These are some of my ideas.
1. Transport. Living in London, there's a big commuting culture and I'd like to see this included in the game with some workers happy to consider the following commuting types:
- Pedestrians: I think should be able to cycle or walk to work. Loads of cyclists in London, let's have this in SimCity! And some pedestrians should be happy for a reasonable walk of up to an hour each way, with others not keen on more than a ten minute walk.
- Road users: Cars/motorcycles will make up the majority of commuters, but I'd like to see taxis, as well as buses and coaches, included as options.
- Water: boats and ferries take people across and down rivers. So let's have more water taxis in SimCity please!
- Air: Helicopters, private jets as well as chartered and scheduled flights from municipal and major airports in the game.
- Rail: In London, we have regular rail, subway, the DLR, trams and high speed rail links and I'd like to see these all implemented into the game. Trams can run on roads, and the DLR is a semi-automated rail network that is low capacity, but quick service that runs almost like a monorail in that it rides above the city for the most part.
2. Communication. We live in the communication era, so I think we should be putting up telephone poles, mobile phone masts, high-speed Internet, WiFi hotspots and all that sort of stuff. Postboxes should grow in residential areas by default and we can grow a national postal service with links to air, sea and rail freight,
3. Zone Realism.
Residential: I would like to see five different wealth levels and five different density levels. The lowest wealth level with the lowest density would basically be a caravan. The lowest wealth level with the highest density would be a scummy tower block. The highest wealth level with the lowest density would be a sprawling mansion, whilst the highest wealth level and highest density would be an exclusive apartment block (usually with river views and underground parking). In between, all the different housing types you can think of from detached/semi-detached and terraced houses, to high-rises, to medium apartment blocks housing nine flats each and three stories high, to huge housing projects and so on.
Commercial: I would like to see Commercial split into four different types: Offices, Services, Retail and Entertainment. Zone some low-density services in a low wealth area and expect to see laundromats/laundrettes and the like. Zone some high-density offices in a high wealth area and expect to see a law firm or a media agency. Put some entertainment zoning in a mid-wealth area with good transport links and expect to see nighclubs, bars, cinemas, etc. With retail you can get 99p stores to high class jewellery stores depending on the wealth of the area.
Industry: I would have four different types: farming, manufacturing (inc construction), technology, and consumables. Consumables would basically be companies making things that are consumed, e.g. food factories, pharmaceuticals, drinks companies, breweries, tobacco companies (probably not appropriate in SC, maybe we could have a "Bubble Ring Factory" or something instead), and so on. Similar concept to before, so high density manufacturing would bring car manufacturers, plane manufacturers and so on, where as low density should be, I dunno, cardboard and zips, and warehouses and stuff. Farming is obvious. Technology is also pretty straight forward, high density is a massive tech organisation, like a Robots Engineering department, low density could be some .com startup.
4. Distinct Areas: Ghettos, projects, whatever you want to call them, I want to see them in SimCity. From "the ghetto" to "Millionnaire's Row", I want to see clusters of people flock together. I want to see Little Italies, Chinatowns, areas full of Irish, Portuguese, African, Eastern European and British in certain areas. The looks could be as simple as putting up different flags in houses, and street decorations. The businesses could be named accordingly "restaurant called Mr Wu's" in Chinatown, "Mario's Pizzaria" in Little Italy, "Seamus O'Connell's Blarney Stone" in the Irish quarter and so on.
Celebs hanging out in the "Millionnaire's Row", and this could tie in with some nice Maxis style humour when a fictional celebrity is spotted in the salubrious part of town.
Those are my ideas for now.