Older news about Maia

Discuss news about Maia
Post Reply
User avatar
SimoRoth
Site Admin
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:28 am

Older news about Maia

Post by SimoRoth » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:51 pm

Maia preview on Eurogamer: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012- ... ly-harmful
Simon Roth has been building worlds for quite some time now. It seems he has a talent for crafting game engines, for coding procedural generation routines and for modelling complex systems. As he shows me a very early build of Maia, he relates an interesting story about a certain game that never was, a project of his from a few years back.
"I came up with the idea of a voxel engine game, kind of like Dwarf Fortress but first person, where you can dig and you can build things," he says. I'm intrigued. "And then you'd have to defend your base from monsters. But everyone said 'Nobody will ever buy this game! No-one's interested in building stuff!'"
Undaunted, Roth has kept himself busy building many more worlds and modelling the systems within them, and right now he's telling me about how he wants to model liquids as accurately as possible. Not just any liquid, mind, but lava, so that when it burns its way through the underground, off-world colony that you've so carefully nurtured, you'll be able to appreciate just how realistically it's melting all your stuff.

There's an emphasis on a 70s-style (and very imperfect) future.
He describes Maia as "A God game in the mould of Bullfrog or Maxis," but set in a kooky, all-too-imperfect future, and primarily a sandbox game, something for players to fool around in. To this end, he's devoting much of his time to shaping the game's fundamentals, its AI routines, physics and world generation, so that everything in the game responds believably.
"The final game is going to be a lot of these complex systems," he explains, "Much like Dwarf Fortress is, but with an interface. I love the idea of Dwarf Fortress, and it's one of the things that inspired this game, because you can just play with it."
As well as crafting, construction and all sorts of critters, Roth wants to expand the scope of the game and model among many other things, including atmosphere, light and darkness. "Lights are an important part of the game, because not only do they affect your colonists' mood, but if you have a lot of lights, it's going to attract animals. Hostile animals."
Atmospheric considerations include things like a rise in compartment pressure caused by a build-up of steam, or a damaged airlock explosively decompressing and violently ejecting its contents, something that Roth gets a bit too excited about.

Early purchasers can have their names added to the game, then presumably kill themselves during play.
Actually, he revels in his descriptions of things going wrong and is desperate to throw a bit of chaos into the mix. He's been adding noise to his AI routines, he tells me, to make things a little less predictable, to keep players on their toes and constantly give them new problems they have to deal with. "I want randomness to be a big part of the game," he says "And some of it to be quite cruel randomness."
Roth works for Mode 7 Games, of Frozen Synapse fame, but Maia is a side project of his based on ideas he's been entertaining for some time. As we talk over different aspects of the game, including the many different things he wants to incorporate, it becomes apparent to me this isn't some idle venture, but in fact an ambitious and very carefully considered project.
The game engine, already slick and shiny, is capable of enormous things. It can handle 128,000 different lights in a frame, I'm told, and because Roth was always frustrated with the limited playing areas in games like Sim City, Maia's engine will procedurally generate a 2 kilometre cubed playing area. Roth takes me on a quick tour of one, trying to scroll to the edge. "It'll probably run out in a second," he says. It doesn't.
Maia is still in an early alpha stage, but it already looks like a fascinating game with a great deal of potential. It's official website can be found here.
Maia on DIYGamer http://www.diygamer.com/2012/05/the-hea ... announced/
For many gamers, the sense of empowerment granted to them via their virtual entertainment medium of choice acts as a resounding gripping point in their embracing of interactive video gaming. That, we’d guess, is where god games come in, and it’s apparently the basis of the newly-announced Maia, a project headed by Simon Roth of Machine Studios fame.

Set in a world embellished by the decadent trimmings of sci-fi lore, Maia looks set to evoke memories of Roth’s self-professed heroes Bullfrog, creators of the legendary Populous and Black and White. While Roth claims to have laid out a considerably detailed set of foundations for the game’s design, he’s nevertheless open to suggestions from the gaming community. As such, the game is set to be made available through the increasingly popular Alpha funding model, with a large proportion of the funds raised going towards the hiring of additional artists and designers.

