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New city-building game project (Cities XL Ultra)

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by soltan, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. soltan

    soltan Vagabond

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    High guys, ol' Soltan Gris here. Glad to be back after so long and see that there are still people interested in city-building and Cities XL :)

    I wanted to share with you a project I'm developing... Yes, developing - since the CLM I've actually learned some real programming (in Python), so I can now do the very thing I wanted to do in the beginning - alter the very fundamentals of city-building games. Or at least, start doing it....
    Of course, as you well know, the chance of doing some altering of Cities XL core mechanics is almost non-existent, so what I'm actually doing is a new game from scratch, INSPIRED in Cities XL. And Sim City, and any other simulators that I've played along the years. And since this is a gargantuan task which will be impossible for a single amateur programmer to accomplish, I hereby call to all who have the interest, time and of course abilities to help me. Ol' Altiris comes to mind, but I understand he rarely visits here anymore :)

    So, I will start sharing my ideas here, little by little, and you feel free to offer comments, critiques, suggestions, etc. You know how it is. Since this is all at the conceptual stage yet (I've written less than 2000 lines of code), I can't offer you any visual examples yet, just .... words. I hope I'll be able to explain my ideas well enough.

    Because I'm Soltan, the new game will be heavily concentrated on city simulation, rather than beautiful landscapes and buildings. But seeing what happened to Cities XL (all the incredible custom content you guys have created), I'm confident that if we have a solid core simulation, the visual beauty will happen on its own.

    So, expect soon Part I, Citizen simulation!
     
  2. pauliaxz

    pauliaxz Mayor

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    I love seeing all those ambitions of "I may better make my own that and that"
    Altiris is developing some kind of city sim, in addition, now another person do that too - Soltan.
    Thinking back why/when I started modding - I felt the lack of (and was a bit unsatisfied with) some buildings in CXL, so I said to myself: Let's start doing something using my own hands, not waiting forever and ever for someboody who would have made particular mod.. So I am happy to see there are people with the same ambitions but a lot larger projects in their minds.
    Good luck with that, Soltan.
     
  3. Monty

    Monty Governor

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    Hey Soltan! Good to see you still have interest in city building!
     
  4. Big Meany Mean

    Big Meany Mean Executive

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    Will it be 2D or 3D?

    BTW, best of luck!
     
  5. soltan

    soltan Vagabond

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    3D of course. Although I'll need the help of a real professional for this one ...
     
  6. soltan

    soltan Vagabond

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    And now, the promised Part I, Citizen Simulation.

    When I thought about Cities XL's simulation, especially when compared to other simulators, such as Tropico, I couldn't help but perceive how shallow it is. I know, I know - on such a scale, with possibly thousands of citizens to be updated at each turn, it was unfeasible to build a realistic simulation. But hey! We have processors with multiple cores now! Methinks if we program it the right way, the engine SHOULD be able to process many more things at once..... So, I'm putting all these things that I want, and caution be damned!

    The core of the citizen simulation is still built around the 4 classes of Cities XL - Unskilled, Skilled, Executives and Elites. Actually, the names don't even matter, the important thing is that I think 4 classes reflect pretty well the actual state of our contemporary society. Each class will take the respective jobs, just like in Cities XL, and receive a salary correspondent to his class. But here the similarities end.

    For starters, citizen satisfaction will matter for real now. Each class will have minimum requirements for education, health, security, etc. If they are not met, the citizen will attempt to emigrate. Also, each class but Unskilled will have minimum requirements to even immigrate in the city! So, if you don't have college education, for example, don't think that any Elites will ever live in the city.

    Satisfaction will be mitigated by what I call Happiness factors. Leisure, Environment and Holidays will contribute here, and if high enough, the citizen will stay in the city, even though some other minimum requirement isn't met.

