Original SimCity Source Released

By: Derek Yu

On: January 15th, 2008


The original source for Will Wright’s SimCity has been GPL’ed, with some modifications made to it to remove any reference to the name “SimCity” (which EA has a tight choke hold on). It’s now called “Micropolis.” Also, plane crashes have been removed from the game because of 9/11, proving once again that we are living in a world of pure fear!

The key thing here is to peek inside the mind of the original Maxis programmers when they built it. Remember, this was back in the day when games had to fit inside of 640k so some “creative” programming techniques were employed. SimCity has been long a model used for urban planning and while it’s just a game, there are a lot of business rules, ecosystem modeling, social dependencies, and other cool stuff going on in this codebase. It may not be pretty code but it’s content sure is interesting to see.

Anyway, it may not fit within your definition of “indie,” but I thought it was close enough and interesting enough to post here. It’d be cool to see some fun mods come out of this.

  • Arne

    I’d love to see the simulation code cleaned up and ported into some kind of PseudoCode. It’s be fun to make all kinds of graphical engines for it. ISO, Speccy, whatever. Also, needs more catastrophes, like Death worms, Giant Robo (Keroro?), Sarin/VX gas, Giant Marshmallow man… etc.

  • Arne

    Also, WotW Tripods, Giant Tentacruel, Legions of Triffids flooding the map, the fist of an angry God asteroids / SeaKing (fuck yeah), Random Japanese giant bug battles, catastrophic mayor, Gamma rays, The Blob…

    I think with a little update to the destruction mechanics and visuals, I could really enjoy this game again.

  • http://www.oxeyegames.com jeb

    Can we longer train our terrorist skills with SimCity? That was my second thought, since running around in the streets screaming “FUNDS” didn’t have the effect as the simulation implied.

  • http://www.farbs.org Farbs

    Write Tower Defence mod for Sim City.

  • Arne

    O_o I’ve been planning that for a while. Not necessarily based on Sim City directly, but definitely a Turtling RTS with Sim City elements. BTW, Utopia for the Amiga was precisely that.

  • sinoth

    lol @ taking out plane crashes. sigh. I suppose our unguided youth might see the plane explosion and think “SWEET! I’m totally doing that!” and become tomorrow’s enemy combatants.

  • Unaffiliated Anonymous

    The first mod will be putting in plane crashes.

  • Zeno

    Someone will make planes target specifically any two towers next to each other. Just for the shock value and, by extension, publicity.

  • Lim-Dul

    *The first mod will be putting in plane crashes.*

    I sure hope so… I mean, removing plane crashes because of 9/11? WTF? Maybe we should remove all planes from all games while we’re at it?

    *Someone will make planes target specifically any two towers next to each other. Just for the shock value and, by extension, publicity.*

    And the people who have removed this particular feature should be blamed for that… I mean – nobody would give a shit about plane crashes if they hadn’t overblown the problem. Only NOW have they turned a harmless game mechanic into a controversial topic.

  • Lim-Dul

    **Update:** Oh my God! NOW I understand why they removed the plane crashes! It’s even more moronic than I imagined!

    SimCity is tied to the One Laptop per Child program – I didn’t realize that – and I guess some lobotomized politicians were afraid that SimCity might be used by some terrorists in poor countries to simulate the attacks on 9/11 right before children’s eyes. Maybe somebody even thought that these children might be trained to become terrorists and how to crash planes into buildings by playing SimCity. ROFL!

    The terrorism-scare is really on the rise, isn’t it? And the funny thing is that:

    a) the terrorists win because, as the name implies, they manage to instill terror into people’s minds – by doing nothing – for several years governments and the media have scared the people more than the attacks of 9/11 themselves

    b) it doesn’t HELP in the ongoing “war” on terrorism because you can’t “fight” terrorism, you can only try to eliminate its causes and by that I don’t mean invading foreign countries – quite the opposite. Also, I don’t mean removing plane crashes from games.

    If you think about all the security measures and whatnot – they’re a joke. Just reflect on the issue for a second. It’s laughingly easy to get guns and/or explosives or even worse things. If I wanted to I could construct a bomb that would kill hundreds if not thousands of people right here in Poland and nobody would be able to prevent that until it was too late. And I’m not even a terrorist with access to weapon dealers and a huge organization to back me up. Not all attacks have to be as “spectacular” as the 9/11 ones… Spreading fear is easy.

  • Zeno

    Stupid newb question: How do I make it work in Windows?

  • Bob

    The Great Cataclysm of January ’08 has returned. Ominous!

    “Table ‘./tigsource_forums/sessions’ is marked as crashed and should be repaired”

  • Lim-Dul

    @Zeno: There’s a tutorial for compiling the source code on Windows. Remember – it’s not a binary release, although compiled and modified versions will start popping up soon, I guess.

  • Lim-Dul

    Ehm – yeah, I forgot to mention where you can find the tutorial. =)

    There are links right under the article this newspost is linking to.

  • harkejuice

    lol, I can see it now…

    “Original Flight Simulator now GPL.

    Planes have been removed because of 9/11.

    Also, any building above one story.

    And the entire state of New York.”

  • Novichock



  • PHeMoX

    “I sure hope so… I mean, removing plane crashes because of 9/11? WTF? ”

    Kind of funny that they even bothered doing that. I mean, it’s not like removing plane crashes from a game will have any effect on terrorists maybe trying it again some time.

    I think that if people wanted to show kids 9/11 for propaganda purposes, they would simply go to youtube and show them. The real deal is all over the internet anyways.

    Same weird stuff like the removal of a helicopter scene featuring the twin towers in one of the Spiderman movies. Why did they remove that? Makes little to no sense, I mean would a scene with the twin towers really be bad taste after what happened?

    On the other hand, it’s easy for me to talk, because I didn’t actually lose friends or family there.

  • Gr.Viper

    “Planes have been removed because of 9/11.”
    Uhh… They actually removed the two towers from most sims. What’s the point – none of civilian flght sims features a decent damage modeling.

    BTW, what was the name of freebie game that allowed you either to pilot the jet into the tower or try to intercept it on a fighter? Can’t find it…

  • Bob

    Never mind, they’re back up.

  • Walter


    Forget about guns and bombs. Has everyone forgotten? The 9/11 attacks were accomplished with only box cutters because passengers were always told to cooperate with terrorists. And remember, it was the government that prohibited (and still prohibits) pilots and crew from carrying guns to protect their passengers.

    That’s what really makes all this security a joke (no toothpaste, no sippy cups, etc). Homeland Security is just another monstrous bureaucracy, the sole purpose of which is to consume tax dollars while creating the illusion of safety from some invisible menace, and fostering a culture of obedience.

    A lot of people are getting rich right now, and the worst elements of society are getting a power trip out of bullying the sheeple in the name of security.

  • Stwelin

    “Well guys, it turns out that Sim City isn’t including planes in its source code release. I know, I’m as disappointed as the rest of you, but we’ll just have postpone the hijacking until we can get our hands on a copy of Flight Simulator X…”

  • rz.

    so.. how do i play it? ohsnapimdumb