September 4th, 2012 | By Rowan Davies
We covered Maia briefly back in May this year shortly after its announcement and now, following a good few updates, we’re finally getting a finer idea of what’s actually to be expected from the game. If you’re unaware of its existence, then here’s a quick and clumsy analysis: think Dungeon Keeper in space. Forgive me developer for I have sinned, but basically I’m anticipating moonbases, micromanagement and a fight for survival.
The game is to be set on Maia itself, a planet beyond our own Solar System, where humans have dared to tread before fearfully digging beneath the surface in order to survive. You’ll be mining for resources, defending against the alien scourge and creating somewhere homely for your colonists to live. It sounds like great fun, but it looks even better.
Mode 7‘s Simon Roth is developing the game independently and is clearly putting everything he’s got into creating a cohesive cartoon aesthetic, something dark but cute. Beyond this there are some fairly lofty aspirations – it’s fair to say that the features list reads like many of my wildest dreams:
Up to 2km x 2km x 2km of procedural world
Complex colonist AI
AAA Quality graphics
Water and Lava simulation
A simple minimalist UI
Inspired by 1970s sci-fi
Intricate defense systems
A first person mode
Open data for modders
That latest update to the development blog concerns a brief demonstration of the first-person mode mentioned above and it looks very nice indeed. It’s intended for the full release that you’ll be able to inhabit the minds of your little worker bots within bases so the visual effects are entirely reflective of that. So shimmery!
Roth has confirmed that this is unlikely to make the first alpha, but as a proof of concept it shows exactly what might be achieved with the game’s custom built engine, also how it might allow the player to become a little more involved in what historically is quite a detached genre.
For further updates be sure to check out the development blog, right here and it hopefully won’t be too long before we can take a more detailed look at how Maia might play.