    But besides some nebulous Satisfaction factors, every Citizen will now have two real stats: Health state and Education state.
    - Health depends not only on Health services availability (which is logical), but also on conditions in his residence (availability of Sewage, Pollution levels, Sports Leisure available), and his job (certain jobs will have a detrimental effect on the citizen working there. Such as Dirty Industry :) If conditions aren't good, any Citizen may fall ill. He will then attempt to get well (which depends on Health services available), but if he doesn't, he'll become Very sick. At this point, his work will suffer an Activity penalty (imagine he's on sick leave). After some more time in which he'll attempt to heal, the citizen will simply die. In other words, Emigrate, vacating bot his residence and his job slot.
    - Education state shows which is the citizen's actual Education level. This will usually reflect Education availability in the neighborhood, but not always. For example, a Citizen will need to have access to ALL educational levels to maintain Master's education (including Elementary, High school and College). If one of them is missing, his whole education level will drop to the level immediately below the missing level.
    The education state of a citizen makes him eligible for certain jobs. All High Tech jobs enter here, as well as some Office jobs, etc. This means that if a city doesn't maintain a good education level, it won't ever manage to develop high-level businesses, simply because they'll never find enough workers in the city!
    Also, for most other businesses, Worker education level will boost their Profits and/or improve service quality.

    A third factor, Finances, will be vital for maintaining a citizen in your city. Finances will consist of a citizen's expenses - Taxes and Resources purchased, covered (or not!) by a citizen's Salary. An Unemployed citizen pays no Taxes, but he still purchases Resources, which means that an Unemployed citizen will always have negative Finances. Finances play part in a citizen's Happiness - a major part for Unskilled and Skilled classes, and smaller part for Execs and Elites.

    And now for a big innovation: Unskilled Citizens will almost never leave your city! Instead, when factors deteriorate, they will turn to criminal activities. Also, if an Unskilled has negative Finances for long, he will be unable to pay rent anymore, and will leave the normal Houses to build a SLUM.
    Slums are these ramshackle hovels you find in poor countries under bridges and in empty lots. Also, Abandoned buildings may be invaded and become Slums. Needless to say, Slums will have a terrible effect on a neighborhood, increasing crime, reducing Land Value and being in constant risk of fires. If a Citizen living in a Slum improves his Finances, he will be able to move back into a proper house, and the Slum will vanish.

    And finally: Citizens will now be able to ascend to a higher class! If a citizen has had a stable access to education and work for long, and if his general satisfaction has been above a certain level, he will move to the next higher class. Just like in real life ..... (sarcasm).

    And so, Citizens will be a much more dynamic entity in your cities. They will constantly look to improve their conditions, if not satisfied, either by looking for a better neighborhood, or for a new job. And of course, they will update their job routes, but this is part of another subject.
     
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  7. skullz613

    skullz613 Governor

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    Looking forward to seeing what you do
     
  8. Big Meany Mean

    Big Meany Mean Executive

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    What about density levels and transport?
     
  9. ronrn

    ronrn Governor

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    Sorry, but I gotta say that reads a lot like simcity4deluxe gameplay.
    But I have to admit that I'm partial to the realistic landscapes and building aspects.:)
     
  10. soltan

    soltan Vagabond

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    Yes, in general I think a city-builder could benefit from many of the aspects of Sim City. When the original Cities XL came out, many complained exactly about the city feeling dead, never developing. I agree, in part. However, note that residential buildings will remain the class that they were built! It's just the simulated citizens in them that will ascend to higher classes. After which they'll need to move to a new, higher-class residence.
    You must admit that this happens in real life.
    As for density levels and transport, wait a bit more ...
     
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  11. ronrn

    ronrn Governor

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    re: Health & Crime
    I agree, these features can enhance gameplay in a realistic city simulator. :)
    However, facing sim citizen death, collecting & disposing of scattered dead bodies that menace the "satisfaction" factor is the last thing I want to do while playing a city simulater.
    I mean...realism...where do you draw the line, if you go all the way with it, you just as well include murder, starvation, epidemics, natural disasters and terroist attacks...the list is endless. I think not. Save that stuff for point/shoot and action games.
    Personally, I play my favorite city simulater, CitiesXXL of course, partially to help escape these kind of realities for a brief moment in time.
    One of the most common forum complaints I have seen, everywhere, is from players being forced to place hospitals and police stations every few blocks or so in their city creations.
    Heck, the very first thing a community of players always does is create mods (thank goodness) to overcome or even eliminate these obstacles.
    I'm just saying that close consideration and care should be//must be taken in the developement of a new city sim game to achieve a good balance between realism and fun, either through game tolerance, facility capacities or some other means. And please...please, let us omit any type of "body count" features.:eek:
     
  12. soltan

    soltan Vagabond

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    Hehehe ,don't worry ronrn, there will be no 'body count'. In fact, you may have missed what I said that citizens 'dying' will be equal to them emigrating - they will simply seize to exist. No body disposal needed.

