Games

Finding Micropolis (SimCity)

Micropolis - open source version of SimCity

Why do people like playing old games even though there are tons of new modern ones out there in the world? The answer is simple. No matter how awesome the graphics of the new Far Cry is, the old Unreal Tournament still will be one of the best game of my generation. It does not matter, that it was released almost 20 years ago and looks quite ugly (in comparison to modern shooter games) nowadays, it was something special when i was at school. I still have lots of warm memories related to it. The same for Counter-Strike, Civilization 3 and some others.

I do not play games often these days. I have so many other things to do, however, i still manage to find several minutes a week to fool around. This time i found out that SimCity, that original game from 1980s, was released as open source project with a new name Micropolis. Well, it happened in 2008 actually, so that proves how much time i spend on games, doesn’t it? 🙂

Anyway, i was tempting to install the game – not for playing, but just to be able to run it. This is a legend, in the end. Unfortunately,  the official repo is dead, which is not typical for open source world. That leads to lack of documentation and no support.

I am not C++ developer, so digging into the source code was pretty useless for me, however, if you would like to go deeper, feel free to check this nice blog post series. After several useless tries of building the game from the original repo, i found a person, who already did it for me. Here you can find a fixed version for Mac OSX and already built java-version. You can even try to build it by yourself with make app-bundle (Check the original blog post).

Micropolis - open source SimCity
Java-version of Micropolis (ex. SimCity)

What’s next?

The idea of bringing SimCity Micropolis to live is still alive, at least it’s still somewhere around. Here is what i could find:

      • MetropolisJS – HTML + JavaScript. Last commit in 2018. Playable.
      • Unity-based version. Last commit in 2018. In development. Check the development plan.
      • Kotlin-based version. Last commit in 2018. In development.
      • Metropolis Unlimited – the version written in C. Last commit in December 2017. Probably playable.
      • Microwebopolis – not completely a re-make, but the game is based on original Micropolis source code and is written in HTML5. Last commit in 2018.  In development.
      • Online MicropolisStatus is unknown.
      • LinCity NG – fork of a quite famous LinCity game for Linux that looks like SimCity 3000. Last commit in 2018.  Playable.
      • eCity – educational game for Schools, that emphasise on electricity problems of cities. Playable.
      • CityBound – yet another clone of SimCity. Last commit in 2018. In development.
      • 0 A.D. – not really a SimCity fork, but more an open source version of xA.D. series. Playable.
      • Unknown Horizons – again, not really related to SimCity, but rather closer to  0 A.D. Playable.

Finally, do not forget to check the official website (which is partially dead, by the way) and the blog post of Don Hopkins (who made the game available as open source project).


What will you do with this? Play an existing game, or go “open source” way and “fork & improve”?

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