Maia 0.66: Caves of Steel

Maia 0.66 is here. This build brings hundreds of changes focusing on balancing, emergent behaviours, performance and the user interface.

Here’s a short video of me showing off a small handful of the changes:

“Do you want me to sit in a corner and rust, or just fall apart where I’m standing?”

Your I.M.P robots now have a growing sense of person, and with that of course, comes existential dread. Keep your robots occupied with work or they will start getting depressed, misbehaving, annoying your colonists or even smashing up valuable equipment.

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“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”

With the new middle-click menu you can set which colonists are allowed to use a certain item. This functionality has many potential uses uses, from assigning ownership to a bed, to optimising entire rooms by having a select team of skilled users for the equipment. In the later game it can even be used to segregate off entire sections of the base. Of course the colonists, being human, might not always follow the rules forced upon them.


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Colonist mouse-overs have been improved with ECG readouts now hinting at what exciting life threatening issues they may have and a brief inventory list of what the colonist is carrying around with them.


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Bok bok.. thud

Chicken AI is improved with new physical and personality traits. Some may be more susceptible to fire and sparks, some able to breath in a low atmosphere environment, some social, some anxious. As the chickens breed these traits will be passed down and potentially strengthened. Of course for this selection to happen chickens have to die a lot more, so they do.


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“What the photon is it?”

0.66 brings many optimisations and performance gains for many system configurations as well as improved visuals with a new ambient occlusion algorithm and lighting systems.
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Many aspects of item placement and path-finding have been improved. Placement holograms are improved with smoother transitions between warning states and clearer information when there is an issue. Interaction points are brighter and higher resolution to better indicate how to face an object.

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More changes:

  • Mouse over info for different terrain types.
  • New research tech added for Cognitive millimetre wave networks.
  • In the colonist panel on the bottom left. If a colonist needs attention the colour of their name will be yellow. If they are unconscious it will now be red.
  • Colonists will no longer write long boring emails about people they don’t know yet.
  • Colonists will no longer write emails about dogs that they confused for humans.
  • When an email is being drawn, left clicking will now immediately draw all the text on screen.
  • Colonists will now place less importance on going to the toilet
  • Harvest early option added to hydroponics.
  • Added delay to colonists pulling out glowsticks or putting them away as they got really indecisive if your power supply was varying and it was migraine inducing.
  • IMP robots will now pick up materials left outside and bring them to storage.
  • Extra bullet proofing of email code.
  • Rain storms will now occasionally have some thunder. The distance of the thunder will indicate incoming storms.
  • Room ambience changed to only play one room tone at a time.
  • Room ambience will fade out faster (and is now more audible).
  • Hurricanes tweaked for bigger impact.
  • Solar events more sporadic.
  • Toilet door animations fixed.
  • Mineral mining is now deterministic from world seeds.
  • Creature wandering behaviours now leave an 8m safe zone around map edges.
  • Utility robots, protobirds and chickens using an item will quit out early if object is destroyed during use.
  • Larger solar panels are prioritised over portable ones when building.
  • Object placement errors and warnings are now less likely to get stuck on an incorrect warning state.
  • Fix for colonists carrying hologram glowsticks.
  • Colonist glow sticks less bright, more attenuation.
  • Fix for base randomisation and generation issues.
  • Colonists less likely to put raw food packets into storage room.
  • Tutorial world seed changed, for a easier layout.
  • Noise class now carries its own random generator for better world generation results.
  • Colonist food preparation needs reduced.
  • Building material stockpile need reduced.
  • Aesthetic item need made more fuzzy.
  • Entertainment need made more fuzzy.
  • Needs for top level building facilities reduced.
  • Need for data input balanced.
  • Colonists will sleep for longer.
  • Colonists will place items on the top shelf in storage and work down.
  • Fixes for colonists duplicating work because they didn’t realise someone already went out the airlock to do it.
  • Room storage shelf picking for colonists more spread out through a room.
  • Fix for one frame delay on weapon carrying animations.
  • Fix for toilet door animation problems.
  • Get next meaningful item in action sequence now returns a handle to the entity.
  • Super capacitor and flywheel build importance reduced below that of power generators.
  • Room parameters initialised on startup to prevent lockdowns.
  • Utility robot will now properly aim at target when it’s welding to prevent zapping people by accident.
  • Lights added to individual utility robot sparks.
  • Worklight food creation (when placed in hydroponics) need increased.
  • Chicken egg creation time doubled.
  • Fix for broken mining order colonist choice where colonists placed the dig markers and doors somewhere really stupid.
  • Psychologist light modification choice now only changes settable lights. Chance that all lights are randomised.
  • Increase in IV drip build importance.
  • If there are 2 chickens they try to avoid asphyxiation.
  • Colonist should face towards smelter when using it.
  • Nanoprinter interaction point moved back slightly.
  • Fix for crash if colonist tries to store something on a room shelf that you delete as they are placing.
  • Fix for specular issue when MSAA was enabled.
  • Doors now spark when damaged.
  • Sparks can now cause items such as beds and chickens to ignite.
  • Individual sparks can now emit light (Added to doors and worklights).
  • Worklight sparks randomised.
  • Worklight flicker brightness reduced.
  • ECG RR interval readout fixed.
  • Colonist should face towards smelter when using it.
  • Solar array infotip spaces added.
  • Colonists waiting in the airlock will perform idle animations such as yawning and looking around.
  • AI agents will avoid idling in awkward corners of rooms.
  • Suited colonists will now perform a repair animation.
  • Airlock waits are reduced in length and by potential distance to cut down time wasted.
  • Anything living now gets a short wait command if the door they are near gets locked.
  • Additional text for colonists reporting on meals.
  • Tutorial seed changed.
  • Shadow added to text in emails.
  • Airlock loading issue fixed.
  • Door flipped lighting issue fixed.
  • Potential fix for colonists getting too scared of dead alien bodies to do anything else.
  • Insect lighting optimisations. Number of insects reduced.
  • Mission timer changes.
  • Removal of 8xMSAA option (Too many drivers die when this is enabled due to the huge VRAM cost).
  • Optimisation to deferred lighting tile passes.
  • Game random functions fixed to be conistant over different platforms.
  • Lights are no longer culled if camera is inside them.
  • When placing items the prev and next key text is now based on the key bind.
  • Menu now locked at 60fps.
  • Fix for uninitialised tutorial marker flag giving the player an easy base in missions.
  • Behind the scenes UI changes for new colonists item assignment system.
  • Utility bot no longer suffers from a glitch where its short ranged signalling system defers jobs to other bots that turn out to be itself.
  • Interaction points (the blue person holograms) when placing items now cover a 1m circle. This makes it harder to place stuff too close to walls and get colonists stuck.
  • The bounds of an item being placed are now tested against the room pathfinding grid, rather than just the items center. This means things are less likely to erroneously intersect walls.
  • The pathfinding mesh map around all wall types has been refined to sit tighter to walls and is consistent in all directions. This should fix issues with some wall items being unreachable.
  • Fix for key binding settings order mistake for different placement modes.
  • Dormant insects stop creating light.
  • Fix for insects floating upwards whilst resting.
  • When a colonist placing an item there will be some sounds now.
  • Fix for lack of grass on polar maps.
  • Fix for too much grass causing crashes on some small high flora map generations.
  • Workshop fires caused by unskilled colonists using the smelter have been reduced by half.
  • Flywheels now specify their energy storage is in KW seconds.
  • Flywheel and super capacitor storage increased a bit.
  • Airlock priority increased
  • Airlock interaction points are now on the outside until built. (making it easier to do room intersects)
  • Tutorial tweaked for clarity.
  • Colonist AI code cleanup.
  • Sections added to the tutorial for the colonist and warning panels.
  • Border added around room options panel
  • Room options panel alignment issues fixed.
  • Light brightness options added to more rooms
  • Plants starting to get blight have higher priority for harvest.
  • Blight emails now point out you may need less planters.
  • Bulkhead door placement stickyness fixed.
  • Fusion reactor degradation fixed.
  • Repair robots can now fix fusion reactors.
  • Repair jobs advertised by equipment to utility bots earlier. Colonists later.
  • Utility bots have fuzzy preferences as to what sort of work they want to do.
  • Check when starting a path find that the first node is within the world.
  • People fighting fires in space suits will return to airlock if the fire goes out and cools down enough to prevent autoignition
  • Event email spam on loading fixed.
  • Engine compression added for more texture types.
  • Crash fix for bases with no airlock.
  • Fix for uninitialised research data issue.
  • Sound latency reduced.
  • Colour bleeding optimised.
  • Bilateral blurs tweaked.
  • Fix for lighting bug on skinned objects caused by transformations effecting vertex normals.
  • A lot of small tech changes behind the scenes.

If you want to see more changes to the game as they go live. Get on the Development branch on Steam. You can also watch as I update the repo on the development site.

As always I am very open to feedback and will fix bugs as we find them or they are reported. If you are enjoying playing the game, please remember to leave a Steam review as they drive sales which allows further investment in new content and development.

Maia Update 0.65: Non Stop

It’s that time of year again! For a holiday? No! What’s a Holiday?! It’s time for another Maia update of course.


Colonists are now able to hold items whilst walking around the base allowing them to telegraph what task they are hoping to do next. A colonist with a hammer may be on their way to build some room segments, one holding a wrench on a build or repair job, rations the food station or storage, and a colonist holding a glow stick during a blackout might just be afraid of the dark.

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Intentional bugs

Insects form a critical component of any food chain, and on Maia the rule holds true. The new flying insects will provide a food source for the smaller alien creatures, allowing them to broaden their diet and grow quicker. The bugs use bioluminescence for mating, so exterior base lighting might attract their attention and cause them to swarm your colonists.

Insects on Maia

The migration and breeding of the alien life has changed to reflect this new system. The balance should reduce the risk of equipment destruction or alien incursions to new bases, but increase it substantially later in the game.

Physical Research

Raw research data is now represented by physical data tapes in the world, allowing colonists to stockpile and store information they have learned about the planet ready for it to be crunched into new technologies and techniques in the research lab computer systems. Just be careful to keep them dry and safe, magnetic tape is flimsy and extremely flammable.

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Colonist variation

As well as adding several new colonist visual models into the game this update brings new psychological differences to your colonists. The personality of a colonist can effect their motivation, moods, how they interact with others and even their susceptibility to certain mental conditions. Picking the right traits might just be a matter of life and death.

Maia colonists


The base system will now announce many more of the incoming issues and disasters facing your colony. Many sounds have been added or tweaked in the game world and user interface to give better feedback and a more balanced soundscape.

Performance Changes

New cache optimisations, path finding changes, C++ code modernisation and threading balance has improved CPU performance for large bases up to 40%.

Other Notable Changes:

  • Stand alone missions extended
  • Chickens set for destruction will be prioritised for eating over others.
  • Chickens respond to player by ejecting feathers.
  • Utility robot is now much less likely to immobilise itself in first person mode.
  • Text crawl effects reinstated for new emails and messages from colonists.
  • Updated (deliberate) glitching effect on infotips of objects hit by solar flare eletromotive effect.
  • Clean up of solar arrays and geothermal infotip generation.
  • Meteor strike lighting tweaked.
  • Communications tower now repairable by robots.
  • Megacephalagia initial migration randomised to prevent email spam.
  • UI made more responsive.
  • New item descriptions.
  • Photosynthesis more accurately linked to light wavelengths.
  • Work light power usage reduced according to what colour the light is.
  • Colonists walking and running tweaked. Fix for stamina and stop-start running.
  • Movement tweaks to reduce pauses waiting for doors.
  • Colonist social needs reduced so they waste less time.
  • Colonists can turn faster in suits to prevent them getting stuck walking in circles.
  • Starting base has a wall screen to hint to new players they should be using them.
  • Snap-to-grid key now rebindable.
  • Bulkhead doors and airlocks are more effective at stopping cave ins.
  • Plant blight spreading behaviour changed (If you get a lot of blight, plant less crops!)
  • Fix for object selection issues when tracking or when setting colours.

If you want to see more changes to the game as they go live. Get on the Development branch on Steam. You can also watch as I update the repo on the development site.

As always I am very open to feedback and will fix bugs as we find them or they are reported. If you are enjoying playing the game, please remember to leave a Steam review as they drive sales which allows further investment in new content and development.
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