    That being said, I DID say that my project is centered on simulation. Not on pretty, ordered blocks. Those exist only in an imaginary world, and if you like that, you're welcome to continue playing Cities XL. (well, you will anyway, since my project isn't going out of the drawing board anytime soon).
    But to put your mind at ease: I'm planning on including service building upgrades exactly to avoid having to spam hospitals and schools. I also plan on including budget controls that will also increase service capacity without the need to plop new service buildings. Aaaaaand, there will be disasters like those you mentioned :) But you'll be able to turn them off, if you wish.

    Again, I reiterate that my biggest frustration with Cities XL has always been the obvious lack of some simulation depth. And the performance, but that's another story. That's why I started modding, and my few mods were always focused on simulation, rather than embellishment.
     
  13. Destin Faroda

    Destin Faroda Unskilled Worker

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    Here are some suggestions for a good city builder game:

    - Statistics instead of agents based game. Calculating single people and traffic wastes huge amounts of resources.
    - I like that you want to use capacity instead of range
    - Today, we only have three population classes: the lower class doing all the cheap work, the middle class that pays everything and the rich parasites. A city should never have a huge amounts of rich people.
    - Realistic values for inhabitants and workers would be very appreciated

    Zoning:

    - Would it be possible to create a zoning tool that automatically creates several lots and fills them with appropriate buildings? The game Civitas wanted to realize something like that, but that project vanished without a trace. It would be great if both automatical and manual placement of buildings (for the perfectionists) would be possible.
    - The player should be able to choose an architectural style for all or a single district.
    - Wealth, available housing and other factors should influence land value which decides what kind of people will live in the city

    Zones:
    - Agriculture: farms/ranches, greenhouses, fish tanks etc.
    - Forestry: forests dedicated for woodwork, sawmills, etc.
    - Residential: small house, medium house, appartments, low skyscrapers, high skyscrapers
    - Heavy Industry: the dirty ones
    - Manufacturing: produces goods and foods
    - High-Tech: computer chips etc.
    - Offices: accounting, lawyers, tax experts etc.
    - Leisure: cinemas, restaurants etc.
    - Shopping: supermarkets, convenience stores, specialist stores etc.
    - Special Resource Building: if you have an oilfield in your city, you can allow the private sector to build an oil well over that place. This usually generates quite some income and creates jobs, but also hurts the environment. Could also work with mines, gas fields etc.

    Power plants:
    - Coal and oil: very cost-efficient, but dirty
    - Gas: a bit cleaner than oil and coal
    - Solar panels and wind turbines: low cost-efficiency and only works during the day or when the wind is blowing, but clean
    - Hydroelectric plant: a bit expensive to build, but clean and efficient
    - Geothermal plant: clean geothermal energy
    - Nuclear power plant: huge amounts of energy, dangerous
    - Fusion power plant: gigantic amounts of energy (it would produce so much that you could sell it to many outside cities)
    Electric should automatically be placed under streets, but in order to move them over great distances, you need transmission lines.

    Water:
    - Desalination plant: needs access to sea water
    - Water pump/tower: needs access to ground water or a river
    - Sewage Plant: cleans water
    Pipes should automatically be placed under streets, but in order to move them over great distances, you need to build them manually.

    Waste:
    - Landfill, recycling center, waste treatment plant
    What about sending waste via harbour/train to other countries?

    Education:
    - Elementary school
    - Buildings above elementary school depend on the country's school system
    - University of Applied Sciences
    - University
    Not everyone should be a PhD like in Skylines.

