Metia Interactive Guardian Maia

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Maru Nihoniho
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Maree Sheehan
Judge's comments:

The layering of contemporary sound design techniques with traditional Maori instruments created a beautifully distinct and original soundscape that dynamically enhanced the game environment and action.


Guardian Maia is an action-adventure story for a game that includes exploration and discovery, platforming, puzzle solving, character upgrades, fast-paced combat, and meaningful choices that effect both the real and spiritual worlds and the game mechanics.

Set in a post-apocalyptic Aotearoa, seven hundred years in the future, the story takes Maia through harsh environments, abandoned ruins, and into the spirit realms of the Māori atua.

Maia, a guardian, highly trained in hand-to-hand combat patrols the forest to protect her people from the creatures that roam there.

The Guardian Maia cinematic was created to promote the Guardian Maia gamebooks. We made the cinematic using the Unreal game engine and was rendered in real-time.

The cinematic features a small part of Maia’s world. Maia is in her forest on patrol, and she comes face to face with the threats that she is protecting her people from.

The soundtrack for this cinematic includes traditional Māori instruments - Taonga pūoro within a modern cinematic tone. The utilisation of Taonga pūoro was used to create an authentic sound which also brings the emotion of the action through. It was also important to the cinematic as the game is set in a Māori world.