Maia is a colony building game set in the not-so-distant future. Your colonists make planetfall on a hostile world and you must ensure their survival and their safety, constructing their off-world habitat from almost nothing and sheltering them from a dangerous, often deadly environment.
User reviews: Mixed (328 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 3, 2013

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“Hi! Thanks for checking out our early access release of Maia.

The game is still very deep in development, so many things might be broken. Sometimes in a rather amusing manner, sometimes... less so. The current sandbox build (0.40) allows a basic level of colony building, colonist interaction and base simulation, but the best is still to come!

We want to keep development hurtling forwards at a steady rate and plan to release update builds every week (probably on Fridays) as the game progresses.

Alpha access gives us the unique opportunity work with the community to craft the game together. You can follow updates and give us feedback on the game via Twitter on @Maia and on forums.maiagame.com. IRC users can join us on #maiagame on Quakenet. If you want to talk to me, the developer, I am @Simoroth on Twitter!”
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Recent updates View all (6)

October 2

Maia 0.45 is here!

Maia 0.45 is ready for playing. Here's a quick look video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czrGGgSi2rU

New features:

A problem shared! New AI interaction code allowing your colonists to communicate with each other and delegate tasks to the most able. Your colony will now run like a well lubricated Morris Minor.

Research! Many new technology perks based on real science have been added. Improve your wind turbines with electrodynamic bearings and coat your bulkhead doors with carbon-carbon to make them stronger than ever!

A new room. The living area provides an insulated, safe and quiet environment for your colonists to rest and recuperate in, improving their health and sanity.

Many optimisations. Lower end CPUs will see a big improvement in framerate thanks to a new pathing system for locked doors and inaccessible rooms.

Other improvements:

  • Key bindings reworked and interchangeable. 1..9 can cycle objects in a build list and q+e can cycle rooms.
  • Doors are no longer in build lists, are context sensitive when walls are moused over (not perfect yet, can be finicky)
  • Starvation is now more accurately tracked. Colonists will die much quicker without food.
  • Imp now is more responsive to cancelled jobs.
  • Reflections are now lit and are looking quite pretty.
  • Some new meshes for upgraded items.
  • All crash bugs nailed (he says).
  • Earthquakes are slightly gentler.
  • A whole bunch of Linux issues nailed down.
  • Better performance for Mac users.
  • Imp no longer recycles full water barrels like some sort of crazy eco warrior.
  • Colonists no longer leave empty barrels by the solar still.
  • Imp can destroy plants outside and uproot grasses.
  • The ecosystem is balanced and you can see some cool battles between the plant species play out over the weeks.
  • Pressing y during the tutorial no longer spawns earthquakes that make the game unplayable.
  • AI needs have been tweaked to make mature bases more manageable.
  • OCD placement mode (ctrl) no longer offsets everything randomly by 1 degree. ;)

There are a few features that had to be missed for the milestone such as loading direct from the menu and on-map meteor strikes - due to me taking a few days off with the flu. I'll drop these into the game in a week or so when they are tested.

Thanks for all the feedback on 0.44!

12 comments Read more

August 26

Maia 0.44 has landed!

Maia 0.44 is out! Here's a quick video of me giving the new build a go.

http://youtu.be/g2nwQ999F_I

New features:

Catastrophic earthquakes! Poorly constructed bases are now vulnerable to chain reaction collapses. Digging out large areas will cause structural weaknesses to build in the rock above. Strong earthquakes can cause the rock to give way, destroying anything unlucky enough to be caught underneath. Build rooms and bulkheads to strengthen areas and avert disaster.



Reworked research! Secure new technologies with an improved research system. Collect animal remains and fossils to generate data on the planets ecosystem. Colonists with free time and rest will turn their minds to invention and generate data on their own.

Creepy herbivorous underground dwellers. A new creature to destroy your solar panels and ruin your day!

AI improvements. The AI now has a greater understanding of the world around them. Colonists now track over fifty individual and group needs and will make smarter decisions on what tasks to carry out.

Even more Haikus! With many more topics to explore and a more detailed understanding of their environment, the colonists can now write one million different procedural poems. They can also write useful reports, which is probably more important that poems.



Save games. Detailed additions to the save system now track far more aspects of the simulation. Allowing you to carry forward every aspect of your base

Engine performance upgrades. With some careful profiling and optimisation I have managed to increase performance by up to 15% for low end users. Further upgrades in the game code have levelled CPU usage, which should reduce frame-rate stutter and similar issues.