Still, if the concept art shown off in the screenshot above is anything to go by, Maia has the potential to look like a fancy little piece of meat in its own right. Of course, it’s a trend well recognised that early footage is rarely indicative of a finished product in this wild, zany industry, but we’d like to think of the game’s preliminary graphical design as a signal of intent for what could easily become a barnstormer of monumental proportions.

For more information on Maia, tentatively slated for release on Windows PC and Linux, check out its official website.
Rock paper shotgun: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/07 ... tric-maia/
Simon Roth is best known as the newest recruit to Frozen Synapse creators Mode 7, but he’s also one of the most veteran developers in the entire history of the world, if my research is correct. And he’s moonlighting on a side-project all of his own, the Bullfrog/early Maxis-inspired sci-fi management game Maia. This isn’t a matter of keeping colonists happy with space ice cream and zero-grav toilets – we’re promised the likes of ‘up to 2KM X 2KM X 2KM of procedural world’, water and lava simulation, defensive structures to fend off hostile wildlife, bipolar robots and a first-person mode.

Oh, dare I dream ‘sci-fi Dungeon Keeper’?

It’s all about building an underground colony to protect intergalactic settlers from the dangers of the surface, with mining, construction and entertainment component parts of your base-building.

It uses its own render, which Simon Reckons means AAA-level visual quality is possible, plus this is no throwaway project for him. “The plan is to keep it as a on-going piece and to let it grow organically, over a long period, in the same way Dwarf Fortress did.” Imagine if Dungeon Keeper or Startopia had benefited from similar; imagine what they’d be by now.

I’ve roped Simon into joining the on-stage Gamejam at Rezzed tomorrow, so I shall do my best to collar him about plans for Maia at some time. This looks/sounds very promising indeed – revisiting the spirit of those inventive management games, before they collapsed into chintzy Theme x or x Tycoon, but without being a slavish recreation of something existent. More details on the site, but here’s some screenies. Click for embiggenation:

And here’s a never-before-seen third screenshot, just for you and your mum:

You’ll be able to pre-order it soon, for a variety of different pricing tiers and associated bonuses. You can check out what those will be here.
Play Sci-fi: http://www.blog.playscifi.com/god-in-space-maia/
Barring the inspired but initially DRM-riddled From Dust, it’s been ages since I’ve seen a good god game, and though I’m (sadly) not at Rezzed this weekend, I have been following the adventures of indie developer Simon Roth on Twitter for a while. He’s been teasing his followers with news of his in-development god-game ‘Maia‘, and the lucky visitors at the expo (and readers of RPS) have been given a glimpse of the work in progress.

Maia is inspired by ’70s sci-fi’, set in a future where Earth is making its first attempt to colonise extra-solar systems. You will excavate an underground colony, in the process mining minerals, building rooms and living space, and researching better technologies to improve the lives of your underlings. The world around you will be procedurally generated and Roth has developed his own render engine capable of ‘hundreds of thousands of light sources’, which despite being in alpha looks gorgeous already.

The new screens show off the mining, lava and interior design space and definitely have that 70′s retro feel, albeit with a modern polish. I can’t wait to get a look at a working build, and with multiple pre-order options on the way it looks like there won’t be too long to wait. Commencing excitement in three… two… one…
Beefjack announce Maia: http://beefjack.com/news/indie-god-game ... developer/
Maia is the Bullfrog-inspired side project of Simon Roth, whose name you likely do not know but whose hands have tinkered with the insides of both VVVVVV and Frozen Synapse.

The game features a super-clever graphics engine capable of delivering hundreds and thousands of lights, as well as a “layered compositing pipeline”, which sounds like the sort of thing you’re tasked with exploding in Just Cause 2.

Maia is currently in alpha, but will evolve and expand in line with community feedback a la Minecraft. Pre-orders are to be opened soon, and Roth hopes to fund the rest of development – and the hiring of extra staff - through the support of the PC gaming community.

In an upcoming BeefJack interview, Roth talks about the influence of Bullfrog games like Dungeon Keeper, which might give us an idea of what to expect from Maia: “A key aspect of Dungeon Keeper is that it allows the user space to play. The number of tiny interactions within the game goes into the hundreds.

“Many of them are an irrelevance to gameplay but they reward experimentation for the player. Giving the player unexpected feedback when they try things out is what makes a game really memorable.”

You can keep up with news on Maia here at BeefJack.
More at beefjack
Maia is a new indie game from developer Simon Roth, a talented young man whose previously worked on the rather excellent titles VVVVVV and Frozen Synapse. Inspired by the God game genre mined so well by Peter Molyneux in his Bullfrog days, Maia tasks you with managing your colonists on a distant planet, building a prospering community and most importantly of all trying not to get them killed.

BeefJack has an interview with Simon in the pipeline, but in the meantime a new set of screenshots and concept art have appeared for Maia, which you can cast your eyes over directly below this sentence:
Dual Shockers: http://www.dualshockers.com/2012/07/08/ ... d-artwork/
If you’ve been craving a good god game lately then Indie developer Simon Roth has something in store for you, Maia. In the game you must protect your colonists as they work to build and prosper on a faraway world. That one guy is clutching a bloody machete too, so you know there’s probably going to be zombies, aliens, or some combination of that. Good god games are hard to co by, but this one certainly looks enticing, take a look for yourself!
Futile Position: http://futileposition.com/2012/07/maia- ... topia.html
Several weeks ago, the rather mysterious Maia Game page came up with some green text on a black background and a picture of a planet announcing a new game from Simon Roth. It didn’t really tell much about the game, but we now have a lot more information thanks to an update to the official page. The newly updated page indicates that your job in Maia is to gain a foothold for Earth’s colonization efforts an unknown, hostile world called Maia (natch). The world’s surface is inhospitable, so the player will be required to build facilities underground to house, feed, and entertain your colonists while protecting them from the threats of the alien world. The world is procedurally generated. The game’s page indicates that the world will be 2KM x 2KM x 2KM, but I have no idea how large that really is (mostly because I’m American and have no scale for the metric system). The developers promise complex colonist AI, a first-person mode, water, lava, a setting inspired by 70′s science fiction, and a dark sense of humor. It certainly sounds an awful lot like taking Dwarf Fortress and mashing it up with Startopia, which sounds suspiciosuly like the best idea ever.


Maia will initially be released on Windows and Linux, with a Mac version to follow if there is demand. Pre-orders will be available soon, with multiple tiers available, from $15 (which is a copy of the game) all the way up to $1,999 (you get a one of a kind 3D printed figurine). You can check out official Maia page for the most up to date information on the upcoming game. There is no release date presently available for Maia, but I will certainyl be bringing you more coverage once it is available,

User avatar
SimoRoth
Site Admin
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:28 am

Re: Older news about Maia

Post by SimoRoth » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:55 pm

Interview at Futile position: http://futileposition.com/2012/07/inter ... oroth.html
In case you didn’t see it yesterday, I’m pretty jazzed about Simon Roth’s upcoming simulation game Maia. While there was more than a fair amount of information on the official site, I also had a lot of lingering questions regarding the game, many of which I’m sure will be resolved in time. Nonetheless, I reached out to Mr. Roth with some of the things I was interested in regarding Maia and these were the responses that he gave me. Definitely look for more information regarding Maia soon, including the official announcement of pre-orders:

FP: [Previous articles have] mentioned hopes for Dungeon Keeper in space, but the game also has similarities to Dwarf Fortress and Startopia. What were your inspirations?

Dungeon keeper and Theme Hospital are huge influences on me. The way Bullfrog created games that allowed you to play around with different ideas and systems was just fantastic.
The Startopia comparisons, on the other hand, really came out of nowhere for me. I was vaguely aware of the game, but have never played it. I’m going to have to buy a copy and give it a go.

Although I’ve played only a modest amount of Dwarf Fortress, it is a big influence. Every player has their own amazing stories, and that really appeals to me. Indeed this is what I love about the our medium and why I make games.


FP: How long has Maia been in development? How long ago did you have the original idea for the game?

The game has been in development part-time for a few months. I initially had the idea when I was working on VVVVVV for the Humble Bundle. I was unsatisfied with my side project at the time (a voxel based survival and exploration title) and was struggling to find a solid game inside it. After speaking with fellow indies in the pub, I decided to focus on what I really found fun.
I had a few sleepless nights thinking about making a sim game that would be a game I wanted to play, but due to my doctorate and move to Mode 7 games had to shelve it for a time. At the start of the year I found myself with some free time and got up the nerve to push forwards with my idea. The company have been very supportive of the project which is really awesome.

FP: Have you taken anything from the projects you previously worked on and brought it Maia? Anything from particular games?

Yeah. I have learnt so much from every game I’ve worked on. Even Kinectimals!
I’ve taken a lot from VVVVVV. Especially how to a simple idea can be used in hundreds of different ways to engage a player, while not having to teach them an entirely new mechanic.


FP: Will there be different units in the game, or will the units be assigned tasks (a la Dwarf Fortress)? Will units gain skills over time?
The colonists will be complex human AI’s, so they will fill roles organically and learn skills from a branching tree.
FP: Do you have a planned release window for the pre-order options? How long after the pre-order will the Alpha be available?
I’m looking to start the pre-orders in slightly over a month, once I am happy with how the game is playing. I think the alpha will go out as soon as that round of funding has completed and I’ve invested in a little polish.

FP: I noticed that a first person view is listed as a feature. Will there be different gameplay in the mode, will it be for touring your facilities, or will the game play similarly to its third person mode?
It will allow you to explore your facilities from the point of view of one of your IMP bots and even perform some basic actions. If the funding is successful, a multi player mode will allow you to become a bot inside a friend’s colony!

FP: Do you have any more pictures or videos you can share at this time?

Currently only what’s on the site. I will be releasing an image of the first person mode very soon.

FP: What is the thing you are most excited about having people see about this project?
I’m looking forward to seeing players trying things in the game that I’d never even thought of. I love seeing people being inspired by a game.

Ortwin
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:21 pm

Re: Older news about Maia

Post by Ortwin » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:10 pm

"I came up with the idea of a voxel engine game, kind of like Dwarf Fortress but first person, where you can dig and you can build things," he says. I'm intrigued. "And then you'd have to defend your base from monsters. But everyone said 'Nobody will ever buy this game! No-one's interested in building stuff!'"
MineCraft? ;)
(Ah well, the MC accusations will pop up anyway, so I thought I'd give it a head start)

Though I do believe/hope Maia will have a far larger 'strategy' gameplay (economy, recource collection/spending management, setting up efficient robot/miner/personell 'task-lists', being pressured to invest in defence when hostile wildlife thinks your population is suiteble for dinner...


More ontopic:
Clearly many people who have seen your tech demo's are very impressed. Maybe it is a good idea (like Notch did with MC) to release early, and release often. This could get you some valuable feedback.
I know I don't mind testing early unplayable tech demo's.

You could even open up the Pre-orders on a 'no-guarantees it won't blow up your PC' and 'as-is' basis, see how much money flows in during the first few weeks/months. And then determine if it's worth the 'jump into the deep' (ie full-time development).
If anything MC did prove that people are willing to pay for early dev-builds.

User avatar
SimoRoth
Site Admin
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:28 am

Re: Older news about Maia

Post by SimoRoth » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:37 pm

Ortwin wrote:
"I came up with the idea of a voxel engine game, kind of like Dwarf Fortress but first person, where you can dig and you can build things," he says. I'm intrigued. "And then you'd have to defend your base from monsters. But everyone said 'Nobody will ever buy this game! No-one's interested in building stuff!'"
MineCraft? ;)
(Ah well, the MC accusations will pop up anyway, so I thought I'd give it a head start)

Though I do believe/hope Maia will have a far larger 'strategy' gameplay (economy, recource collection/spending management, setting up efficient robot/miner/personell 'task-lists', being pressured to invest in defence when hostile wildlife thinks your population is suiteble for dinner...
I basically described and planned a game much like Minecraft in 2008. Got pressured into doing fancy graphics coding though, as I worried about failing my degree. Had I made it, I would not have been like Notch though. It would probably have been buried as an indie curiosity and never sold a copy.
More ontopic:
Clearly many people who have seen your tech demo's are very impressed. Maybe it is a good idea (like Notch did with MC) to release early, and release often. This could get you some valuable feedback.
I know I don't mind testing early unplayable tech demo's.

