First off well done on getting this together. Brilliant achievement. If only for getting so much VC funding for a turbo game
What follows is a fairly haphazard list of observations, confusions and problems from my first 30 minute session. I’ll try and list them as chronologically and succinctly as I can. Apologies if these points have been raised before or if many of my suggestions are already being developed.
About me. UK based. Race and train with power. Long time user (and advocate of) Trainer Road. Using a standard Kurt Kinetic turbo with Quarq and ANT+ dongle and 2012 MacBook Pro.
Launching the app is flakey. There seem to be two parts launched from the single Zwift app. Zwift (with icon) and Zwift App (with a exec icon). Zwift App handles the ANT+ connections and the game but the Zwift application itself doesn’t seem to do anything. It’s a carousel of promo images and a ‘checking for update’ progress bar. I can quit the Zwift program to leave the Zwift app program running. Very odd.
Why are they separate and why is the profile on the desktop? I expect there are various technical reasons but it’s confusing as hell and akin to opening a restaurant with the toilet in a separate building down the street.
Next… I search for my powermeter (Quarq) but can’t calibrate (auto zero) it. Huh? That makes it next to useless if you’re trying to train properly. It definitely seemed to read high for RPE. I guess there’s a chance that the novelty of Zwift lulled me into thinking it wasn’t hurting like ‘normal’.
I just ride but then realise I’ve not entered any settings. I stop (press I’m done and the app quits!) to go to the desktop settings page. Why isn’t this in the app?
I enter my weight but not my FTP. When I’m ‘racing’ against someone else do you estimate speed based on Watts/KG or just watts?
I start again.
I couldn’t see the screen enough. The figures are tiny (I’m on a 13" MacBook) even though I’m relatively close to the screen. I strained to see my cadence.
I’ve read about power ups and pressing space to activate them. Really? Is that what you’re supposed to do? I’m close to the laptop but not close enough to touch space and even if I could a) I don’t want to be sweating all over my laptop and b) I want to train on the bike not be having to interact with the computer.
I had absolutely no idea what was going on on the right hand side of the screen. The little profile. The map pointers in orange and green. Who am I? Which direction is it going in? I realise the list of people is relative to me but is this a leaderboard or what? This list seemed to clear and rebuild a couple of times in the first few minutes.
Then the app hung and lost about a 10 minute ride.
I restarted again.
The overall environment is so dark. Why when it’s a virtual world wouldn’t it be always sunny? Is it based to run ‘real time’ to a particular system clock?
I ride past people and they seem to attach themselves to wheelsuck but why? There’s no advantage is there? Everyone was riding so slowly I couldn’t tell. I couldn’t help but zoom past people even at quite low power.
Do people just drop in and out at random? How can I tell how hard they’re working compared to me. How long they’ve been riding and how hard? I feel I need to see a real time % of FTP by each rider. And, if you’re going to be competitive, you really you need to know how much TSS a rider has accumulated within the world to know how fresh or not they are - don’t you?
I don’t understand the hills. Your virtual speed slows as you maintain constant watts - that makes sense - but because there’s no feedback to how it feels for you physically - the environment wasn’t such that I could visually tell I was climbing or starting a climb. Visually it’s better and clearer when descending.
The sprint points just appeared without warning. An audible 3…2…1 count (that you could turn on/off) would be handy but better visual clues would be the first start. How can you tell how long the effort is and how much you’ve completed vs the time. All I saw was a goal time (like a TT) and my time. The goal times set are the best times from riders all time or just the year / month / week / day - what?
There’s talk of AI riders but I can’t distinguish any. Everyone seems “real”
I really disliked hitting and riding ‘through’ another rider when overtaking them. I saw some riders zigzagging across the road - how?
I can’t use this for training at the moment. It’s not a viable alternative to Trainer Road. It’s a novelty. Good for a ‘free ride’ or a recovery but it absolutely has to have a library of structured workouts that you can ride alone or with just personally invited people (who you ride with in real life).
How can I turn off the sfx to play music from my laptop?
I want to be able to talk to people. Especially if I’m able to ride (virtually) with a group of real friends. I don’t want to wear a headset but use the mic (camera) from the laptop.
I’ll probably give it a few more sessions before I completely discount it but as I say, in its current state it’s not a training I’m able to use. Especially as I expect this will eventually require a paid subscription.
Apart from the forum there doesn’t seem to be any user guide or instructions that could answer the questions I have. Is there?
Would be great to get some feedback after taking the trouble to write all this out.