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 (451 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 is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Hi! Thanks for checking out our early access release of Maia. Alpha access gives us the unique opportunity to work with the community and craft the game together. Maia is a game with unprecedented complexity, and developing features directly with our players allows us to refine these intricate game systems to create a world that really feels alive.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We want to keep development hurtling forwards at a steady rate and plan to release update builds once a month as the game progresses. (You'll often see smaller updates go out sooner as we push out important fixes as soon as we have tested them.)

We plan to reach version 0.50 (the full sandbox experience) during July 2015. After that we will be releasing the campaign, extra single player maps and full modding tools over the coming months, whilst refining the game and adding greater depth to the content.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We plan for the full version of the game will have a complete single player campaign as well as the current sandbox mode. The campaign will last between 10-18 hours, depending on the player, but we expect the sandbox mode and additional single player maps (and of course mods) to give the player potentially endless replayability.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“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 (0.48) has the core game play of colony building, colonist interaction and base simulation, the best is still to come.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We have priced the game at a reasonable price to avoid people impulse buying the game in it's early state. Once the campaign is in, and the community feels that we have hit the right level of quality, we will be raising the price by around 10% to reflect it.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We try to read every forum post and email sent to us and work hard to consider and incorporate peoples feedback into the game.

You can follow updates and give us feedback on the game via Twitter on @Maia and on IRC users can join us on #maiagame on Quakenet. If you want to talk directly to me, the developer, I am @Simoroth on Twitter!”
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Recommended By Curators

"It's a little rough right now, but the developer is a great guy and does regular updates."

Recent updates View all (10)

June 12

Demolition Update

Detonate explosives, study meteorites, harvest geothermal power and more: The Demolition Update is available now!

Do your outside areas need clearing? Use the new mining explosives to clear your path of dead animals, landers, equipment and people. The explosives can also be used to trigger controlled cave ins.

Meteorites! Now your colonists can gain research from the pieces of debris that find themselves on Maia's surface. You'll find them in craters scattered around outside your base.

Building Materials givee a visual representation of the material your colonists are collecting from dismantling objects. Colonists will also be able to create building material from piles of minerals. In addition to this, colonists can now make ration packs to more easily store food.

The new Geothermal Generator can harvest energy from thermal vents found on Maia, providing power for base systems.

Tables and scanners make an aesthetic appearance in this update, but are not yet functional. These objects will start having interesting uses in future updates!

The way in which Maia generates the world has been tweaked. It is now much less likely that a starting base will be irrecoverably doomed. This is an example of the kind of under-the-hood improvements that the Demolition Update is full of.

These improvements have yielded greater stability, for less crashing and crazy camera antics. Changes to the particle effects system will boost framerates for players on less powerful machines, and improve visuals for others. Configuration file loading is now more resilient to corruption, and less likely to cause problems.

Here's the Demolition Update in tasty convenient list form:

  • Meteorite research, for big data rewards.
  • Mining Explosives. Clear exterior areas of rock and debris, or use them cause controlled cave ins inside.
  • Regaining materials from object disassembly.
  • Salvageable debris from object destruction.
  • Large stability changes in the codebase. Less crashes and camera resets.
  • Several new items, including the ability to make building materials from minerals, and to create your own ration packs.
  • Geothermal Generators.
  • Changes to world map generation and some cool new procedural base layouts.
  • New furniture in some rooms.
  • Fixes for resolution issues.
  • Pfx changes, for better looking exterior particles and also a performance boost for low end users.
  • Lots of fixed infotips on items, that should make there uses more apparent, and provide more flavour.
  • Loading of game config files is now done better and with more fallbacks for corrupt files.
  • Loading bugs fixed.

9 comments Read more

April 22

Maia 0.48 Has Ignition!

Maia 0.48 is out! The ignition update bring us a new hazard. Fire!

The brand new fire system really adds a challenge to base gameplay. Poorly maintained items will short circuit and catch alight. The fire is simulated realistically using oxygen from the atmosphere, the energy stored in objects and heat transfer between them. Even in an unpressurised room, objects can retain now heat and reignite when oxygen is reintroduced. Lock doors and bulkheads to choke off the air supply or risk letting your colonists try and fight the flames unaided.

Tutorial 2.0

The tutorial has been drastically reworked to provide a softer landing into the game for new players. Get a simple base up and running in five minutes by following the easy steps.


