It’s a sad fact that futuristic sci-fi doesn’t often explore people’s relationships with adorable, tiny, fuzzy little pals. Sure, what may be Star Trek’s most famous episode is all about potential pets run amok, but what about benign, everyday pets? What about the cats and dogs that we’d surely take with us into space? Thankfully, the latest update for space colony sim Maia has us covered with the introduction of cats and dogs.
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Cats are based on the likenesses of the pets of Kickstarter backers, and pretty much just hang out and socialize with colony members – but only when they feel like it. True to life, dogs serve as more useful companions, able to patrol your base’s defenses and quickly alert you to impending alien incursions. They’re also available for tummy rubs and socializing, so they’ve got all the canine bases covered.
With new AI powering the pets, the alien critter AI has advanced a bit to include new social and breeding patterns, and are now even subject to fear and panic, which is just perfect for setting your well-trained dogs to herd them.
It’s not all about animal companions, as some new weather is on the way in the form of terrible disasters that can totally tear your colony apart. Hurricanes are now able to make landfall, rendering wind and solar energy useless while breaking down your surface equipment, and they’ll affect local weather systems for weeks to come.
On top of the big new features are more mundane yet still welcome additions like autosaves, UI improvements, an optimized lighting system, and a more detailed array of sounds. You can check out full details at the official site, or enjoy the dulcet tones of developer Simon Roth in the video above.
Maia has been around for quite a while now, and the updates have been regular, covering everything from free will for colonists to dialing back their door-related panic attacks.