    Culture:
    - A central library and branch libraries: slightly increases education, provides culture
    - Different kinds of museums: slightly increases education, provides culture, slight tourism bonus
    - Event halls: provides culture

    Sports & Leisure:
    - Sports facilities, swimming pools and stadiums

    Healthcare:
    - Hospitals: has a certain capacity for patients, can be upgraded several times (real hospitals are constantly building new wings)
    Medical practices and apothecaries should spawn in the service zone

    Justice:
    - Several police stations: can deal with a certain amount of crimes, has a certain capacity for prisoners, can be upgraded
    - Prison: stores a huge amount of prisoners, tries to resocialize them (depends on the country)
    - Local Court: punishes criminals and sends them into prison

    Fire Department:
    - Fire Watch: several vehicles, can be upgraded

    Public Transportation:
    - Bus, tram, metro, train, subway, ferries, harbours, airports, hyperloop

    Ordinances:
    - Plausible ordinances like in the old Sim City games would be great
     
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  14. soltan

    soltan Vagabond

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    Nice post, Destin. I have to confess I'm thinking much along the same lines as you.
    About agents: unfortunately, any more meaningful simulation requires distinct agents that can 'think' autonomously. I think Cities XL doesn't use agents, for example, and as a result the 'living' simulation is quite shallow. Just to give you one example:
    - How would you model the satisfaction of a citizen who's just a statistic in, say a building? You could work on a per-building basis, but this implies that the building has to be an agent. Or, you could use some 'general' variables, based on the amount of schools/universities there are in the city; but then you have to forego any sort of localized development, because there simply is no way to make the simulation work. Travel simulation is also doomed without any sort of distinctive worker/workplace route simulation.
    There are aspects that can be handled globally, of course: employment levels, resource demand/supply levels, etc.

    Anyway, I think that a good use of multicore processors should allow us a huge jump in productivity. For example, one core only updates citizens, another only updates buildings, a third only handles effect layers, etc. It SHOULD reduce overall calculations load.
     
  15. AzemOcram

    AzemOcram Executive

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    Since graphics cards using the same geometry are making improvements every year, new geometries (the first die shrink in years) being developed, 5 GHz processors have existed for about a decade and hyperthreaded octacore processors are gaining popularity, why not plan to have a simulation game that uses agents? SimCity had 3 agents per household in 2013. Why not have 1 agent per household (that is usually inside a building as a statistic) carry the information for all the adults and 1 agent carry the information for all the children? Like in Cities: Skylines, few households will have children but unlike Cities: Skylines, 1 agent will always represent all 'Simizens' of the same age group and household. High density condominiums with capacities for thousands of apartments will hold 20 (the cap) households max but the households would consist of hundreds of adults (college students, single workers, and childless couples) and each agent would represent congestion from hundreds of 'Simizens;' a pedestrian agent would look like a mosh pit (or battalion) and a private car agent would look like several blocks of rush hour traffic (and function as such) so high density buildings would require mass transit within short walking distance. The calculation for commutes should be every other day/night cycle (which would run while the game is running but the sun could be superficially set to any of the 8 positions, while the props and animations would continue to sync with the simulated time--making midnight sunbathers, broad daylight muggers, night-glowing solar farms, midnight farmers' markets, late-morning raves, early afternoon bonfires, and other oddities rendered when the sun is superficially positioned by the player)

    I further recommend that zones should get 5 density categories and that each category represents RL building restrictions (2.5 story detached, low rise, mid rise, high rise, and unlimited/skyscrapers) but you won't see low rises in Unlimited zones next to skyscrapers (the densest and smallest building in the same zone type with the same zone statistics cannot have capacities too different).