The hydroponic plants are now more deeply simulated. Responding realistically to changes in lighting colour and intensity around them. Through simulated photosythesis they produce more breathable air and can now be used in lieu of mechanical atmosphere generation.

Full list of changes:
  • MSAAx4 and MSAAx8 support in the menu. If your GPU is hefty enough to run antialiasing you can now benefit from the extra clarity and detail in the graphics. 
  • Text effects are now also tweakable in the menu. If you had problems reading the text before due to the scan lines or glitching, you will be able to adjust them to your needs.
  • Long planned optimisations to the renderer. For some people they may see as much as a 30% increase in performance and also less lighting tile errors.
  • Balancing for colourblindness. Several colours have been tweaked and information adjusted to make the game more playable.
  • Fire and fire damage added.
  • Space suits can become charred and damaged over time.
  • More placement information, you will get a visual and text warning if interaction points of an object are blocked when in placement mode. If all interaction points are blocked, the object will not be buildable.
  • Interaction point holograms are brighter and more obvious, change colour when blocked.
  • Several unbuildable objects now fixed.
  • Colonists will no longer get stuck placing a flag.
  • Colonists will no longer eat chickens to extinction.
  • Colonists wearing suits will no longer spin on the spot in the airlock.
  • Game config.xml reworked, holds more settings data. Less likely to get corrupted, can rebuild properly if a corruption is detected.
  • Picking game res at startup will pick the desktop res instead of the highest capable res of your monitor.
  • Heat haze glitchyness fixed.
  • Game rendering/lighting optimised, many shader bugs fixed.
  • Reflections optimised.
  • A new email tab. See all your emails, queue them up, right click to dismiss them.
  • Email system's first email is now a quick intro to using it.
  • Emails for deaths, research notifications and other major events.
  • More email variation. New important information may be mentioned by colonists.
  • Sleep is more effective at reducing fatigue.
  • Flywheel system's model changed for easier reading of the lights.
  • Several tweaked models and textures on items like the worklight.
  • Critical AI bugs fixed. AI will now never ignore blueprints.
  • IMPs will prioritize minerals better.
  • The protobirds are now a bit more likely to kill chickens.
  • Colonist lander capsules now work better. No more map glitching and multiple colonists can come down.
  • Colonist lander UI is now never hidden, but is greyed out and a timer provided.
  • New UI fixes and improvements.
  • Loads of new music. Really really awesome synth ambient tracks that will make your spine tingle.
  • Brand new comprehensive tutorial to get new users up and running with the game much faster.
  • Toilets are no longer death traps.
  • Flags have stopped exploding.
  • Level generation is now deterministic so the tutorial will always be on a good world.
  • 30+ major critical or crash bugs fixed.
  • Glitching on older Nvidia hardware fixed.

    Thanks for all the feedback and bug reports. We have a lot of new fixes and features coming. We'll be posting an updated road map here in a few days.

17 comments Read more
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About This Game

Maia is space colony building simulator from independent developer Simon Roth. Guide your colonists as they make planetfall on a hostile alien world and do your best to ensure their survival and safety.

Your Mission

Keep your colonists alive by constructing their off-world habitat from the planets crust and sheltering them from a dangerous and often deadly environment. 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 the planet holds.

Build your Base

To keep your colonists alive, you will need to build rooms for specific tasks. Your colonists need a living area, livestock containment and research lab, among other kinds of rooms. To expand your base further, you can use your IMP Robots to clear out areas of the cave your colonists have chosen to inhabit. The detailed simulation of temperature and atmosphere within the base influence the colonists and their actions.

An Enormous Procedurally-Generated World

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 there is room for you to build your base. The world is currently up to 2km x 2km with multiple levels.

Research and Learn from the Planet to Survive

The hard science fiction featured in the game is based on real technology. Because a lot of the equipment is ocassionally reliable 1970s-style technology, the colonists must also spend their time fixing and upgrading items as they build the base. The creatures that inhabit Maia are also based on real world research.

Dangerous Atmosphere

Manage the atmosphere in your colony with carefully placed airlocks, doors and bulkheads. Keep the air flowing or face the horror of painful asphxiation.

Advanced Colonists AI

Your colonists are real people. Simulated right down to their wants and needs. You must try to keep them happy, and perhaps more importantly, sane.

IMP Robots

Let the IMP robots do all the digging for you. Use these robots to clear out areas so you can build more rooms.

