Clearing all the rubble doesn’t sound feasible to me. If you could put a bulldozer shovel/bucket/whatever is it on the vehicle and just ram your way through, it would be doable. Or if rubble was destructible (it currently isn’t).
Looting would also be quite tough, as without the 3D mode, you’re limited to what you can haul down the stairs.
Sewers and subway make a nice hideout, though. If you need to sleep and can’t find a good basement, try subway. It’s way safer than an infected city, as zombies generally don’t go down there.
Last time I checked, you don’t actually need to clear the rubble. It’s possible to just drive over it.
And if you use a motorbike-sized vehicle, you can drive around the sewer pipes too. Although you better get proficient at driving in reverse if you don’t want to get stuck in a dead-end, and it burns fuel/battery/what-have-you like crazy (since the sewage slows you down pretty heavily). On the other hand, due to the way fluids are handled, driving in the sewer pipes produced nice fertile land to plant your crops in.
For this to realistically work, the subway system would have to have a major revamp. As it is now, you just walk down a set of stairs and ‘onto’ the subway line, no platform or anything. IRL subways usually have hub locations, with 2-3 crossing subway lines in a central location; and unless somebody wants to make diagonal subway lines, you could only have NS and EW lines.
It would probably be best to make a new tile (or several) to put next to the subway lines, to indicate a platform with turnstiles, vending machines, chairs, etc.
EDIT: Along with small ‘walkways’ on the edges of the actual subway line, possibly with a few utility/maintenance rooms here and there.
Maybe make a new readable map that reveals the subway lines?
Seriously, the only time I’m really tempted to cheat the map reveal (or a mapping artifact) is when I’m dealing with subways and/or sewers, and at least the sewers have the occasional way of being auto-mapped.
I’m also beginning to think that roads need some detail work done. Currently the map just throws random roads down in any direction and order so long as it’s connecting everything together. Real roads don’t work like that. In game the roads are kind of tricky to navigate because of their constant winding and turning and here in the real world we have these places called freeways that are basically huge straight lines with gentle curves to make moving down them at high speeds both safe and convenient. Granted they’re kept clear of debris and wreckages, but regardless, I find traveling in the game to be a lot more annoying than it really has any right to be. It’s not exactly representative of what actual roads are like.
I know our roads don’t have as many sharp right angles in them, anyway.
would the simplest solution not be to simply make roads take the most direct path between any 2 locations it is connecting? It may still be off a bit from reality but I would think it would be at least a step better than how they are now. Once terrain has actual elevations and such the roads could probably be programmed to go around or through mountains and such like they normally would depending on efficiency.
The issues with the roads are mostly due to the terrain generation system. Roads look all harsh and zigzaggy because that’s the way terrain generates. Everything is blocky and square under the hood, so everything comes out looking, more or less, blocky and square. If there were a good way to smooth the roads out during generation, it would look better, but the implementation would be completely different from how everything else is generated. This same problem is one of the reasons why we don’t have highways anymore. They would only go in one direction, either north-south, or east-west. No turns, and no on-ramps except at the ends. Mapgen over a larger area is possible, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it.