    I also recommend having 2 types of zoned lots: 'standard' (normal zones sort of like in Cities: Skylines but with potentially deeper lots as well as some wiggle room in the front to allow for zoning to better conform along curved roads and possible filler when there are gaps between lots and infrastructure) and 'free form' (built/zoned like farms in Cities XL with a choice of 3 types of borders (farms would have wide & normal gravel roads, normal & narrow dirt roads, fences, and ditches) and only 1 building (that is always low density and snaps to the road like 'standard' lots but surrounded by vast grounds of fields (farms), plazas (malls), parking (generic light industry), dirt (anything low wealth or unoccupied), trash (land fills), trees (forestry), pits (mines and quarries), spaced-out oil wells/drills/pumps/jacks (petroleum), gardens (golf courses and Elite mansions), etc. This also means that I want the land to have deposits of natural resources including water, fertile land, trees, and mineral wealth. All zones should be possible in 'standard' zones but there should be special options for 'free form' zones with industry (extraction on deposits or distribution+storage on empty land), commerce (suburban malls), housing (elite mansion plots that could turn to trailer parks or chaotic slums if put in the wrong place), offices (sprawling 1-story complexes with warehouses and parking), waste treatment (landfills), leisure (golf courses), and parks. The standard zone types would be Residential, Hotels, Leisure (only cultural and sports), Commercial (retail, food and entertainment/services), Offices (with office services called 'Logistics'), and Industry. Like in Cities XL, there should be a pseudo free form zoning for standard lots where you draw the perimeter of a zone and choose the outer & inner road types, letting the game fill the space in optimally.

    I hope that down the road (expansion pack), you add the Elite, ultra-wealthy 5th wealth level, who have extremely high demands to spawn (already at maximum education, health, wealth, giant piece of land on desirable real estate) and remain. Your proposal has Rich Executives, White Collar Managers, Skilled Workers, Unskilled Laborers, and Homeless Vagabonds, which I suggest you call Rich, White Collar, Skilled, Unskilled, and Homeless or Executives, Managers, Workers, and Laborers (and use the term 'Elite' for the eventual elites).
     
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  16. soltan

    soltan Vagabond

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    PART II, Buildings

    Aaaaaah, the bread and butter of city-building! But I think we've been severely limited in our designer freedom in up-to-date city-builders. To wit, all the square lots out there when nothing but square city blocks ever comes out right. So, I was thinking from the very beginning how to rectify it, and I hope that I've found a solution.

    1. Building models won't include the building surroundings anymore. That means no parking lots, no gardens and fountains INCLUDED in the basic building model. The model will include the BUILDING ONLY. This allows a range of possibilities, among them building wall-to-wall complexes.
    2. Dear modelers, feel free to design non-square models, because the engine will be able to process them! When it detects curved boundaries in a zone, it will attempt to fit there a suitable building with a curved model. When it detects a non-square angle, it will attempt to fit there a non-square building, maybe a triangular model? You can easily see that this will create a much greater pool of combinations will will create much more diverse-looking blocks.
    3. As usual, any gaps will be filled with suitable fillers. However, the engine will attempt to place fillers intelligently: for example, it'll place parking lots right next to buildings, gardens - behind buildings, etc.
    Now, all this doesn't mean that you absolutely cannot have any individual building models without fillers - if you feel free your model absolutely has to include that nice fountain surrounded by paths in the front, by all means - create it! But the basic system will be different, and more flexible than fitting a bunch of squares together. True, all this will complicate the placing algorithm, but hey - we're talking a next-gen game here!

    4. Multiple building models. To enhance visuals even more, each building model will have at least 2 variants: a NORMAL variant and a BLIGHTED variant. Blighted models will be displayed for Abandoned buildings, or buildings that have turned to SLUMS. For such buildings, additional clutter like trash and hanging laundry will add to the realism.
    I'd like to have a third model as well - a BURNING model, which will include a fire animation. However, I'm aware that this will be highly problematic (at least for every single building)... Maybe we'll end up with several generic models of burning buildings, or there will simply be an effect superimposed over the model.

    5. New, dynamic High density.
    Another thing that has always bugged me is how unrealistic high density building sizes look in these games. Seriously, a Shopping Mall is just one square bigger than a Mid-sized store????
    That's why High Density buildings are completely different in our (for now imaginary) game. Basically, they will be Modular. Most High density buildings will consist in fact of several modules, joined together to fill the zone in the best manner possible, up to a certain maximum building size. The engine will then calculate dynamically the simulational properties of the resulting complex.
    This system should allow for more realistic High Density Residential and Commercial zones, not to mention sprawling Industrial complexes, covered with pipes, tanks and all sorts of goodies!

