The latest scenario to be revealed in the upcoming SimCity release is a simple, primal one: Fire.
It seems that there are two main types of SimCity players: Those who love, nurture and protect their digital citizens, and those who love to do cause as much destruction as possible, “just to watch the chaos unfold”.
Happily, the developers at Maxis have gone out of their way to cater for both player types, when it comes to ignition.
This newest generation of SimCity brings extra realism to the franchise: Even if you have the most well-equipped, well-funded and well-designed fire station, traffic congestion will prevent fire engines from attending a nearby blaze – “even if the fire is only one block away”.
As lead designer Stone Librande explains in a lengthy blog post:
Fires go through several phases: smoking, blazing, spreading and burning out. Each of these phases triggers different simulation effects. Sims will race unharmed out of a smoking building, but if the building is blazing then the Sim will run out of it with their tiny heads on fire. If an ambulance isn’t on the scene, then the Sims will crumble into ash. (It may sound tragic, but for some reason, it consistently makes players laugh out loud.) During the spreading phase, the heat from the fire will cause nearby buildings to smoke, which will start the loop again. If the fire fighters don’t arrive in time then the fire will eventually consume all of the building’s flammable materials and the building will crumble into blackened rubble.
Fires can be managed by careful city planning – fires in large industrial areas will burn hot and spread quickly, consuming buildings full of fuel and chemicals. Brick residential areas, however, are more fire-resistant.