1) I definitely agree that there needs to be a more quantified way of seeing what your stats are, that is probably the most important thing
2) I again agree that the training should be slightly more interactive but not so much that it loses the feel of being what it truly is, a manager game, which is why I particularly like coolguy’s suggestion of a training program.
3) I don’t believe the stats of the opposing dogs is necessary but if you do implement it there should be a combination of Jason and Ace’s ideas. Give descriptions that hint at the stats without stating them directly so there is some guess work involved AND make those descriptions slightly inaccurate. After all no opposing manager is ever going to know exactly how good a dog that isn’t there own is.
4) There should be ways to train every stat and training shouldn’t drain time. A crippling part of Gone to the Dogs is that there is no way to improve fitness outside of training and yet fitness is probably the most crucial stat. Furthermore training almost crippled you in a way because it took away a precious week. If you train just 4 times you have spent 1/5 of all the time possible in Gone to the Dogs training instead of earning money, that’s a tough blow to overcome.
5) The random events need to be revamped. They are huge amounts gained at the beginning but by the end the winnings and losings from it are chump change. It should be scaled according to where you are at in the game. Also I agree with Truefire, the events should be “deserved” in some way. That doesn’t necessarily require a minigame to be made for them it just means that they should, at the very least, be related to the actions the player has made off the racetrack (if that becomes a more in depth part of the game…)
6) Which leads me to the next point. The off the track part of the game should be more in depth. If the point is to create a manager game then there should be more options in what to do to make your dog better. Not only would it make the game more interactive as the player has more options for what to do but it would also increase the replay value as there would be different paths to try to take in order to “beat” the game. Maybe add in different buildings, one could be a shop, another is a training center, another is a dog show perhaps to gain extra money on the side of racing, another could be a beauty shop to allow customization of the dog, another could be an airport which would allow to travel to other countries perhaps to compete but also to travel for vacations allowing the dog to relax and as Ace mentioned regain a general condition portion, similar to a kind of heath bar and what the fitness level serve as in the last game a multiplier for the stats. The tricky part about that would be finding the balance so that 1-2 training sessions that chew up 2 weeks don’t force your dog to have to rest for a week, that’s not a realistic standard. (That’s just one way to do a more in depth off track system, something else may work better for what you have in mind).
7) Finally there should be some end goal in sight. It could be to win a certain championship or to gain X amount of money, and there can be a time limit on it. The key is to be able to play beyond that limit if the player desires, or having a separate unlimited mode similar to a practice run.
That’s all I have for the moment and I can’t wait to see what you come up with for Gone 2 the Dogs. And sorry about how long the post is but I loved the original and am thankful for the opportunity to possibly get input on how to improve it for a sequel.