I'm a big fan of Sid Meier's Civilization series. One thing I would love to see is for them to use the CLR as back-end scripting engine. Alpha Centauri (SMAC) had some good automation, but you could really work some wonders if you had a full scripting engine. One immediate practical benefit of the CLR would be that you could script your units and governors in your favorite language (whether C#, IronPython, VB.Net, or LUA). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some enterprising soul would then come up with a .Net language specifically targetted for writing Civ AIs.I believe the lack of good automation makes it too cumbersome to run a large civilization. Thus I'd love to see some serious automation that lets me then scale a civilization game to 100s of cities. Some specific things I would love to be able to script (using SMAC terminology) would include:
And I'm sure more ideas would come as I think about it longer. If Civilization had a decent enough scripting engine, I think a community for such scripts would develop overnight ("Hey, check out this script that does XYZ"). Folks may even script the enemy AIs. I could see competitions between different AIs. Bottom line is that it would be very very cool. (I personally think it would be much better than multiplayer - though you may even be able to build multiplayer on top of a good scripting story by having an enemy AI that takes input from a client across the internet).
And since my primary area of expertise is debugging services, I must pointed out that if you use the CLR for your gaming scripting engine, you get free debugging services!