    6. Planning mode.
    And now for the more enterprising designers out there, our brand-new, custom-designer tool, the PLANNING MODE.
    In this mode you'll be able to basically design your own custom building, fit to the city block space that you've chosen. You can choose from all models available for the relevant building type and size, then rotate and fit them together as you wish! A limited no-collision option will also be available, so that you could actually MERGE different models! The final result will have its own simulational properties, calculated by the engine, taken from the buildings you have combined.

    7. Last, but not lest ..... MULTIPURPOSE BUILDINGS.
    You know that single downtown building where people live on the upper floors and there's a shop on the ground floor? Or offices and a restaurant? Well, we will have this in our game! Because of the way building simulation is designed, we will now be able to combine various types of properties in the same building: residential - services, residential-retail, office-retail, office-services, residential-entertainment, etc. A whole new category of middle and high density buildings will have combined properties. There will be some limits, of course, but our downtown will finally look the way it should, without small restaurants hiding among our skyscrapers for simulation's sake.
     
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  17. AzemOcram

    AzemOcram Executive

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    I really like your idea for multi-purpose buildings! However, I think it would be best (for the sake of the simulation) for zones to only have either 1 or 2 categories (out of the 5 categories of Residential (4 wealth levels because Homeless and Elite Simizens are special), Commercial (retail, food, services, and entertainment), Hotel (business and tourism), Office (logistics, media/PR, government/services), Industrial (extraction/growth, processing/refining, and manufacture) but allow as many subcategories as desired. A zone might be designated Commerce + Hotels but it can hold any combination of shops, restaurants, [warehouse] stores, commercial services (health, beauty, entertainment), and hotels (business and tourism) of any wealth levels. Some RL resorts have all the above. Industry + Offices would try to maintain a neutral logistics balance while producing the most profitable quantity and quality (durability, luxury, and technology) of goods possible. Offices + Hotels would likely be logistics and business hotels but could be any combination of logistics, office services, media, business hotels, and holiday hotels. This zone could be full of office services, media and holiday hotels if you designated such a zone in your resort area instead of your Central Business District. Hotels+Residential would yield timeshares, condominiums with hotel rooms/short-term apartments, and hotels with condos and worker housing. Commerce + Industry would likely consist of warehouses, light industry, and factory stores. Housing + Industry would have workers' housing near to the factories.

    Multi-purpose buildings would have the full statistics of everything going on but only send out agents from the difference in needs (commute by elevator always favored over a real commute), with each building sending out agents every other day (to halve routing calculations).

    I propose the following when it comes to time:
    Each season should have 6 days (so each year would have 24 days)
    The absolutely slowest speed should complete a day/night cycle in 12 minutes, with the sun rising at 5 AM every day and setting at 9 PM every night
    Different businesses should operate at different times (offices and factories having 1 9-hour shift with a 1-hour lunch break; commerce having morning (5-11), afternoon (11-18), evening (18-24) and night owl (midnight-5) shifts worked by different workers if worked at all)
    Speeds should include 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, 12x, and maybe up to 20x
     
  18. Destin Faroda

    Destin Faroda Unskilled Worker

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    More ideas:
    - Administration: the bigger the city (and the town hall), the higher the administration costs. This prevents the player from quickly becoming insanely rich like in Skylines (which doesn't even have a town hall!).

    - Countries: choosing a country alters many variables, vehicles and building choices.
    USA: US school system, US roads and speed limits, more crime and prisoners than other countries, US citizens need more electricity and water (it should of course depend on the city map's climate).
    Germany: three-tiered school system, German roads with German speed limits, lower crime than USA, Germans waste less electricity and water than people from the USA.
    In the beginning, one country should suffice. Modders can take care of the other ones.

    - Blueprint mode: I would love to lay down roads and lots without actually building them. Only when I'm content and by pressing a button should the game initiate the construction efforts.
     
  19. soltan

    soltan Vagabond

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    Hey, some great ideas there guys! Keep them coming....
    Destin, the Blueprint mode you suggest I have in mind already. Most transport systems and some zoning will be done in Game Paused, and you'll be able to gauge future effects before actually starting the building process.
    Oh, did I mention I intend to include a CONSTRUCTION phase for all buildings and transports? :):):) No more plopping down, unless you choose a certain option :)
     
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  20. msFiorentina

    msFiorentina Executive

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    I really like your effort.

