Well it was my first time this morning and Santa certainly knows how to keep me happy. (No pun intended).
The wife ensured the Ant+ dongle was delivered in my Christmas stocking so there was time for a quick ride to test the new invite.
Im not sure how the servers are geared up , but the AI riders just make me want to ride fast. The initial impression was very good, certainly quite polished for a Beta.
The test route is good as it provides an undulating circuit , I am guessing the fact that it was dark is because this is hooked up to US Time rather than the local riders time.
Graphics were surprisingly good for a Beta and I didn’t notice any bugs on the first run in the game itself. The game crashed and restarted before I could start the first time but ran smoothly on the second attempt. I will look for a debug file if that’s required to send in.
Suggestions (Probably on your development list already but here goes)
1 ** Mapping Suggestions **
1.1. Obvious one would be famous stages in Tour, Giro , Vuelta etc
1.2. Mapping Kit to allow third party route mapping, a lot of FPS have grown exponentially when outside maps are added, downside is that quality control can become an issue. But maybe a route like Apple took and have a submission route for external mappers to submit maps.
1.3. It would be great to link this to Google maps for a route, obviously the scenery would be a challenge but maybe just link the route with elevation and direction and have a rolling scene as an automatic add on so you can create a route.
2 ** UI Suggestions **
2.1 How do you get to the setup screen from the main UI ? It would be nice if the UI launched and prompted for any rider changes before going in to the setup screen for the Ant+ devices
2.2 Team option to setup a route/map in the future that allows groups/clubs to easily join.
2.3 TeamSpeak/Ventrillo style voice option, not sure how you would control this mind you as the background noise from Turbo could be excessive but being able to talk with other riders adds a community option. Obvious negatives are the same as some FPS games, so maybe keep outside of zwift
2.4 It wasn’t obvious other than power and speed but is there someway to see the drafting effect in the UI , maybe a bar graph that shows the extent of aero advantage as you get in that 1m gap it keeps asking me to close.
2.5 Friends tab where you can see riders you have marked and want to ride with with waiting in a lobby style area or showing where they are. I am guessing as this develops and you get a large community there will be multiple maps running with 000’s of people so finding your friends becomes more important.
3 ** Application **
3.1 Version control, Im not sure how you control versions, I am guessing it downloads upon detecting a new version at launch.
3.2 Crash dump option to send debug information, I don’t know but it might be doing this in the background. You may find the volume of PC crashes makes this worthless unless specific errors are looked for, but many crashes could be down to hardware, software compatibility etc.
All I can say in summary is wow, really enjoyable app that will certainly go somewhere and certainly better than anything else out there.
Merry Christmas and thanks to the development team!