In my opinion, any game should have a public tool to create maps and worlds. I’m not asking for anything fancy, releasing a version of the one developers use would be just fine. I’m also not asking for a feature to share worlds with other zwifters as that would really complicate things and put a huge strain on zwift servers. I’m just asking for a world creation tool, so that the custom worlds can be saved and ridden locally on the creators PC.
Could you name at least a single game which has a public tool to create maps and worlds?
Zwift team definitely could benefit from experienced IT professionals like you, because development of computer generated worlds is extremely complex and time consuming. It sounds like you can make it much faster than their programmers. We all would love to see more worlds.
RGT has their Magic Roads
Doom. Quake. Quake 2. Quake 3. Unreal Tournament. Team Fortress 2. Warcraft III. Half-Life (hence Counter Strike existing). Skyrim. Trackmania. StarCraft 2. Neverwinter Nights. Portal 2. Far Cry 2/3. Little Big Planet. Many games using Unreal Engine.
That’s just a small list off the top of my head.
The point is, loads of games have readily available tools to create and play thirdparty maps.
I agree, it would be nice to have a way how community could have contributed to developments of the routes. So far, it did not seem to fit into Zwift’s strategy: they even limit the number of guest worlds to two, and used to limit to one, to ensure enough Zwifters on the road at any given moment. They also have been slow with releasing new worlds, which could be a combination of complexity of generating new scenery (without reusing the same objects over and over again) and their long term strategy.
RGT magic roads is not a perfect example because these customized roads look extremely boring compared to Zwift. It is, as far as I understand, a GPS track to which RGT adds random palm trees on the left and right.
The best way to create a custom road as far as I can tell is in Rouvy (which accepts video uploads from end users) and possibly FulGaz, even though in my experience it crashes on Windows all the time and feels like a pre-beta. One only needs a good action camera to take a video.
They updated it a few months ago and it is much better now, I think the best part is that you can use them for private races and events. That would be a pretty welcome addition to Zwift’s meetups/clubs I’m sure.
Roller Coaster Tycoon
Edit: one of the best games eva!
Yeah, and for racing you are mostly interested in course features like turns, climbs and descents, and most of all your competition. More distinctive scenic features could be useful for keeping your bearings in terms of where you are on the course but that’s about it.
Zwift uses an in-house engine, contrary to many games out there. That plus the very wide range of platforms supported makes the prospect of a “design studio” extremely unlikely. I do believe there’s a ton of manual optimization to fit road designs into the game. I remember reading a ‘making of’ on the Alpe du Zwift design, which should be simple enough (it’s a GPS track of the real road), but got complicated fast (adding features to hide potential views showing too much of the road ahead/behind, causing overload). Notice how on the Alpe there’s a cloud level you go through, which also cuts out far-away views of the rest of Watopia? That’s the kind of issues they have to deal with.
So you need the 3D modeling program Maya which is about $1,700 a year subscription.
So, no, Zwift can’t just release “a version of the one developers use” because they are using expensive commercial 3D programs to build these worlds. There’s probably a whole set of other programs they need to use as well because Maya would only be useful for creating the models. They’re going to need a graphics program to create textures for example.
Zwift isn’t setup like games that have inbuilt world creators.
For instance, ModDB.com has 23,427 mods for games, most of them created and maintained by the “public.”
And to name one of some interest to indoor riders, GTA V.