Hi! One of the great things about Zwift is its approach to making training and fitness fun.
My suggestion on this front is to develop a system for instanced mini-games or events. This could work a bit like queuing for Battlegrounds in WoW, or a Quick Play game in Overwatch.
For example, let’s say I’m riding in Zwift and I decide to queue for a “Category C Devil take the Hindmost”. While waiting I continue to ride, clocking up my miles. As soon as there are 7 other riders looking for a cat C Devil, we get a notification and option to join the game.
Upon selecting “Let’s Go!” I get transported to an instanced velodrome. After 30 seconds or once everyone is there, we’re released and race around the track. Last person over the line on each lap gets eliminated. Winner gets an XP bonus and maybe credit towards an achievement (“Win 20 Devils”, “Win 50 mini-games” etc.) Maybe a smaller XP bonus for 2nd and 3rd place.
This could work with other types of short-course events. Mini-Keirin for example, or a “points race” with up to say 30 riders.
Of course, I understand the mechanics of Zwift mean it wouldn’t completely emulate a velodrome’s banked track, but I think these could be a lot of fun.
The “queue for mini-game” system could easily be extended to non-track types of games too. Maybe a “Power to the max!” game where 10 people compete on a warmup-turbo to generate the highest peak or average power within a 10 second window.
Possibilities are limitless once the basic mechanism is in place!