There are a number of programs/games/simulators/whathaveu which involve the construction and then riding of various modes of transportation. I am most familiar with the variety of train simulators (TRS2004, BAHN, BVE, etc) although I know that Microsoft Flight Simulator is probably the most popular when it comes to this genre. However, is there a realistic DRIVING simulator with a create mode? Like if I wanted to accurately reconstruct the Cross Bronx/Bruckner/Van Wyck/Clearview interchange in NYC and then live the pipe dream of actually driving through it without sitting in traffic for an hour, is there a program that can do so?
There was a game called Grand Prix Legends that was popular with hardcore sim racers. (It was based on the 1967 Formula One season, and had very sophisticated physics modeling. The hardcore popularity didn’t translate to broad-based success, and I’m not sure if anyone has taken the effort to surpass it yet.)
The layout for any particular track was just a data file that the program would read, so people created many of their own based on other race tracks around the world. And I think there was at least one program to help in creating your own. (I’m not sure how well it would handle interchanges, though.) There’s probably a similar way to create your own vehicle to use in the game.
If you’re very, very determined to commute in the comfort of your living room, that’s a start. And if one game used this method (tracks and cars as separate data files), I wouldn’t be too surprised to find it in others.
it’s not so much that I want to simulate the process of a COMMUTE as I want to go speeding down roads which I am familiar with in real life (and am usually seeing at maybe 20 mph…). I sometimes think the Sheridan Expressway was only built to give New Yorkers a chance to see what driving at 65mph on a highway is actually like.
Maxis made a rather famous series of “Sim” games… The Sims is perhaps most famous now, but they made a Sim-City series that I personally rather liked. This game allows one to be a city planner, and run a city you build from the ground up… actually below ground, as you could build subways and plumbing in the newer versions in addition to roads and buildings.
One of them, I’m not sure which one, had an add-on game called STREETS of Sim-City. Apparently this allowed one to drive (and fly a helicopter?) around cityscapes one either made or imported from the previously mentioned games.
Whether this is still available, or will run on modern systems, I have no idea. But it would indeed allow you to rebuild a version of whatever streets you wanted and apparently drive (not sure about other vehicles) around on 'em.
There was also a really cool game called Interstate '76 and its sequel Interstate '82, both Car-wars type games. Think Road Warrior… strap machine guns and rocket launchers to your Pinto hatchback and go blast everybody else off the road before they blow you up. Great game, lots of fun in multiplayer, and I distincty remember seeing a level editor around somewhere.
One more possibility is the Battlefield series of games, such as Battlefield 1942, which are pretty good multiplayer first-person combat simulators. While you may be limited to jeeps and tanks, there is a fairly substantial level editor program bundled right along with these games which you could use to build a driveable map of your town.
If all you want is the appearance of the streets, and want to see what it’s like to do virtually whatever you want in these locations, Battlefield 1942 is my suggestion. You may not make 100mph in a jeep, but you will in a fighter jet! Plus you can set up cars on the streets and blow ‘em up with a tank. That’s gotta be worth somethin’!