[Starting the game]
Let's say you've just chosen your username, however there seems to be something wrong with your virtual license. There is a generic-looking picture of a young man's face, which can apparently be swapped out with another image of the right size and type. It has a small drop-down list where the year should be, and it is currently blank. You click on it, and it goes all the way from 1930 to this year. You choose 1932, and the license changes accordingly.
[I FORGOT A "LOAD SAVED GAME" BUTTON.]
[Beginning a game]
You continue, and are given another short set of options: "Seasonal" and "Year-Round". You select "Seasonal" and it asks if you'd like to race in the winter, the spring, the summer, or the fall of 1932. You think about this for a moment, but decide that you need a bit more time ingame to experiment. You go back to Year-Round and you are asked when you'd like to begin racing. You choose "May 26th", giving you some time to get ready for the ingame summer, when racing conditions will be ideal.
At this point, you face another decision: "Sandbox Mode", "Career", or "Summer Racer"? You go with "Sandbox Mode", where you set your amount of money and owned cars ($9999999999 and all the ingame cars) and options like "Can race The King?" (Yes), "Can annoy other drivers?" (No), "Cops?" (Yes), and "Part wear?" (Yes), to determine difficulty.
[Forgot to mention this, but Career is basically Summer Racer but with an indefinite amount of time and the legality of the races (that is to say, whether the races are on the street or on racetracks, or if you'd prefer to do both when the cops don't want to revoke your license). Also, you can have someone drive for you, have someone tune your cars for you, have someone recommend modifications and cars for you, and even ignore the whole "racing" aspect and go fully managerial if you'd like]
But then you realize that you won't get a feel for the game's difficulty unless you have some constraints, so you choose "Summer Racer". You then get a good look at the options. The first option is "Starting Cash and Car". You give yourself $500 and No Car. "Start and End Date" you set to "June 25th and August 25th". You'd rather not tangle with too many cops right now, so you look through the options for "Cops?".
[X]0: No Thanks.You note that checking option 0 blanks out all other options, and that checking any other option blanks out option 0.
[ ]1: If someone gets hurt in a race.
[ ]2: If we go really fast. ##90 MPH or higher reached on a race by any car increases the chances of a cop showing up on that race and the consecutive three? races.
[ ]3: When we got REAL cars. ##This one would only allow cops when the cars are obviously customized.
[ ]4: If we're playing for keeps. ##More than $50 on a bet and there's a chance the cops will show up.
[ ]5: [number entry box]% chance of cops showing up!
[Map and Newspaper]
You then are shown a map and a newspaper; on the former you can see three red thumbtacks. One is labelled "Garage", another is labelled "Dealership", another is labelled "Joe's Restaurant", another is labelled "Gas Station", and one more is labelled "Home". You note that the picture on your license (or a copy of it) is under the "Home" tack. You take a few minutes to look around the different locations. At the Garage, you can do...nothing. You need a car to tune before you can tune it, as the game snidely informs you. At the Dealership, you see many overpriced new and used cars. At Joe's, you see a car with a FOR SALE sign, a few people eating and talking inside and around the restaurant, and a few other racers arranging races and wagers. You inspect the car, but it doesn't seem to be in your budget ($1000). You go over to the Gas Station and notice a HELP WANTED sign, along with an empty chair leaned against the side of the small building. Not feeling that desperate for money, you decide that you should check local used car listings in the paper. You find an Auburn 1931 Brougham. Five seats, two doors. $945 with no modifications. You get a good look at the car, and the owner even lets you examine the engine and trunk spaces (even though you have no idea what you're doing), and you buy it on the spot.
[Doing horrible things to your car]
Having arrived at home, you decide it needs a quick wash. You close the doors and click on the bucket. "Whaddya think you're doing? Close the windows first!" You close the windows and click the bucket again. Your car moves itself into the driveway and the bucket is filled with a hose and some soap. A rag replaces your cursor, and then...nothing. Oh, wait, you have to do this yourself? A minute later, you finish scrubbing down the car, and note that it looks a lot nicer. You are then supplied with a dry rag and dry off the car in no time at all. Total cost: $0. You get under the hood and examine your engine. Nothing special, but your headlight fluid looks a little low, and you note that the elbow grease hasn't been changed in awhile. You drive on over to the garage and buy the right headlight fluid and elbow grease, then notice the exceptionally large and shiny engine block laying on the counter. You ask about it, but it seems to be a customer's. You can only wonder who it belongs to, but you open up your own hood and, to your dismay, the engine block on the counter dwarfs yours. "$55 isn't nearly enough for something like that!", you think to yourself, so you drive over to Joe's, looking for your first race. [no I don't know what '30s cars do and don't have, please ignore that problem]
A particularly fitting track plays on the radio as you idle up to an empty space at Joe's. Another teen with a penchant for racing (ingame, mind you) drives up and asks if you're here to race, since you haven't walked in to order anything. You say yes, and he asks if you want to race. You tell him you don't want to bet your last few dollars yet, but would like to get a feel for your car. He says he'd like to drag race with you, if only for fun, and you go along with it. He backs out of the parking space and drives slowly up to a nearby intersection, where the light is red. You follow his lead (without any real input on your part) and wait for the green light. Tension builds. You rev the engine a few times. Your heart's pounding unusually hard. Your opponent revs his engine. You hear something in the background, but ignore it. As the light turns green, the noise gets louder. You shove the shifter into first with the A key and floor it. CA-CHUNK. The engine stops with a disturbing noise and the gear indicator gets stuck halfway between N and 1. Your opponent speeds away, and you are given a notice: "You just dropped your transmission, klutz!". A tow truck shows up and charges you $20 just to take you and your car back home, and it would cost you another $100 just to get a new transmission!...You expect a GAME OVER screen, except that you're left with a car with no transmission and a few bucks in your pocket. Maybe it's time for some Sandbox mode...
-Day/Night cycle. Should be settable when starting a new game. Player would be able to decide if it's always a certain time, or if time passes at a specific rate (maybe a setting to sync the game with the computer clock), or if the player ignores the day or ignores the night (i.e. whenever the player's allotted daily amount of time is up, the game shows the calendar advance a day and the time of day doesn't seem to change), or if it's always a certain day until the player decides to advance a day.
-Tickets, License Revocation, Prize Money (legal races), etc...
-Employment (at Joe's, at the Garage, at the Dealership, etc.), though the options would be intentionally limited so that the player can't just work for 9999999 days 24/7 and buy the best car in the game.
-The newspaper would be available to read anywhere, either as a result of the player carrying one around or an abandoned newspaper laying at each location.
-Phones? Cell phones, if playing in any era after 1995? Pagers, if playing in any era after 1980?
-I'm starting to realize that the whole clean-the-car-yourself minigame might be pointless...Unless we put a car wash at the gas station...
-Allowing the player to roam randomly, as well as allowing the player to drive themself here and there (instead of putting the car on autopilot whenever going to Joe's, or to the Garage, etc.)
-Cops. Behavior, AI, ability to copy down your license plate (even partially), ability to identify you, ability to identify your vehicle, ability to pull you over or otherwise stop you.