’s responses are in quotations. Hope you all enjoy learning about the origin and history of Axie Infinity, along with where this great project is headed…

What initially attracted you to blockchain technology and how did you get started in the space?

“I previously worked for two financial tech companies and I first learned about blockchain technology simply because I am a developer. I was not so interested in it initially because many people only viewed/used it as a financial option. When I first learned about CryptoKitties and games built on the blockchain, I had a lot more inspiration to learn about it and see how I could use it. Along the way, I learned that blockchain solved (and could solve) many problems in games. Many projects and game companies lack the element of transparency and are also shutdown because they are 100% centralized. After learning more about it, I wanted to start building on the blockchain and create a game. Both Masamune (co-founder) and I wanted to build games since we were kids, so it was a perfect fit.”

Where did the idea for Axie Infinity come from?

“We (Masamune & Trung) both love animals… all kinds of animals, cute, scary, etc. Our main inspiration was from CryptoKitties. With the benefits of blockchain, we can make breeding in the game possible. So, I thought… why don’t we just make creatures can represent all types of animals, traits, genes? By doing this, we can get a very interesting mix of animals and different combinations… random and interesting outcomes, which creates endless possibilities. We also got inspiration from the Chimera, which is a combination of different animals (snake, wings/bird, etc.).”

Image result for axolotl
Picture of an Axolotl (Credit: Jamie Catto) Read More Here

Where does the name Axie come from and what does it mean?

“The name axie is a cute abbreviation or alias of axolotl. Many axolotls are seen as a pet dragon, gecko, or mini dragon to many people. They are self-regenerating, remain juvenile for their entire lives, and always growing. Masamune had an axolotl pet and this is where the inspiration came from.”

What are you personal favorite parts of Axie Infinity game at the moment?

“The infinite possibilities, creating my own axie… I personally love the cute style and also there are so many combinations, it opens up a chance for an open world of axies and more creatures. It could be an open virtual world that you participate in and create your own reality… If I was a player, I would push the developer towards that path to create a whole new world.

There are many games out there, but not many of them can open up the possibility to be an open world. Sometimes the rules and restrictions are high and limiting the growth and possibilities of the game.

I feel like I can participate in creating a new world and contribute to the content and outcome of the game…

There is no endgame vision or final frontier for Axie Infinity because it is always evolving, growing, and the players are creating the world.”

What kind of big updates or expansions can we expect in the near future?

“The first thing is the technical aspect of the game and the second thing is the game (gameplay, character design, etc.).

Right now, we have enough resources and enough tools to make this happen. So, at the beginning, we want the game to be a normal game, but the benefits of the blockchain behind it. Therefore, people can have all the benefits of blockchain tech without evening knowing about it. We are pushing for that goal with the help of the LOOM Network and open up the possibility to be on mobile devices as well.

Secondly, I think the battle system is just the first game loop we have. You can play and get something back, upgrade, breed, etc. Afterwards, we want to push for more and the most interesting thing is the idea of making an open world happen. We love the idea of an open world where you can participate in and in that world you can create things by yourself, new things, build something new (like in Minecraft you can build a unique and new house), and you can build something cool within the game. This is what will create new and unique content for the game. We want to create a platform for people to co-create a whole new world and different reality.”

Lunacian (Open World)

“This is the basic building block for the world. Looking at real life, there are animals in the world and they need an environment (ecosystem). You need two basic parts, the creature and habitat, along with looking for human element, the enemy (seeking for antagonist). Players can customize their own mini habitat for some of your axies. Terrariums can only contain up to several axies at one time.

We prefer the bottom up approach because normally you can build generic content in the beginning and then you upload new content after, but with Axie Infinity we think about it like a platform with content already inside and ready. By doing so, we can maintain a level of quality for the world and set a standard. There are certain guiding standards needed in the beginning. Set the bar high and create quality from the beginning…

We also want to help people to create different style, build it, scale up, and connect all of them eventually.”

Benefits & Features

“With battles people feel some element of competitiveness. With land, people can be happy farmers and it’s a more peaceful direction and a lot less hostile. Some people just want to enjoy a happy baby life, but in a virtual way. They are not looking for battles and competition, but want to grow, evolve, build, and collect.

I remember when I was a child, I just wanted to plant a tree and see them growing. It feels really good.”

“You can collect materials to power up your axies and it can help your axie to evolve, level up, and be more powerful. There is also the pure aesthetic look and feel to customize the living environment for them to your personal preference.

You can make a farm, find some trees, get some fruit and those fruits are needed resources to grow your axies. You can use items to decorate the living environment for your axies, just like a reptile or fish tank.

Players can buy, sell, trade land plots(the whole plot with items and Axies inside or just a bare plot), which makes Axie Infinity much more interactive. You can have help from others to take care of your terrarium. They may need to do something that requires some social interaction… if you have no friends, then maybe you cannot create a certain terrarium item. There is need for social interaction and connection (have neighbors, guilds, allies) by introducing the living environment. You need land because by having land it can open the possibility for having neighbors, community, interaction, wars, etc.”

At the release of this article, the Land Sale starts in 3 days!

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You can follow their official pages and stay up to date with this project and all of their updates…

Axie Infinity: https://axieinfinity.com
Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/WSdzYsG
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AxieInfinity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AxieInfinity
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/axieinfinity
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/AxieInfinity/
Telegram: https://t.me/axieinfinity

*No pay or compensation was received or promised for writing this article.

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