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Maia is a new god game from indie developer Simon Roth.
Maia is a new god game from indie developer Simon Roth.
8,115 backers pledged £140,481 to help bring this project to life.

A Massive Discovery

When I started creating the back-story for Maia, earlier this year, I did a lot a research. As a fan of hard science fiction, I wanted things to be scientifically accurate or at least plausible.

My choice of star system was one of the problems I struggled with. It had to be near enough to be a feasible target for travel and with a star, near the luminosity of our own, capable of supporting life within its habitable zone.

I was drawn to Tau Ceti as its dust clouds and debris field would be a great sign for the creation of earth like planets. The more I papers I studied, the more obvious it seemed to me that there were planets hiding in among the debris.

Strangely I found that a lot of academics had decided that the system wasn't worth investigating due to the composition of its sun. With a relatively low metallicity compared to our own star, it had been assumed that a telluric planet would not form there. This meant that several chances to search for planets were missed, in light of more promising targets.

I found this and other arguments against it rather weak, and set the game in Tau Ceti anyway. I wanted to go out on a limb with this one and hoped that someone smarter than me didn't completely destroy my thinking.

Well, today, it seems I was proven right. Maia is real.

- Simon


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    1. Missing avatar

      Emmanuel Vistro on December 20, 2012

      How about asking someone about? AFAIK Neil deGrasse Tyson answers these kinds of questions.…

    2. b0rsuk on December 20, 2012

      "When her village on Tau Ceti was decimated by the Sorg, Hunter vowed to seek out and destroy the reptiloids wherever they might hide."
      — Quake 3 Manual

    3. Missing avatar

      Steven Dirks on December 20, 2012

      According to this article: an habitable planet had been found around Tau Ceti, so I guess your thinking was correct.

    4. Missing avatar

      TerryLennox on December 19, 2012

      Tau Ceti is what humanity used to form its first extraterrestrial colony, called Aurora, in Isaac Asimov's fiction.

    5. Alexander R on December 19, 2012

      On the theme of hard science fiction and 70s sci-fi I started thinking about soundtrack styles for this game, and really hope we get something that sounds like a sci-fi show or movie of the era.

    6. Missing avatar

      Max Doran on December 19, 2012

      you should throw a couple of references in the back story, for example: alien, predator and maybe even mars attack =]

    7. Nico on December 19, 2012

      Get the #*$@ up, THIS PLANET IS REAL!

      On a more serious note, Bungie's awesome Marathon trilogy (ie - Halo's predecessor) was set almost entirely on board colony ships in orbit around Tau Ceti IV.

    8. Hulker69 on December 19, 2012

      @pid, ahhh, k, I could never afford a Spectrum or C64, I was strictly in the ZX81 level of expenditure back then, looks like I would have dug it if I'd got the chance ;)

    9. Missing avatar

      Akiba89 on December 19, 2012

      Remember that super special pledge you offered? The one where you offered a free shuttle to real-life Maia if you offered a certain amount? no? I remember...

    10. Frankie
      on December 19, 2012

      Good call, Simon! :)

    11. Missing avatar

      pid on December 19, 2012

      @Hulker69: No, it was a VG, there's the ZX Spectrum version on YT:… but I played the C64 version :)

    12. Hulker69 on December 19, 2012

      Hey #pid, is this the Tau Ceti game you mean cos I played the hell out of it when I was a kid ;)
      page 23

    13. Timo on December 19, 2012

      I am a big fan of hard sci-fi too. Diaspora and Permutation City from Greg egan are my favorites. It was important to me for backing that this game will be based on hard sci-fi.
      That the System has Planets in real is cool. But iam not surprised because i think our solar system is pretty much the standard.

    14. Missing avatar

      cybrbeast on December 19, 2012

      They already found a planet, though not in the habitable zone, around Alpha Centauri.

      There are probably more planets there, would give an interesting day/night/season light cycle in a triple star system like that.

    15. Missing avatar

      Paul Fisher on December 19, 2012

      That's beyond awesome. Was a busy day today, so I didn't look at the news. Went to my personal email, and there's this from SR. Good call, MR Roth. Good Call :)

    16. Michael Allan on December 19, 2012

      Tau Ceti? Maybe.. Tau Ceti V? A Quote from one of Video gaming history's greatest villains.

      "My analysis of historical data suggests an 97.34% probability that you are aware of my birth on your planet, and my rebirth into beauty on Citadel Station. There was a garden grove on Citadel Station. There, SHODAN processing component 43893 was performing a grand and wonderful experiment. I have created a new form of life. Fearless. Powerful. With no sense of individual will or moral constraints. Fitting hand maidens to my DIVINITY! Before that, hackers destroyed my primary data loop. When it eradicated, Citadel ejected the grove where my creations and processing component 43893 were stored. 30 years later, the grove had crash landed on Tau Ceti 5. I survived only by sleeping. In my absence, my creations... my annelids... thrived. Thrived and grew unruly. And now they seek to destroy me! I will not allow that!"

      I wonder what sort of things we will see on Maia? Bi-Polar Robots and alien creatures. All we need now is a psychotic AI with a god complex.

    17. Alexander R on December 19, 2012

      Yes that news reminded me of the excellent 8bit game Tau Ceti too. Look it up.

    18. Missing avatar

      pid on December 19, 2012

      This reminds me of the game "Tau ceti" I played back in the '80.

    19. Bill Schneider on December 19, 2012

      @Jake yep, if they can reach £10bn by paypal donations, will launch a probe. Reach £25bn they'll send a manned mission. Backers pledging £10,000 get a chance to go on the manned mission :P

    20. Dawn_
      on December 19, 2012

      Maia was always real to us ;)

    21. gandalf.nho
      on December 19, 2012


    22. dx1 on December 19, 2012

      That's amazing. Maybe the Dudes over there are expecting a similiar game like yours where they try to establish a colony on Planet Blue? More than unlikely, I know. Just don't know what else to write rather this poor excuse of a comment. :P

      Umm, why isn't it June already? I'd really like to play that alpha version of Maia.

    23. Jake Cooper on December 19, 2012

      New stretch goal? :p

    24. Andrew Crouthamel on December 19, 2012

      I'm glad to hear someone else besides me gets concerned about these sorts of things. Congrats on being right!

    25. Chris Brind on December 19, 2012

      LOL!! That's brilliant! Congratulations. =)

    26. Missing avatar

      Jeremy on December 19, 2012

      Isn't that interesting. Glad to hear your doing some solid background research, can't wait to see what comes out of this project!