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:
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.