Roth Explains His Maia Hypothesis

With Britstarter well under way, it’s time for me to point to one of the most interesting projects to have appeared, which is Simon Roth’s Maia. The project – we’ve mentioned a few times – proposes a planet-colonising God game which will see players “excavate an underground colony to escape the hostile surface of the world.” Needless to say, there’s plenty of base-building and colonist-caring staples going to go in there too. It’s one of the more promising indie ideas to have brought its pitch to Kickstarter this year. Brit indie Roth cites both 70s sci-fi and Bullfrog-era God games as major influences, both things which make our glands release the Want enzyme. Roth explains himself – somewhat disconcertingly – to camera in the pitch video, which you can see below.


  1. Crimsoneer says:

    Awww, I’m bummed I missed out on those limited early tiers…

    • hemmingjay says:

      Not to worry. All of the tiers are great options and the ones left actually are the ones that are financially viable to help him make the best game possible. I have been lucky enough to be involved in Simon’s conversations on the Dwarf Fortress board and have the utmost confidence in his ability to deliver a stellar game. Remember, this isn’t some starry-eyed rookie, he has some solid development experience and it shows in his plans.

    • Xari says:

      Those were specifically requested by /v/ and added by Simon in the thread he made himself, so they were gone within hours.

      The developer behind this is a really cool, down-to-earth guy. I’ve already pledged.

      • Phantoon says:

        Any dev with a backbone strong enough to withstand the endless plague of bitching that is /v/ gets a pass.

        Doesn’t hurt that Maia looks really promising.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Also, he’s REALLY NICE. So that helps.

  2. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Indeed, reading off a bit of A4 makes you forget to blink and do the ol’ dead glass eye routine. Still I couldnt do it, would be total nervous wreck.

    Game looks good though

    • Rich says:

      Staring eyes!

    • LionsPhil says:

      I get the feeling he might also be acutely aware that he gets excitable about things and talks too fast, so it making strenuous, concious effort to slow himself down.

  3. Lanfranc says:

    What, first Aztecs from Paradox, and now this guy wants to do a Maia game…

    Oh. Right.

  4. lordcooper says:

    I need this game in my life.

    • Belsameth says:

      Everybody with at least half a taste gland does! :D

      • Oh Tyrone says:

        Taste gland? That sounds… wrong, somehow. Like a gland sitting in the back of your mouth, producing some kind of sticky tasting liquid.

  5. Solidstate89 says:

    I’m glad he said Alien/Aliens was an inspiration for him, because honestly the very first thing I thought of when I saw those remote turrets being installed in that narrow hallway was Aliens.

    • Unaco says:

      I noticed and thought that same thing… but then he does some interior design with the potted plants, lecterns, desks and chairs.

  6. affront says:

    I really want to like the game but I have to say that the pitch video didn’t do much for me.
    Some game mechanics info instead of what seemed like a bunch of name-dropping would have been nice, since so far I don’t see what differentiates this from a Dorf Fort set in space with added first person mode (which is useful for what, exactly?) and research (which might be cool, granted, at least the first few games.. randomization of tech tree pretty please?).
    It needs something to set it apart considering it will be a much shallower game. Don’t argue, you know it’s inevitable.

    Then again it’s only 10 bucks (and looks much more promising than Gnomoria already)… damn it.

    • hemmingjay says:

      Just back it. You know you will buy it anyway, might as well look cool and save a few bucks along the way. Besides, with the excitement and coverage of this game it is going to be a big winner on KS and all of that extra money will improve the game further.

    • Belsameth says:

      It most likely will be less deep as DF, any game with graphics will.
      But I must say it seems to have/will have, a ton more than most other graphical DF clones.

      besides, strong DK and Startopia vibes can only be a good thing!
      Also, Simon is a really nice guy and really approachable. He’s always hanging around on twitter and IRC, which helps a lot in instilling faith :)

    • HothMonster says:

      edit: removed grumbly snark

  7. mwoody says:

    Looks fantastic; definitely onboard.

    I can’t help but wonder, though, if this wouldn’t have gone over much better with dollars instead of pounds. I don’t mean to sound whiny or nationalistic or anything; I’m just legitimately curious how it would affect sales.

    On the one hand, a larger percentage of the Kickstarter – though not, I admit, necessarily HIS – audience would prefer to pay with dollars. Due to the realities of geography, those used to paying in dollars are more likely to be put off by the use of pounds than vice versa. The average US citizen has likely never had reason to pay for something with another currency in his or her life, as strange as that might sound to someone who can take a 1-day train ride and end up in another entire country. What’s more, the switch to pounds meant that I had far fewer payment options. Rather than my preferred Amazon payments, I had to input all of my information again.

    On the other hand, being one of the few non-dollar Kickstarters may attract those for whom that makes things easier in greater numbers; the “niche” effect, as strange as it is to use that term for the occupants of a major first world nation. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it reduced the currency conversion overhead on his end.

    • mickygor says:

      We can convert currency free of charge in the UK. However, that’s not really relevant. A British kickstarter in USD has the potential to go down the pan if there’s any wild fluctuations between the currency being used for the kickstarter and the currency being used to fund the project. If the dollar runs and is suddenly worth half the value it was when he set up the goal and tiers, all those pledges are devalued in relation to the market they’re serving.

  8. metalax says:

    Been following this since it first got commented on over on the dwarf fortress forums. Maia is definetely looking like it will be a great game, and Simon is great at responding to questions and comments from those who have been following this.

    Can’t wait for the alpha so we can build a “flood the world with magma” machine.

  9. Okami says:

    Aaww.. He’s kinda cute, isn’t he?

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      I logged in just for saying that I cannot NOT support a guy that nice!

  10. philbot says:

    Theme hospital as his influence?
    My gosh, this guy knows games. Backed.

  11. Kestrel says:

    Could be a great game, but that’s the worst fucking trailer I’ve ever seen in my life.

    • Phantoon says:

      You haven’t seen many trailers on RPS then!

      • LionsPhil says:

        Or Kickstarter.

        It at least starts with a couple of minutes of in-engine gameplay, even if the gameplay isn’t very game or play yet.

  12. tangoliber says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this game. Backed.

  13. Frosty840 says:

    Bleeeh. £10 for the game but £25 to get the soundtrack, too? I love buying soundtrack tiers, but srsly, ffs, and so on.

  14. b0rsuk says:

    Awesome ! Will be backing it. Looks like Dungeon Keeper in sci-fi setting. And I like dark ambient music. The developer seems to be competent, too. And a Linux version ? Sweet.

  15. dee says:

    Disconcertingly isn’t the word. Staring into his eyes as he speaks, I get that tense-in-the-neck feeling as if I’m about to be assaulted.

  16. Tams80 says:

    I want a pint with Simon, but I don’t have £1000 to spare. =( He looks so young as well, yet is making this game. That’s certainly one intense look; “You know you want to back me, you KNOW”.

    I’ll just go cry in the corner.