When materials in Outer Colony are exposed to a sufficiently high temperature, some of them will combust, resulting in fire. Fire can spread across locations according to its simple model, consuming and destroying most everything in its path. As such, preventing and containing fires can be vital to the long term survival of your colony.

Fire consuming tower cacti and desert scrub. The fire was caused by the extreme temperatures of the crashing Freighters' League ship.


  • Fires occur when combustible materials are exposed to sufficiently high temperatures.
  • Fires burn at a certain temperature, depending on the materials being consumed.
  • Fire will spread to nearby locations that can be burned. This depends on the temperature of the fire and the combustion point of the materials nearby.
  • Fire will entirely consume many sorts of materials, like plant matter, leaving nothing behind.
  • Fires can intentionally be set. This is a particularly useful way to inflict damage during raids, as fire will rapidly spread through buildings made of combustible materials.

Fire Model

Outer Colony’s fire model is simplistic, but suffices (for now) in facilitating interesting gameplay. The fire model is basically an extension of the material system, drawing on simplistic material information to calculate properties of fire and to determine its propagation. Everything in Outer Colony is made up of materials, and whenever one of those materials is exposed to a temperature sufficient for ignition, a fire will break out. The fire will then burn at another temperature, calculated from the materials that it consumes. Fire will spread to adjacent world volumes that contain materials capable of igniting when exposed to the fire’s temperature. In this way, fire can spread from location to location, consuming materials and wrecking items in its path.

Viewing Fire-Related Information

There are a few important pieces of information you can view to help understand the relationship between fire and materials in Outer Colony. If you open the encyclopedia dialog and navigate to the “Materials” view, clicking materials will present all sorts of data. Information for anthracite coal is presented here:


Material information from the encyclopedia dialog.

The three fire related values here are “Maximum Temperature”, “Combustible”, and “Burn Temperature”. The combustible flag tells whether or not the material will burn. Materials that aren’t combustible, like water, can’t catch fire. The maximum temperature of the material is the minimum required temperature to make this material combust. Whenever the material (or something made from the material) is exposed to a temperature at or above this value, it will burst into flames. The burn temperature tells how hot the flame will be when this material burns.

Looking specifically at anthracite coal, we can see that the material is combustible. Whenever anthracite coal is exposed to a temperature of 750 degrees or more, it will catch fire. The fire that burns, however, won’t burn at only 750 degrees. It will burn at the material’s burn temperature, which, in this case, is 2500 degrees. The resulting 2500 degree fire would be enough to ignite any other anthracite coal nearby, or other combustible materials with a maximum temperature at or below 2500 degrees.

Posted in Simulation