Zwift has full-time world designers, so they need to be cranking out world content 8 hours a day. But what have they been working on?
Since I started Zwifting in March, we got France and Paris, a crash project to host the virtual Tour de France, a huge success. These worlds took maybe two months of work, with solid results, especially with Paris which I find to be remarkable. But that was over by early July. Indeed, there’s plenty of dirt-road and even paved road stubs in France, so I’d certainly expect an extended France expansion at some point. Why else would they put in all of these road stubs?
Zwift had been committed to doing the Swiss World Championship course. That was finally canceled in August, I think, so work on that world was evidently scrapped. So there must have been some lost work there.
They were also committed to the Tokyo Olympic course. The Olympics were originally scheduled in August, but were delayed a year due to COVID. So that work must have been substantially complete. Of course it’s possible they decided to enrich that world with more roads and scenery. So work may be ongoing still.
On Watopia, Repack Ridge went from beta-test to mainstream. But nothing has changed there since last year. That was done. I’d have expected maybe a more extensive single-track network following beta-test, but we’ve seen nothing yet. This is likely the longest Zwift has gone without any Watopia expansions.
An obvious candidate for Watopia expansion, besides single-track, would be a climb connecting to the top of L’Alpe du Zwift. This would require flatter roads, for example a coastal road, to connect to the base of that climb.
They are committed to doing the Belgian world championship course for next year, but world championship courses have been released in August or early September. So that won’t be for 9 more months.
Another potential model for world expansion is the Bologna time trial course. I could easily imagine a time trial course based on the time trials in one of this year’s grand tours. But the Bologna course was particularly attractive by virtue of being so short. Longer time trial courses would require more assets and other resources. Of course the Bologna course could also be expanded. In real life the road continues, descending and looping around, so that point-to-point course could be turned into a circuit, which would be good for multi-lap races.
New York is also ripe for expansion, although since it’s less popular than other worlds (absolute, not per-unit-distance), perhaps that won’t happen.
The Innsbruck worlds course excluded a key climb used by the elite men on their final lap, connecting to the “short lap” near the leg-breaker climb (in central Innsbruck). I could see this being added, but would have expected it by now given how modest an addition it would be, since that course is two years old by now. Maybe a challenge would be the view of the city from the climb.
A lot of people say “fix the GUI!” when anyone suggests new roads. But the world designers design worlds, they don’t design GUIs. The resources are there. They’re working on something. It’s just a matter of what.