    Here is a piece of my mind about a citybuilding game:
    The thing I miss in every citybuilding game is: good transportation. Transportation is THE most important thing of an economy. While cities skylines added some extra functions with mods like traffic++ (which adds trafficlights and lane-management) is almost impossible to build a realistic roadsystem which uses lanes the right way. Roads are only there for looks of the city and never do function properly in city building games.

    ---In CXL we have 8 lane roads with only 2 trafficlights and zebracrossing for pedestrians which are 50m (no granny could cross this road in time!)
    -would like to see (for example) a 50m wide road but with variable lanes, maybe only 2 lanes (5m per lane) and the rest (40m)have grass or pavement something so upgrading doesnt destroy your city. Its called easy planning ahead. Maybe in a different pop up screen called lane-editor-mode to edit the road. Editing can be done by pointing to a certain point of a road, holding shift and selecting another part of the road so that highlighted part can be edited.
    This way you can edit if you want a a grass median or something, the colour of the road, add parking to it, buslanes, bicycle lanes, pedestrian paths, commercial signs, trees, statues,soundbarriers whatever you want.
    Instead of adding modded roads people can now add modded lanes. with your own type of stripes on it, road properties (bus, right only, trucks only, open only during rush hour)
    -Also on a 50m wide variable-lane road you would be able to edit a piece of road by selecting a part of the road so u could add lanes for upcoming crossings, roundabouts,exits, etc. I mean, a 2 lane oneway road could have 4 lanes at the trafficlight crossing so you could have 1 to the right, 1 to the left and 2 going forward, just like in real life. Also I think the AI would react better to this than.
    -road editing and beautification is a whole game itself I think but is very important since its the most important thing of an economy, without proper roads NOTHING functions. Thats why low-economy countries have almost no roads with asphalt.

    ---Over and underpasses take up so many space its almost a waste to build them, in the game "A-train 9" you just had simple heightlevels of building which allowed you to build the same type of road (railtrack) on every level you wanted.

    ---In every real city you get smashed with trafficsigns, electronic trafficsigns, roaddirections. Miss one in real life and you will be driving for ever without getting anywhere, but the roadsystem in these games simply ignore them and claim to be realistic.

    ---A UDI (U drive it) system would be supreme, there is nothing like driving in your city and really enjoying the things you build from a normal human perspective. Im not talking need for speed car physics of course. SC4 had it from a skyview but driving your train around your city was really cool, CXL had it a little with your own character which could walk and be edited. I think there was a separate driving game from maxis in the 90's which allowed you to load your SC2000 cities to drive in, but im not sure about that.

    ---Highway system dont go through centers of cities like I see in many gamecities build by us gamers. But if they are added in a game, please give us some variation. We all thank God that he send us a programmer which made RHM for us but why has no developer ever gave it thought? Why no lane editing? Why does every game has the highwaysection made out of 5 pieces: 2 types of intersections (3 or 4 way), the highway itself, a on/off ramp and a highway to roadconnector? Is this even close to realism?

    ---Multitrack trainstations... I dont have to explain this one, 'A-train 9' had a system where you could just choose a station and select the amount of tracks with the station. Looked very simple to me.
    ---Underground(multilevel) building of things: so parking and malls can be added underground in crowded cities, these can connect to underground roads and metrosystems.
    ---Also there are LODs, why not have a optional LOD 0 for buildings when you in a UDI/pedestrian mode when u enter a specific zone of a building (like the door or gate) when you enter that zone it will load the building and you enter the building itself. This way you can really 'live' in your city and design your own house in your city (this way, move over san andreas!)
    --- Variable buildings, where you have a bottom, middle and a top floor. Fill in the amount of floors for the middle section and have a bigger/smaller building (can be used for hospitals also). This way a type of building can house the amount of citizens you would like.

    Well, these are my 'complaints' and ideas about the games, maybe you will use some tips, maybe not. Either way, good luck with your game!
     

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