Treacherous Weather Patterns

Maia isn't safe. The weather alone can be deadly. The meteor strikes, seismic activity and solar flares can become risks to your colonists and their equipment.

Genetically Engineered Super Chickens

To survive, your colonists will need to create and manage new sources of food. Introducing the genetically engineered super chicken, the Uberhuhn. With research you will be also able to harness the local fauna and flora to keep the rations stocked.

Custom Engine

Maia's game engine is custom-made by Simon Roth. Exclusively used in Maia, the custom engine has stunning graphics and visual effects.

Immersive Soundtrack

Maia's soundtrack is atmospheric and adaptive, it responds to in-game events and draws you into the Sci Fi aesthetic of the game.

The Inspiration

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.

To Come

  • A single player campaign.
  • A first person exploration mode.
  • More indigenous life forms and a functioning food chain.
  • Somewhat sassy computers
  • realistic water and lava simulation.
  • Cats with bee suits.

Get Involved

One of the great things about early access is being able to have players follow along with the games creation. This immediate feedback is extremely valuable to the games development. You can see our updates and give us feedback on the game via Twitter or the forum.
If you need some help with getting started in the game, you can check out our guides or head over to the official wiki.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • 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
    • OS: Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon HD 6750M
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia 650M
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • 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.
    • 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
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
Early Access Review
Some issues I found in the game while playing:

- Some NPCs will often start walking in circles trying to find a sweet spot to reach something and will stay like this for a while (minutes, sometimes 10 minutes or more), and if this NPC is a human being, it will starve to death.
- The colonists starve to death even if there is plenty of food
- The animation for the "aliens" to die takes really long. Like "Wow you shot me? Just hang on while I prepare to die... just a minute... almost there. Okay, dead"
- There is nothing you can do about the bodies outside the base and sometimes the alarm will just keep warning about the base perimeter, even if everything out there is dead.
- When you ask the colonists to build a materials hopper they just won't... until they feel like it. But then your entire base is completely full of rocks and they WON'T TAKE THE ROCKS FROM THE FLOOR AND PUT THEM IN THE HOPPER!
- The colonists walk too slow. So slow that they often starve or fadigue to death on the way to their assignment.
- There are not many things to do in the game, so the player may get bored REALLY FAST. No action, no jumpscares, no nothing... and it gets boring.
- After you built the entire base, it will be too big, and the colonists will die because of fatigue due to their deficient AI.
- When a colonist die from the fire on the atmosphere creator (?) it will become a burning corpse and won't move.
- Sometimes colonists die and just stay there, standing... creepy.
- Colonists will ignore bodies and people dying. This should be prioritized.

My reccomendations:
(To the developer)
- Fix the bugs before developing new stuff. People are getting tired of the bugs and are leaving the game.
- Some more action would be a nice thing (if you really want to develop new stuff)
- Make the colonists faster! They run and stop too much! It's so annoying.
- In base, the colonists in the suit should walk faster.
- Try to program a new AI. They should prioritize some stuff, like eating and resting! They die of thirst and hunger even when you have lots of water and food avaiable. I don't think a human being would starve to death due to his many assignments. He would eat and then work.
- They get hungry too fast.

(To the players)
- The game has a really nice concept but is still in development. It's still unfinished! If you don't have patience to wait for the developer to fix stuff, just don't try any alphas. You will get tired and will just get ♥♥♥♥♥♥ for no reason.
- If you do have a lot of patience, my advice: play it. The game is really cool and it makes you imagine all the possibilities for it in the future. It's raw, but when cooked it's gonna be crazy :P
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Early Access Review
Rating based on what is present. When/if things are resolved, will be ammended.

Good potential in what is there but at this point after following the game for a few years now preceding the Early Access release it is still in dire need of:

* Colonist behaviour tuning so they don't just feel like partially-autonomous robots just running about performing reactive duties - Missing are Social interactions, off-duty behaviour, interests, role ownership in that it doesn't take 5 colonist engineers to attempt to change a lightbulb. If one person decides they will own the job of changing light bulbs it should be their responcibility, and just generally seeing colonists do more than just bounce between reactions.

* Some means for the player to actually be involved in the colony even if it's through passive influence events. Currently you say where rooms go and what objects go where, then you're done and have nothing to do forever except sit watching a rather interesting/destructive screensaver. Complex simulation inclusion is great for a game, but a game it does not make in itself if you have no avenue for continious engagement.

