I got my invite to the beta today after many months - yay!
I just road my first 45mins so here are my impressions:
Graphics/Audio: I was using an older MBP and graphics acceptable, certainly enough to get “into the moment”. Low CPU and memory so nice work there. The sound scheme is OK but the bike noise sounds like a trainer, annoying in the end.
Usage: Setup was straight forward, no real instructions and I did not find any controls in game - are there any? Stumbled on the fact if I stop peddling there is a options screen so I could re-pair devices. Need a few instructions I think.
Gameplay: I am in Australia and a few other live riders which was cool. But there is no way to interact with them. I felt like I wanted some gestures, maybe hot key phrases. I did not get the sense I was riding with or against them, the KOM/Sprints were OK with the leader board. I was not sure wen this was, in game at that time? That day? This detracted from the impact. Also it was hard to tell where they KOM/Sprints started. Maybe because the graphics were a bit choppy on my older machine. I kept missing the start.
Power/Resistance: I have a Kickr but I did not really see any resistance change, I just road around and there was no sense of climbing or defending. This needs some work as if I reply a real hill in say Kinomap its very realistic. Same for down hill, was I rolling? It all felt similar, on that note the grade indicator never showed a negative grade which was weird. In th end I was just riding is circles on the course with not a lot of difference.
Training Modes: I use Trainerroad extensively and while Zwift is novel I guess I would struggle to find reply value unless if fit into a planned workout. This is key decision for developers - is it a training aid or motivational tool? I think this will be key for the kinds of riders you hope to attract and how you develop the experience.
This is a really ambitious project, improving the resistance feedback and the ability to interact with riders would help to the realism. Some key decisions are facing developers on if to develop this for mass participation/motivation or as a indoor cycling too as part of a regular indoor regime.
Either was, good luck, I love you are trying to make this happen and breaking new ground!