Better graphics and a more resilient game engine

(Michael Kosmatka) #1

Curious what the plan is regarding graphics and graphic engine.

Not that this is expected but can you imagine?

(Richard Freeth ZHR (G)) #2

Please no, I look so much younger and fitter in Zwift lower resolution :smile:

I think you just need to wait, the graphics are getting better and better. Maybe one day you can ride London and experience all the potholes just like the real world.

(David Bowry) #3

Having moved to an increased subscription price in UK a few months ago, I would also like to know what plans are for the graphics engine updates for Zwift. Zwift is now a very premium subscription service but the visuals are somewhat dated and all of the environments kind of look/feel the same. The platforms Zwift runs off (mainly thinking Apple and iOS here) are very capable of producing so much more. Also there is staying ahead of the completion.

I’m a big Zwift fan but if you’re going to charge a premium price, customers are going to demand more.

(Richard Freeth ZHR (G)) #4

Also in the UK at the end of a long bit of copper, which rather restricts access to HD anything :frowning:

(Michael Kosmatka) #5

That is primarily why I asked the question. Looking back over the last 4 years there hasn’t been significant improvement in the Zwift engine. It looks … same-ish. More detail has been added, new worlds, UI enhancements, etc. but its graphics are dated by about 12 years.

Here’s an example of an open world multiplayer game from 2006 - Test Drive Unlimited. They built the entire island of Oahu, Hawaii - the level of detail is Zwift quality, but on a larger scale:

When you step back and look at the progress in open world engines for multiplayer games in the last 4 years … it is astounding how much has changed. I would argue the engine is actually holding the product back. I’m curious what Zwift would look like in Unity or even Unreal engines with the same assets.

On top of all that - the price is super premium. In the MMO gamespace (which Zwift is) there are less than 5 titles that can charge such rates. With those rates expectations are very high.

I would really love to see what their plan is …

(Daren Chandisingh 🌱 [Vision]) #6

Who can even see the screen properly through the sweat? :smiley:

But yeah, I would love much higher graphical realism in Zwift. Richmond and London would both be so much more tolerable if they weren’t so slab-like.

(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #7

I think Zwift graphics are being held back due to keeping the old Intel HD3000 and the like the minimum to use within the game. The floor needs to be raised so the ceiling can be raised.

(Daren Chandisingh 🌱 [Vision]) #8

GeForce 1080 or higher or GTFO amirite?

(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #9

I wouldn’t go that far, but keeping the HD3000 as a minimum is just crazy.

(Daren Chandisingh 🌱 [Vision]) #10

Oh, I agree. Facetiousness aside, I do think they should increase the minimum requirements as the years go by. In fact, the HD3000 is already below their own specified minimum requirements (HD4000), so really no one should complain if they just allow support for that to drop out.

IMO, and I totally get that upgrading a PC or buying a new one isn’t always within reach.

(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #11

Every time an update comes out that no longer supports the outdated HD3000 (which, yes is below there minimum specs) a small group of people complain and Zwift makes a patch to get them going again. It’s been below minimum for almost a year now.

I understand that some people are have limited funds, but some just refuse to upgrade. ■■■■, an AppleTV is very reasonably priced and if people budgeted they could afford it in no time. Most of the users also have a compatible phone now so I really see no reason not to raise the minimum.

(Erik Schumacher) #12

For me the current graphic quality is absolutely sufficient, much more important is the grade of realism you feel while you ride.
Better graphics means that a better computer hardware is required to display them. In the end, this results in more disadvantages than advantages.

If I want photorealistic graphics, I go outside to ride my bike :grin:

(Gerrie Delport TeamZF) #13

I would disagree, I think Zwift made a lot of upgrades to there graphics, go look at the Jarvis tree in Watopia form 2017 and today.

Lots of people are using the ATV thing with very limited graphical power so they need to keep it simple.

Compare zwift graphics with Fortnite one of the biggest games of 2018 and you will see Zwift is not far behind.

(Daren Chandisingh 🌱 [Vision]) #14

But if you compare it to even World of Warcraft which first came out in 2004, I think Zwift is some way behind. I’m sure we can all pick out loads of examples where Zwift is miles ahead, on a par, or miles behind. :smiley:

I think the key here is whether the environment is aiming for anything approaching a “realistic” world, or is clearly a fantasy world. WoW is clearly fantasy. Fortnite is very cartoony, so can get away with lower realism. Battlefield and Forza are aiming for more realism.

If Zwift are going for realism, they’ve a long way to go. If not, I think they should amp up the cartooniness of their world and go all in on that.

(Michael Kosmatka) #15

@Gerrie_Delport You’d be surprised how well a solid game engine can scale based on the available hardware resources. I don’t know what engine Zwift is based off but something like Fortnite is based on the Unreal Engine which is a super solid, true cross platform scalable tech platform. It is designed to be played on mobile, desktop with varying degrees of hardware quality while remaining rock solid. You’d be surprised how low in spec you can get using such an engine. Fortnite is a perfect example, that game can be played on your phone and still look and perform beautifully.

For now I have to put up with roads that float above the terrain. :slight_smile:

(Gerrie Delport TeamZF) #16

Fortnite has a house floating above the Lake… LOL

I stand corrected but Zwift created there own game engine form scratch. Pretty amazing.


(Michael Kosmatka) #17

@Daren_Chandisingh True that. I’m curious in their next steps for the app from that perspective.

All that said it is by far it is the best product experience on a smart trainer out there. By miles :slight_smile:

(i van) #18

Zwift has the look of a typical game built in Unity. One of the biggest challenges of building a game like Zwift is cross platform support. Sure, the team could probably port over Zwift to Unreal Engine, give players the option to use 16x anti-aliasing, 13 stops of HDR and photo realistic reflections. Now you shoot yourself in the foot because phones, tablets, and Apple TV’s won’t support the minimum graphic requirements. My guess is that a graphics update is somewhere in the backlog but there are other higher priority features in development.

(Daren Chandisingh 🌱 [Vision]) #19

It might look like one, but it’s not.

At least, as far as I know they haven’t ported it to Unity. Jon himself said:

It uses my own engine. It’s all C and OpenGL 2 + extensions.

That was four years ago though, so maybe they’ve moved.

(i van) #20

Ah yeah, looks like you’re correct :slight_smile: Thought I had seen a few hints of Unity in this behind the scenes video: