Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 28, 2012.

Update #30

Veisalgia

Hi everyone!

The Greenlight has progressed well and we are number thirty one of all games on the service with over thirty one thousand yes votes. Sadly we didn't get picked last week, but there was a large backlog from the previous month (due to the Steam sale) so it was to be expected, but I'm hoping we will picked for one of the next bunches of games.

We've had some cool coverage recently which I forgot to mention. I gave a demo of the game at Rezzed to Adam Smith from RockPaperShotgun and he really loved it and penned a great article on the game's simulation and its potential as a story generator.

Greenlit Gaming checked also recently out a build and really liked what they saw too.

We also got into Wired a week ago, which is a big honour for us!

Development

Last night (well, very early this morning) I uploaded 0.30 to the members area. It's got a whole load more AI and content in it. It's also got a few backer heads in, so you might even spot yourself!

The frame rate is a little lumpy because the AI is getting quite complex now and the code needs to be smoothed out a little. There is also a bug where colonists get into a bed and refuse to leave it unless they have critical levels of starvation or thirst... Yes, I've inadvertently created a hangover simulator.

Zero Thirty One.

Due to the Greenlight distraction, some tech issues and an intense heatwave, a huge amount of content that I wanted to get coded into the game missed this week's deadline, so I will be crunching to release the next build in less than a week to bring in the new features. I've got over seventy animations to get plugged in to the male, female and surface-suited colonists and a procedural back story generator for all the characters. It will bring a whole lot more life to the game. Rough feature list is here.

Zero Thirty Two.

Will have spaniels!

Moving forward I'm going to be upping the release schedule, to somewhere between weekly and fortnightly, to allow for more feedback, play testing and iteration. More to come soon!

Cheers

-Si


Update #29

Zenith

Hello!

Things are going very well on the Greenlight campaign, we are currently outdoing almost every other game in the rankings!

Here's the statistics from last night:

Huge thanks to everyone who voted. If you haven't voted yet, please do. If we get green-lit, I will consider entering their early access program and I will be able to distribute Steam keys for every backer. Not to mention, the revenue from such a release would be a huge boon to development.

Poster deadline: 12 July 2013

I can't remember if I set a hard deadline for replies for the surveys, but if you haven't yet chosen your poster and entered your address in the survey yet, you have until Friday. We really need to get exact numbers so we can start printing and posting them. If you have changed your address since entering the survey, or will move in the next 30 days, please update me on the Support@maiagame.com email.

Development

I'm currently working on getting the 0.29 alpha ready for release on all three platforms. Quite a few bugs to iron out at the moment. Currently the male colonist explodes if he attempts to use a work bench...

...I might just make it a feature.

-Si


Update #28

Greenlight

Good evening everyone!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I've just launched a full Greenlight campaign for Maia along with a new atmospheric trailer for the upcoming 0.29 alpha.

I'd like you to vote for it.

Please share it with everyone you can!

Thanks

-Si


Update #27

0x1b

Hello!

Just a quick update...

A few weeks ago I went down to Bath to show the lovely chaps at PC Gamer magazine the game. We did an interview and received a whole two page spread in July's issue!

This week I'll be showing an alpha build of Maia at an alternative E3 event in London called Etoo. The event is ticketed, but there may be some cancellations so it's probably worth keeping an eye on. If anyone is coming you'll be able to have a hands-on go with the next alpha! If you can't make it, keep an eye out for the live stream where I will be making an appearance!

The 0.27 alpha will go up as soon as I am back on Thursday. Then on Friday I will release 0.28 as a bug fix patch for small problems found by the alpha testers.

A lot of people are asking if Maia will be at Rezzed, the PC games show run by Eurogamer and RockPaperShotgun. I didn't manage to get the game into the indie showcase, and decided that purchasing a whole booth would be a little too expensive and would distort my development efforts too much (putting together builds for demonstrations involves a lot of rushed code that adds bugs and work). I will however be there on the Saturday, roaming the expo floor, if you'd like to say hello. I may even have a few Maia trinkets to give away.

Pretty much everyone should now have their alpha keys. Drop a line on Support@Maiagame.com if you haven't received yours. People who hadn't responded to the surveys by the time the mail-outs went out will need to contact me to generate a key for them.

Cheers

-Simon


Update #26

"The Email"

Hello everyone!

If you are proficient with the modern marvel that has become known as "The email", then you may have noticed that you have received a key to our VIP members area. This area will allow you to download Kickstarter rewards, keys and early alphas of the game.

Since the mailing I have answered just over five hundred support emails, so to avoid getting thousands more, I'm going to give you a quick FAQ:

I did not get my key.

Have you checked your junk mail folder? Your key will likely have arrived between Monday and Thursday last week.

The site does not recognise my key.

Make sure you put the full key without spaces at the start or end. A complete key should look something like this: "Kickstarter-0010-59a296dd-3dz5-454c-a286"

I downloaded one of the tech demos or alpha builds, but I get a black screen. I am on ATI hardware.

Update your graphics card drivers to the latest stable release: Version 13.4.

I still get a black screen.

Your current GPU might not support OpenGL 4. I am working on some simplified shaders that will let you run the game. Otherwise ensure that you are not forcing antialiasing or other graphical effects in your graphics card's control panel.

When will Linux builds be available?

I'm uploading the Linux build of the 0.26 tech demo late tomorrow. The 0.27 Linux build will be released in parallel with the Windows release.

When will the Mac builds be available?

Sometime soonish, earlier builds of the game have been running on Mac, but some of my fancy new graphics might need tweaking for Apples "quirky" GL support.

Can I stream/YouTube the game or tech demos?

Not yet. But I have written a license for the 0.27 alpha that will allow you to stream and monitise footage of the game.

If you need further help, email me on Support@MaiaGame.com and I'll get you sorted out.

Ok now that's out of the way. I'd like to talk about development for a bit.

Firstly, I mentioned I hired a writer, and I'd like to take the time to introduce him. However I don't have said time. So I'm making him introduce himself! Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Paul Dean:

Hello!

Simon has asked me to tell you all a little bit about myself, so here's a very, very short biography that omits the time I was on television because I was excited about a train.

I'm a freelance writer and I've been writing mainly about video games for quite a long time now. Far back in the distant past of 2001 I started writing for a bunch of different magazines such as PC Format and PC Gamer. I spent a lot of my time talking about and reviewing games, but I was also keen on writing longer, research-based work and I like digging to find the information I need. I was writing for money up until 2005, before I moved to London to be a student and live in a basement.

Over the last two years, I've returned to freelance writing and you might have seen some of my work on sites like Eurogamer, IGN, PCGamesN and RockPaperShotgun. I'm also a big fan of board games and two years ago the very handsome Quintin Smith and I set up Shut Up & Sit Down, a site and show about board games that's been syndicated by Machinima and Penny Arcade. All this stuff keeps me very, very busy with the whole word business and I like it very much. I'm particularly excited to be able to join the Maia team and contribute to the game, even though the people I'm working with are disgustingly talented and make me look like a pitiful, primitive insect in comparison.

My favourite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Ursula Le Guin, my favourite food is Italian and my favourite chord is either A minor or B minor. I was a published poet when I was eleven (oooh), I don't have a driving license and I have sniffed William Shatner. Further information is available upon request.

Secondly, Kris, our character artist will be leaving our almost-full-time employment soon and will be picking up work from the project on a more sporadic basis. He's been polishing off the backer heads recently and has done a rather sterling job of it!

Word on the street is he is going to be doing a little work on Mike Bithell's exciting upcoming project.

Development on the game has progressed in stops and starts. I never got to the bottom of the ATI bug that plagued me for over a week. The problem solved itself in the latest drivers. Frustrating, but I'm glad that it is now behind us.

I was also delayed several days by the Indiegogo key mail out that suffered a 90% failure rate on Hotmail/Live accounts. Took me many hours and a lot of detective work to find out that Hotmail now treats plain text emails as spam and deletes them before they even reach the junk folder. Thankfully the Kickstarter keys went out without a major hitch.

That said, other things have progressed fantastically. The weather effects look far better than I had imagined they would, and coupled with the awesome 3d sound middleware the world has really started to come alive. The animation system, now completely rewritten, is pretty fantastic and flexible, allowing Leanne's animations to really bring out the character of the colonists.

We also have four of the core rooms ready to go into the game, doors, and lots of new plant life. Rudi has been plugging away at that solidly for a good two months.

Code-wise the game's simulations are starting to hook together behind the scenes. The electrical grid simulation is working well, as are the core components of the climate interactions. The bulk of the work now will be exposing it all to the player in a meaningful fashion.

AI is next on the agenda. I have started from scratch on a new system based on something similar to that of "The Sims" by Maxis. It is not entirely dissimilar to my previous AI, but works in a more unified fashion and allows us to give the creatures more complex needs, adding depth to the game play.

I will be releasing the 0.27 alpha next week that will showcase the features mentioned above. I haven't set a date for it yet, so keep an eye out on the forum for specific updates.

Cheers

-Simon


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