Sim City For Everyone!

A mere 19 years after its release, the original Sim City source code is now completely free. And not just money-free, but proper free, the code released under the GNU General Product License.

Still better than Sim City Societies

In order to keep EA happy, the game’s name has been completely changed throughout, instead calling it by its working title, Micropolis. Apparently the ancient code has been tidied up for those wishing to mod and manipulate, and rather peculiarly, the plane crash disaster has been removed because of 9/11. (I’m fairly certain plane crashes were horrific before 9/11 as well, so I’m not quite sure why this was necessary. Earthquakes haven’t exactly proven themselves to be a party-time-fun of late, but they seem to survive the censorship. But nevermind.)

The motivation for getting the code was driven by the wonderful One Laptop Per Child project, which you can find out more about here.


  1. Andrew Doull says:

    Question: What other 19 year old games would you like the source code free to? And why?

  2. Dinger says:

    19 years? Has it been that long? Am I that old?

    Okay, time to ruin it then: roads aren’t necessary, and rail isn’t that expensive: all you need is a single rail square bordering on each production 3×3 square. This is best done by plopping a residential square in there and bulldozing a corner. Incidentally, this ensures an ultra-rich suburb nearby (kinda like Orinda).

    Oh wait, some of you like to build cities with meaning, and with ample respect for the middle class? Maybe a Frankensteintype hero to rescue us from this insane pursuit of wealth and fame?

    On a technical note, this was one of those games from my brief and very minor “professional” period, and I remember bringing up a crash bug, and describving the effects, only to get the response, “yes, the simulation will crash, sometimes. The interface shouldn’t.”Dude, most companies still can’t do that.
    (other cool bit: we actually had an office with enough Macs/Installs to play RoboSport as God commands; and we so loved the game, that when it was clear that few sales had been made, Maxis so loved us that they sent us the map design tool, so we could waste untold hours making maps made almost entirely of trees, train stations, and the like. But I’m still waiting for a properly balanced version that properly rewards going on the attack.)

  3. Justin Sherrill says:

    You will have to go to:

    link to

    To get to a post (check the end) where there’s actual binaries to download if you want to run it on Windows. It requires a number of Python-specific libraries, too, which is a mild annoyance.

  4. malkav11 says:

    It’s open source. If they want to add plane crashes back in (and someone will, I’m sure), they’ll find a way.

    And yeah, the one tile road thing survived in slightly modified form into SimCity 2000. It was not only workable, it worked a lot better than using actual road networks. Go figure. Probably someone fixed that in later games in the series. Never tried 3000, and 4 clearly went too far in the “Sim Urban Planning” direction for my tastes – it stopped being toylike and was far too confusing and complex. Was a pity. The promise of guided tornados was a good one. (Fortunately, independent game developers have since fulfilled on it.)

  5. Tim says:

    Hopefully we’ll get a proper DS version of simcity now :) Surely it’s only a matter of time until someone ports it as a homebrew app to the DS.

  6. PoweredByBacon says:

    9/11 Never Happened! *click heals raise arm*
    stupid that they would take it out.

  7. Lunaran says:

    Car accidents kill 40,000 people yearly in the US.

    Metropolis still inexplicably has roads.

    As a user of Internetâ„¢ I am deeply offended.

  8. Optimaximal says:

    Hasn’t the OLPC project effectively stalled now Intel have bailed out of it?

  9. raton-laveur says:

    It’s micropolis, not metropolis.

  10. Meat Circus says:

    I have an OLPC XO!

    It’s currently being held hostage by Her Majesty until I pay her some so-called “taxes”. Tsk.

    I shall report back once I get it and get Micropolis working.

  11. Meat Circus says:


    Um, Intel were never *in* the OLPC project. It has an AMD CPU.

    Intel only joined the consortium so it could get inside information on contacts who it could then go to to try to convince them to cancel their XO order and buy their twice-as-expensive laptop instead of the OLPC one.

    Thoroughly disreputable behaviour. And since Intel were offering OLPC very little in return, they had little choice but to part company.

    I’m not sure how you got the impression that Intel’s departure was some massive problem, but I suspect it was from the BBC’s idiotic coverage.

    Here’s a hint: never trust BBC News Online on any science or technology issue. They don’t understand it, and always screw it up embarrassingly.

  12. Sucram says:

    I am physically unable to play any game which has 20+ ugly grey/brown icons as part of it’s main interface.

    Less than 20 is okay:
    Sim City had about 14, fine
    Populous II had 17, risky but okay
    Sim City 2000 had about thirty.

    My mental defence mechanism quickly took hold and shutdown any desire to play it, lest I hurt myself trying.

  13. Sucram says:

    Clearly, the above was meant to be in the other Sim City post. My brain shut down simply from looking at screenshots.

  14. someone says:

    Well, those graphics sure are ugly. But thats nothing. You should have seen the Commodore 64 version. It looked like a 5 year old kid drawing stick figures. Now that was ugly.

  15. me says:

    the best game ever… and I’m not totally kiding! it probably the one how make me love video game!

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