I’m liking Zwift, that it’s realistic and I have the opportunity to ride with folks at all hours in all kinds of weather. It really helps alleviate the boredom of sitting and spinning in the house. I find myself riding the course even though I know that it’s not real. I’m standing on climbs, sitting after little hills, trying to lean my silly bike when I’m in the city on the cobbles…
Obviously, I think Zwift is great but I think it could be even better with different game modes. I understand that a lot of the current users want the most realistic cycling experience and would have it no other way, but I’d like to offer the theory that having a more-than-realistic experience could be great also.
I’d envision that all these options would still apply to your profile mileage, average watts, Ride-ons, etc.
- A LONG course. Longer than the 5 miles we have now. I’m thinking 50-100 miles of riding. Maybe find epic sections of the Tour or road sections people love to ride but are dangerous or ill-advised (Route 1 in Cali?). I have trouble after a few laps of keeping my interest between the KOM sections.
- Mountain biking. Mountain riding is punchier and has a different effort profile. A dirt or trail course could be really fun. Gravel grinding up Pike’s Peak or riding the epic Mt. Tam would be something I’d love to be able to do without shelling out the bucks for a plane ride (and risking my life on the peak).
- A Mario-kart type experience: as you’re spinning around Wattopia you get a popup on your screen (or phone) that says “A Zwift-Cart race is beginning in 10 seconds, would you like to join? Afterwards, we’ll drop you right back off here so you can continue your lap”. Choosing yes would change your display – no more KOM on the left – only a big list of power-ups. The course is a new world place, with jumps and fantastic topography. Once you’re done, Zwift can either drop you back where you started or can calculate your average speed/power and drop you back in Wattopia where it calculated you would have been had you stayed in Wattopia.
- Car racing – Need for Speed style. Similar game start/finish as above. Same rules, different graphics and tracks to fit with a vehicle race.
- Casual games like Flappy bird could be converted to a speed/power based input. Instead of holding your finger to make the bird flap, you could lay down the hammer. Need him to drop down? Just grab the brakes. Depending on how it was implemented, this could go a long way towards sprint training.
These are just a few off the top of my head. I’m sure there are others. Maybe a FPS and sustained wattage is the only way your gun would reload?