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I do absolutely love watching space colony sim Maia [itch.ioSteam, Official Site] evolve. This latest release is probably the best I've played and it's really coming together nicely now.

This time around, the Linux version has also seen a little love. The game was previously locked to 30FPS for me, which is no longer the case so it does feel quite a bit smoother now. Everything just feels better as a result, so it's been more enjoyable. Sometimes it does seem to randomly lock it back to 30FPS, but not all the time like before.

Yes, that is an actual shot of my colony earlier…

This release has made the I.M.P robots have a bit of personality, so if you don't look after them and give them plenty to do, they might start getting depressed and misbehave. They might get a little bored and get a little curious like this (love it!), or they might get a little frustrated and kick your stuff like this.

More importantly, the AI for Chickens has improved. They come with new physical and personality traits, so some might be more social, some might be more likely to catch fire from sparks and so on. They can also pass on their traits to future space Chicken generations.

You can also now middle-click items, to have specific colonists have access to it. In addition, hovering over colonists now gives ECG readouts to give you an idea of how they're doing, plus you now see what items they have on them too. There's plenty more, like item placement and path-finding improvements, mouse-over info for different terrain types and tons of general cleanups and bug fixes to make the game just feel more polished.

The developer did an overview video of this new release, all really good stuff. Turn up the volume though, they're rather softly spoken…

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I've had a love/hate relationship with the game, but thankfully each patch has moved me closer towards love. I'm a nut when it comes to building games and the sci-fi setting is exactly what I love, plus the practically retro-future visuals remind me of Aliens (one of my favourite films).

I've played around with the new release for a while today and I've been able to progress further than I have ever done so before, I only killed one colonist in an hour, so to me that's a solid indication that the game has improved, whereas previously after 20-30 minutes I would encounter game-breaking bugs, I've been able to play multiple hours without any big stoppers now. There's still many places it could improve, but I'm still pleased to see it progressing.

One of the major issues right now, is that you still don't ever have a good idea of what your colonists are currently doing. A better building priority system, along with a way to see who's going to do what in the UI directly would be extremely welcome.

I also think the constant flow of messages from colonists, events and so on ends up feeling a bit spammy and in the way, but some people might like the constant influx of chatter. Toning it down a little I think would help players focus a little, instead of the feeling of constant interruptions.

You can read about the latest update here, the amount of work that went into this release is pretty nuts. Simon Roth, from Machine Studios certainly puts in a lot of effort and it's finally starting to show in the actual gameplay.

 You can buy Maia on itch.io (where it's now 33% off) and Steam.

6 Likes, Who?
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Gonza565 14 February 2018 at 11:11 pm UTC
It says 'Maia Showcase' but I just read 'Simon Roth ASMR'
Kels 14 February 2018 at 11:50 pm UTC
Last time I gave a serious try to Maia, it was pretty early on. Before you could have multiple robots, I think, and there weren't any alien wildlife yet. I'm holding off until it finally has an official release to try again and see all the improvements, but I gotta say articles like this test my resolve.
Doktor_Mandrake 15 February 2018 at 5:30 am UTC
How hard is this game? Is it alot of micro-management and stuff or more casual and relaxed like the sims?

I might be way off mark thinking this might be anything like the sims though, but looking from that video it looks like a really nice game with a lot of charm, liked how there's livestock chickens, oh and grumpy robots! ^^


Last edited by Doktor_Mandrake at 15 February 2018 at 5:34 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
madchaotikan 15 February 2018 at 7:00 pm UTC
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Hm,

Since a couple of updates I'm always playing each new version for a few hours. I really enjoy to see the improvements in game mechanics and try out the new features. Maia is one of the game where I like to just watch the progress in early access.

However the current realese is the most unstable since I'm with Maia. I have any few minutes crashes and are returned to my desktop. Currently I do not see any autosaves. Are they disbaled or may i did this by a setting? Have to find out.
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