Medical treatment. Your colonists can now rest up in the medical room to overcome their injuries and ailments. Injuries will are now more obvious and shown through the characters movements.

Game code improvement. A massive rewrite of the core game code has eradicated the stability issues and allowed for more aggressive use of system memory. It also opens up the path towards extensive scripting support for modders.

Other changes:

  • New shrubberies and a more realistic procedural planting system.
  • More ground detailing.
  • Linux fixes. XDG compliance and a few windowing improvements.
  • Fail states when you are terrible and should feel bad.
  • Hopper functionality actually working. Efficient storage of building materials.
  • Amnesia issue fixed. Colonists will try to remember what they are doing when the world changes.
  • Text speed variation. Larger chunks of text are drawn faster to remove waiting for it to appear.
  • Animation flickering fixed.
  • Fixed creatures coming into the base to sniff things.
  • Colonists are no longer compulsive eaters.
  • Lots of sound tweaks. Atmosphere alarms are more obvious.
  • IMP lockups eradicated.
  • Temporary quicksave icons on the GUI because nobody ever remembers to look up how to save.
  • Death reports are no longer sent twice.
  • Colonists landing from orbit are less likely to land somewhere bad.
  • Lots of other small glitches fixed.

Thanks for being patient whilst we got this huge update together!

34 comments Read more
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About This Game

Maia is a colony building game set in the not-so-distant future. Your colonists make planetfall on a hostile world and you must ensure their survival and their safety, constructing their off-world habitat from almost nothing and sheltering them from a dangerous, often deadly environment.

Twelve light years from earth, the planet 3452C[Maia] circles Tau Ceti. Its atmosphere is toxic, its surface is ravaged by solar flares and meteor blasts and its unstable crust is constantly shifted by earthquakes. Nevertheless, it is habitable and your task is to gain a foothold on this strange alien world, building facilities where your colonists can live and work, as well as researching the secrets that this planet holds.

Taking inspiration from games as diverse as Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital and The Sims, Maia also draws from 1970s sci fi aesthetic and features a healthy dose of dry, dark humour. It's a mix of strategy, management, construction and terrible deaths on a distant world. Not everyone is up to the task of off-world colony command. Are you?

Key Features


  • A custom-made game engine with stunning graphics and visual effects.
  • Advanced colonist AI that models behaviour, needs and even mental health.
  • An enormous procedurally-generated world, up to 2km x 2km with multiple levels.
  • An atmospheric and adaptive soundtrack that responds to in-game events.
  • Detailed simulation of base temperature and atmosphere.
  • Meteor strikes, seismic activity and solar flares, among many, many other dangers.
  • Genetically engineered super chickens.
  • Hard science fiction research based on real future tech.
  • Occasionally reliable 1970s-style technology.

To Come


  • Both a sandbox mode and a single-player campaign.
  • A first-person exploration mode.
  • Indigenous life forms and a functioning food chain.
  • Somewhat sassy computers.
  • Realistic water and lava simulation.
  • Cats with bee suits.

Linux and Mac will be supported in the coming week.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Intel Core i3-3250 or AMD 6350
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 260 or ATI 5770 - or equivilent with 1GB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel i5-3570K or AMD FX 8350
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 470 or ATI 5870 - or equivilent with 2GB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon HD 6750M
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia 650M
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i3-3250 or AMD 6350
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 260 or ATI 5770 - or equivilent with 1GB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.2 support is required.
    Recommended:
    • OS: 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel i5-3570K or AMD FX 8350
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 470 or ATI 5870 - or equivilent with 2GB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.2 support is required.
Helpful customer reviews
117 of 151 people (77%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Maia shows promise, although in the way of being so little more than a bare-bones engine, that anything is possible in the end. It could be that (judging by the progress speed that makes continental drift seem fast) in half a decade it will evolve into the most amazing colony sim ever. Or not. Who knows?

But at the moment, it's NOT a good use of your money. As was said, it pushes the limit of what is acceptable to release as "early access". It's just a bare-bones graphics engine, with some minimal and BROKEN animations, a non-functional AI, and no save and reload either, so your progress WILL be lost each time you exit.

And by "non-functional AI" I don't mean "might not prioritize right", but as in "doesn't even work, or not for long." Colonist AI routinely craps itself and either stops building anything any more (lucky version) or you just get a colonist going catatonic in the airlock and never moving any more (more usual version.) And when you do get it to work for half an hour, it will prioritize the hilariously wrong thing, like everyone keeping repairing the doors instead of building the air purifier.

