clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wildfire Worlds' 'propagation engine' simulates humanity gone mad

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

In Wildfire Worlds, developer James Doty sought to build a city-simulation playground "just to test the mechanic of anything spreading — a disease, ideas, whatever," reports GamesIndustry International.

The game's tilt-shifted papercraft aesthetic conceals a variety of realistic urban infrastructure systems, such as power grids and public transportation. Its inhabitants go to work, and visit stores based on the advertising they see. But everything changes once activists show up and try to foment dissent. If you set them up in the right way, their revolt may get violently suppressed by the police before anarchy sets in.

That's not the end, either; Wildfire Worlds is an endless cycle of life, destruction and rebirth. After humanity destroys itself, flora and fauna take over. Larger animals, including dinosaurs, eventually show up. "Then the dinosaurs will shit bankers," Doty told GamesIndustry International. "They'll then attract more people into the level," and humans once again assume their position atop the ecosystem.

"Because it's cute," said Doty, "I think we [defuse] the more unpleasant aspects."

Doty previously worked at Populous and Syndicate developer Bullfrog Productions, and Wildfire Worlds is a side project for him and his five-person team at Dot Product — he still works in advertising. He decided to try making this game after the success of an iOS app called Zombigotchi that was "not so much a game as a toy."

Wildfire Worlds is set for release on PC and iPad in 2013. You can watch the most recent trailer, which Dot Product released mid-October, above.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.