* Cleaning up some of the AI in place, especially in the areas of pathfinding common occurance still for example is Imps walking through solid walls and then finding themselves stuck on the other side when they notice that wall is solid making the player demolish chunks of their base or cavern walls in reaction to buggy behaviour.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Early Access Review
Unfortunate that the game never grew, its been in this stage for years and i deperately want it to fulfill its promises but after waiting and waiting we are still unable to even play the game without constant save and restarts. Further the $25 asking price is rediculous in its current form and even if it ever does come to being a finished product (at this rate another decade) i still doubt it would be worth that asking price for what it is.

I want to change this review to a thumbs up one, and beg the creators to give me the excuse to do it, but i just dont se it happening and surely not in the next few years... :(
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111 of 137 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 5
Early Access Review
Early access review of build 0.47. Ignore the steam playtime; I bought this outside of steam at 0.3x.

It's not often I write a negative review, especially of early access games - either it's too soon to tell, or the game is so bad that Jim Sterling will deal with it. Maia, though, I want to warn people off, for now.

Maia should not be in early access at this time, and it certainly should not have a ticket price of $25. This is an alpha stage game, with serious, fundamental flaws that need to be worked on before this can be an enjoyable beta experience.

Maia is a colony builder, like Spacebase DF9 or Rimworld. It takes the Towns approach of letting you set tasks and build spaces but not directly control the colonists. With good AI and balanced priorities this works well; without it, you get issues as with Towns. Maia is somewhere in between: the AI isn't very good, but there is so little going on in the gameworld that it's just about good enough, unless you do something weird.

Graphically I like Maia. It's got a 1980s styrofoam-and-foil aesthetic, with big-head robots and Space: 1999 jumpsuits. The graphics are very unpolished, but this game I think qualifies as alpha at this stage, so that will come.

The UI is just so bad. It is clunky, awkward to use, with unintuitive keybindings, an absence of necessary information in the overlay, no easy way to check what your colonists are doing, and an annoying over-sensitivity to screen scrolling when you're trying to get the obnoxious and imprecise mouse cursor over the icons. Drawing rooms is a chore, which is an issue when that is pretty much the only thing you can currently do in the game.

It's also very poorly optimised. Running on min settings, with a mid-range computer in excess of the recommended specs, I get memory crashes, terrible frame rate issues, and periodic freezing as the game tries to calculate something. I've spent a lot of time on forums trying to find ways to address these issues at my end, with no luck; I'm not the only person with this experience. A certain level of poor optimisation is to be expected with early access, but not to the degree where it derails your playing.

Development is okay. I feel like they should be further along than they are at this point. For over a half a million dollars in funding and a year and a half since the first playable build, it should be further along than this. I think Maia, Towns, DF9 et al illustrate one central truth about town-management games: they take time to develop. If you over-promise, you get DF9; if you rush and then run out of hype, you get Folk Tale; if you don't nail the AI, you get Towns. Dwarf Fortress didn't happen overnight; without having to worry about graphics or platform integration that game took years to get to anything like a quality gaming experience.

And that's principally why I am warning against Maia. For a well-funded game to be charging $25 for an early access build that isn't optimised, isn't visually polished, doesn't have basic features, lacks solid AI, and is without the diversity of content you need for a game in this genre, that's not a good investment. I accept that an early access game will be content-light, will have areas needing to be polished, but when a colony-manager after this much work still doesn't have basic UI, AI and optimisation sorted out, they are going to have no chance of adding more content without bringing the game crashing down.

I want this game to succeed, but they don't need more money, and you don't need the current experience of Maia. Give them until the end of the year, see where they're at then; they will either have fixed these issues by overhauling basically the core of the game, or it will have gone the way of Folk Tale. Either way you'll have your answer.
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41 of 53 people (77%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 24
Early Access Review
Hard to vote this down -- the concept is great, and the team is clever, and dedicated to the project.

One day, this will be an awesome game, but right now -- even as an Alpha -- I honestly feel Maia is too rough, and too early in its development cycle, to appeal to anyone beyond those who are fully committed to the testing and review of something in the earliest of prototypical stages.

Another way to put it? I regret spending money on Maia in its current state -- but I expect I'll be glad of the purchase later on in the Alpha development life cycle.

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