You could even open up the Pre-orders on a 'no-guarantees it won't blow up your PC' and 'as-is' basis, see how much money flows in during the first few weeks/months. And then determine if it's worth the 'jump into the deep' (ie full-time development).
If anything MC did prove that people are willing to pay for early dev-builds.
Yeah. I'm planning weekly builds when we do release. I considered releasing builds already, but releasing a build is so much work that it will slow development down at this stage. Once we've Kickstarter'd for better or for worse, I'll start the process of a weekly or fortnightly milestone.

Problem with releasing anything at the moment is the project has become TOO newsworthy already and so an early broken build might get me bad press.

Ortwin
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:21 pm

Re: Older news about Maia

Post by Ortwin » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:37 pm

Yeah. I'm planning weekly builds when we do release. I considered releasing builds already, but releasing a build is so much work that it will slow development down at this stage. Once we've Kickstarter'd for better or for worse, I'll start the process of a weekly or fortnightly milestone.

Problem with releasing anything at the moment is the project has become TOO newsworthy already and so an early broken build might get me bad press.

I figured something like that... MC got attention when it was already big and real bugs got fixed within a week... (sorry, I keep using MC as example, hope you don't mind).


What about a closed pre-alpha?

Setting it up is tacky ofcourse, you need trustworthy people who don't throw it out in the open to do some friend a favor. You could hide (or just say you hid) a unique ID inside those few ( ~10 people? maybe 20) copies which you can use to track down the leak. Ofcourse all that might not be worth the trouble, but at least it will slow down any leaking, and people don't care for out-dated stuff that much (how many people ever saved any of the ancient MC dev builds?).


The most simple option is the 'good ol' middle finger', you could clearly state: 'this is an highly experimental in-dev pre-alpha tech demo pre-release, if you expect any of this to be a functioning game your IQ probably equals your age' (in more politically correct wording ofcourse).



PS, please do not mistake my enthusiasm to help/test-play for pressure to release something. If you do not feel the time is right, don't release. I'm just a semi-anonymous random guy on the web throwing my opinion on things on the web, feel free to ignore any part of it.

User avatar
SimoRoth
Site Admin
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:28 am

Re: Older news about Maia

Post by SimoRoth » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:23 pm

Ortwin wrote: PS, please do not mistake my enthusiasm to help/test-play for pressure to release something. If you do not feel the time is right, don't release. I'm just a semi-anonymous random guy on the web throwing my opinion on things on the web, feel free to ignore any part of it.
I wouldn't have a forum if I was worried about getting pressured. Maybe if I can get it to a good point during the KS I will do a tech release or something.

User avatar
SimoRoth
Site Admin
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:28 am

Re: Older news about Maia

Post by SimoRoth » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:23 pm

Older coverage from Final Boss Fight: http://finalbossfight.co.uk/index.php/2 ... -released/
Maia is an interesting looking new game from Indie Developer Simon Roth in which you have to help humanity with their first extra-solar colonisation. In this game that looks like an insane cross between XCOM and Evil Genius, you will have to manage the settlers of Maia, and try not to get them killed in the process.

You will need to excavate an underground colony to escape from the hostile surfaces of the new planet. You’ll have to mine minerals for construction, to build houses, feed and entertain your colonists, build defences to protect them for the dangerous wildlife and research new sources of power, water and food.

Look for the game to release on Windows and Linux when it hits alpha, we’ll keep our eyes closely on this amazing looking game and bring you all of the details.

User avatar
Mark
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:27 am
Location: Huonville, Tasmania, Australia
Contact:

Re: Older news about Maia

Post by Mark » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:15 am

Honestly, if you find yourself short of semi-anonymous random guys on the web who throws their opinion around, then please let my raise my semi-anonymous hand and volunteer to be a highly experimental in-dev pre-alpha tech demo pre-release tester.

Any more anonymous, and even I wouldn't know where I lived....
[img]http://burninglegion.org/forum/download ... ig.png/img]

^^^^^Please turn BBcode ON in signatures^^^^^

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests