Manage a space colony on Maia
Maia is an early access game that I bought quite a while ago on Steam. Every once in a while, I’ll check on its progress because I really like the concept and the few other space colony games seem more cartoony while this one is more survival-based/realistic. It had been quite a while since I last played it so when Alpha 0.49 came out at the end of July, I decided to see how it was turning out.
I’ve had fun with it before but this playthrough left me with mixed feelings. Because Maia’s atmosphere is poisonous, the whole colony complex has to be built underground and you have to install atmosphere generators to make sure your people don’t suffocate. Previously this had not been an issue since putting a generator in every room worked out just fine. But the ability for machines to overheat and catch on fire was introduced recently, which lead to the generators bursting into flames time and time again. Either I’m building too many generators or the fire mechanic needs to be tuned way down because it was a neverending cycle of fires. At one point, half of the plants in my hydroponics room were burning as well and there was nothing I could do about it because the colonists move so damn slow. They didn’t seem to want to replant them either.
Another thing that needs work is the AI for the colonists. Despite having lots of food, colonists kept starving to death or dying of fatigue. This seems to be due to the fact that if you place an item in a way they can’t reach, they will run around in circles until they keeled over. I didn’t know this during my play session, not that I could have figured out what was causing the problem because there’s no way to see what their current activity is. It was kind of amusing when the dead people got up and started running around again but yeah, something needs to be fixed there. Oh yes, and one guy stood next to a flaming generator, burned to death, and later stood up and hung out near one of the doors.
I had a hell of a time with object placement too. Even if it seemed like there was enough room around an object for it to be built, sometimes the colonists couldn’t get to it for some reason (and then the Marathon of Death would start). At one point I built a second storage room to house more flywheel batteries but the colonists would just not build the damn things. I’m beginning to think that having a grid system for placing objects (similar to The Sims) would be good for this game. At least then it would be easier to tell if there’s enough space to build something. Even the IMP bot which mines for you seemed to have random problems getting to places that seemed perfectly accessible.
I don’t remember having these problems before and I recall quite enjoying my previous playthroughs. It’s quite possible that I’m not playing things quite right (the tutorial needs some work) or that this is just a bump in the development road. I really hope either of those are the case because Maia has some great promise.
If you’d like to see the game, check out my video below. Feel free to skip around, it is an hour long after all.