Now that might be palatable (not really) in a game where you can direct them around, like in The Sims, and the AI only keeps them alive in between. But here you can't direct them, and the WHOLE premise is that they do their own thing, a broken AI just means a broken game.

Etc.

Really, it has no excuse to be released at this early and dysfunctional stage. It may eventually be worth playing. Save your money for then.

Update for 0.44:

Upon starting the game, I proceeded to place the workshop and dig a small tunnel to one side, and a 4x4 tile hole there. Partially because you NEED minerals, and partially because I needed somewhere to place the hydroponics bay. I must stress that I wasn't digging some grand ballroom hall, and I was mindful that it has plenty of all rock walls on all sides, because I did read the update notes about earthquakes. When that was about half-way dug, the ceiling promptly collapsed, squashing the only digger robot and two of four colonists, who were there to take minerals.

So basically, instead of fixing the existing problems, it just added a random "*BANG* you're dead!" event, the hallmark of incompetent game design. Yippee.

Well, regardless of how you personally feel about that kind of events, to my mind it just further illustrated the point of why shouldn't you buy a game that's not even in alpha yet: you don't know what you're going to get for your money. The kind of gameplay elements that the final mix will have can just as well be what you like, or what you hate, and there's no way to know which it will be, as there doesn't even seem to be any plan.
Posted: May 28
Was this review helpful? Yes No
60 of 78 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Brilliant concept and engaging mechanics.

Absolutely horrific UI.

"Make sure that the system communicates what’s happening. Always inform your users of location, actions, changes in state, or errors. The use of various UI elements to communicate status and, if necessary, next steps can reduce frustration for your user. " There isn't even any indication you saved. For that matter there is no keybinding available.

"Use typography to create hierarchy and clarity. Carefully consider how you use typeface. Different sizes, fonts, and arrangement of the text to help increase scanability, legibility and readability."
Needing to hover over somethign for 30 seconds to read the tooltip is not okay.


Let's use the basics:
"
1. Does this interface tell me what I need to know right now?
2. Is it easy to find the information I'm looking for, or do I have to look around for it? (Are the menus nested so deep that they hide information from the player?)
3. Can I use this interface without having to read instructions elsewhere?
4. Are the things I can do on this screen obvious?
5. Do I ever need to wait for the interface to load or play an animation?
6. Are there any tedious or repetitive tasks that I can shorten (with a shortcut key, for example) or remove entirely?
" Maia fails to pass any of these test except for number 6, and even that is only half passed as you need to search the internet just to find the keybindings.

Great game, with an unplayable UI/UX.
But, hey, it is early access.
Posted: June 18
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Dont buy this game yet!

graphics are good.....concept is good.....everything else is good......exept gameplay ............

there is no interesting game play YET! I suggest if you like this king of game to wait at least till the next update.
Posted: May 28
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I do not recommend this game in its current state. Its more or less an tech demo then an actual game. It has some nice ideas but the time between updates are far too long. Maybe in the future this will become a game instead of a techdemo.
Posted: October 10
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Very promising game that looks amazing so early in the alpha.
Posted: June 19
Was this review helpful? Yes No
164 of 216 people (76%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Maia really pushes the limits of what's acceptable to release as an Early Access game. There is a minimum bar of quality I expect even among paid alphas, and I don't think Maia meets it.

As of this updated review, you're still paying for an extremely limited demo sandbox where you can place objects and watch animations happen. The setting can't decide whether it wants to be a realistic simulator (vital statistics on each colonist, food/water/atmosphere required for survival) or a complete joke (giant fuzzy extraterrestrial life).

User interface design is not good, and it's difficult to tell what each control does. The current main controls for Maia are a series of badly documented hotkeys. One of the few really awesome new features: you can skip the tutorial now.

But if you take one thing away from this review: the bugs are show-stoppingly bad. I've experienced sudden framerate slowdowns on both Mac and PC, as well as crashes-to-desktop for no discernable reason. The colonist and robot AI will get stuck in walls or stand next to piles of rubble on no notice. There appears to be very little QA before each release, and minimal progress in fixing the crash bugs since I wrote my last review in December.

As I said on Dec 6 - Maia isn't worth paying for yet. Something good might come of it eventually, but new buyers should wait.
Posted: December 6, 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes No