SimCity adds personal drama with dynamic audio and unnatural disasters
The terrain is completely empty and I immediately start filling it with stuff. Long curving roads, residential zones, a wind power plant—I’ll make an effort to go green, I think, as I plunk a town hall among the houses. A tinkering melody comes through the speakers and its as though the game responds to the music; I watch a house spring up out of the ground, construction materials clicking together just as the music builds on itself. I watch as tiny cars zoom in and unstuff themselves with people, and another melody threads through the soundtrack suggesting bustling life and growth.
But without warning a fire breaks out on the other side of town, and people are complaining about unemployment rates. I realize I’m losing money, but if I want to build commercial and industrial areas I’ll need more of it first. A tense undertone crops up in the music, and it heightens my anxiety. So I raise taxes and shut down the power plant. I watch as my city’s revenue crawls up and up—until I’m reminded by my citizens there is no sewer system, and the sickening sound of sludgy mess fills my ears. Oops.