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Micropolis - empty map.png
Micropolis running on Linux.
Developer(s) Maxis, Will Wright, Don Hopkins, other developers.
License GPL 3.0
Platform(s) Cross-platform
Release date(s) January 11, 2008
Genre(s) Construction and management sim, City-building game
Mode(s) Singleplayer
Media Downloadable
Input methods Keyboard and Mouse

Micropolis is a city-building sim game developed by Don Hopkins. It is based on the original source code of SimCity, which was donated to the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project by Electronic Arts as free and open source software under the terms of version 3 of the GNU General Public License on 10 January 2008.

Micropolis is based on the X11 version of SimCity for the Unix operating system. There are two versions: The original version uses the Tcl/Tk user interface, and can be run on the OLPC, as a stand-alone game in any Linux or Mac OS X system with X11, or as a port for OpenBSD. The new version has a user interface implemented in Python code, which uses Cairo to draw graphics and Pango to draw text. The C core that is responsible for the simulation has been restructured and reworked into C++ code, which is cross-platform, and independent of the user interface and scripting language.



The original version of SimCity was developed by Maxis on the Commodore 64, and ported to various platforms, including the Macintosh. Maxis licensed the Macintosh SimCity source code to DUX software, to port to Unix. DUX Software contracted Don Hopkins to port SimCity to Unix, and he developed SimCity HyperLook Edition, while working at the Alan Turing Institute on HyperLook with Arthur van Hoff. The user interface was written in PostScript, which ran on the NeWS window system on Sun workstations, and it supported multiple zoomable views, pie menus, annotating and printing maps, and many user interface improvements. After Sun canceled NeWS, DUX Software contracted Hopkins to rewrite the HyperLook user interface in TCL/Tk for X11, and he developed a multi-player networked user interface using the X11 protocol. The TCL/Tk version of SimCity has been ported to various Unix and non-Unix platforms, including SunOS, Solaris, IRIX, HP-UX, OSF/1, Quarterdeck Desqview/X, NCD X Terminals, Warp, and Linux. The contract to sell SimCity for Unix expired after ten years, so the TCL/Tk version was no longer commercially available. OLPC SimCity is based on the TCL/Tk version of SimCity, a trademark of Electronic Arts. Don Hopkins adapted it to the OLPC, thanks to the support of John Gilmore. OLPC SimCity will be shipped with the OLPC, and it has been run through EA's quality assurance process and reviewed for integrity. EA reserves the right to review and approve any version of the game distributed under the name SimCity.

Micropolis is the name of the current GPL open source code version of OLPC SimCity.


Since Micropolis is licensed under the GPL, users can do anything they want with it that conforms with the GPL – the only restriction is that they cannot call it "SimCity" (along with a few other limitations to protect EA's trademarks). [1] This allows other, differently named projects to be forked from the Micropolis source code. Improvements to the open source code base that merits EA's approval may be incorporated into the official "OLPC SimCity" source code, to be distributed with the OLPC under the trademarked name OLPC SimCity, but only after it has been reviewed and approved by EA. [2]


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