Zwiftcast Eric Interview

Great podcast and definately worth a listen. I really think private events and leagues is going to be a real game changer for the community and I for one are looking forward to it. Nice to hear Eric owning up to the fact they missed the window for the start of the season and most likely will implement as the season closes (I’m guessing March?) along with the new UI maybe?

Fair play to Simon for not holding back and putting Eric on the spot, this interview felt like Zwift had grown up a bit and starting to take control a bit more and becoming more responsible for what they have created.

Oh and ghosting sandbaggers in races is genius!

Im guessing steering hardware is the first Zwift physical product which could be interesting.

As Simon said at the end these discussions could be more frequent, or at least some sort of road map with updates so as not to loose the chat.

Anyway, have a listen and would be interested to hear everyone’s takeaways.

Spotify link:

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It’s one solution, but I think a stopgap one. Besides, by the time a rider is ghosted, the damage may already have been done.

Anyway, here’s the topic list with timestamps that Simon posted:

00:00 Hello and a word on transparency
01:45 Zwift’s new London office
02.45 What’s made Eric happy in the last year?

GENERAL ISSUES

04.30 Pace of development for Zwift
05.40 Peak Zwift and growth
07:15 Fun is Fast marketing campaign
09:40 Is eSports a massive, risky bet?
15.20 More on pace of development, specifically Game Development
19:50 Zwift’s new Hardware division

COMMUNITY ISSUES

27:15 Trainer Difficulty confusion
29.30 Juniors’ Racing
32:00 Race Categorisation/Sandbagging
38:30 Is eSport in danger of diminishing general user experience?
43:00 Family Pricing Plan
45:30 Zwifting for people with disabilities or different abilities?
47:20 Is Zwift listening to the community?

FEATURES

51:15 Steering
52:45 FutureWorks
54:00 Ghost Rider/PB Bot
56:25 World Switching Expansion
57:15 Workout Mode
60:15 Allow Saving Without Exiting Game
62:15 Hang out after end of ride
63:35 Velodrome
64:55 Can remote racing ever be credible?
68:15 What’s the next new map?

COMPANY

69.30 When will Zwift be profitable?
70:25 Future of running
73.05 Effects of lack of direct competition for Zwift
75:45 Marks out of ten for Zwift’s potential
77:55 Zwift’s carbon footprint

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So Steering hardware. What will the interface be like, USB? Or another wireless connection, Bluetooth?

Eric Min said trainers may even go back to being wired, very wise man that Eric Min!

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Steering means zwift can sell steering hardware.
velodrome not even being worked on
Previous ride bot not on the current list of work priorities
Eric believes this is only what “the vocal 2% want”
When did Zwift ever ask the other 98%???
Sure, I’ll be glad to ride Tokyo and Switzerland this year.
but right now, I feel …argh!

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I think this coupled with private events will help massively. It might make zwiftpower more valuable unless zwift themselves do it but if you know a rider is ghosted a lot you won’t invite them to your race.

I’m just looking fwd to the day I can create a league for 10-20 riders of similar ability to myself and invite them to a series of private events. If any of them turn out to be sandbaggers then I won’t invite them again.

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This is an interesting question. I don’t think it’s given that Zwift will tell anyone but the affected rider that they’ve been ghosted. Maybe, after all everyone sees when someone’s coned I think. I guess ZwiftPower might even if the game itself doesn’t.

If Eric thinks only 2% of users want the ability to not have to exit the game and reopen the game he is deluded! It’s the most requested feature. I love zwift but zwift develop what they want…not what we want. today’s update is proof of that. it’s a nice update…but was anyone screaming for a Richmond update!!! More pressing updates could have had this development time spent on it. He seemed to say they work on things on a priority basis…can’t believe Richmond was a priority nice as it is.

This isn’t necessarily the case. The people who “build maps” are more likely modellers and graphical artists, and not the people who’re responsible for programming game systems.

I’ve created maps for games in the past, and it’s a case of assembling assets, clicking menu options to create triggers and the like - all of which can be done within a map editor that’s completely dissociated from the game engine that will actually run the map. And certainly without getting into source code.

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Totally get that and appreciate their hannds are tied by amount of developer time available.but even thinikng about modellers, would people prefer an updated Richmond or new roads in Watopia. I know what people are asking for most.

Yeah, I appreciate that. But Richmond hasn’t got any new roads, so I dare say it was still more straight forward than creating new stuff from scratch.

Besides, who’s to know if they aren’t also developing new roads as well? It’s only 6 months or so since the last Watopia expansion (Titans Grove). That came only a few months after Fuego Flats, so maybe were were a bit spoilt. In the past we’ve sometimes waited a full year before getting more roads there (between Alpe du Zwift and Fuego Flats, although we did get Innsbruck and New York in between).

We’ve had Yorkshire and Crit City since the last Watopia update too, so we’re hardly being starved of new roads.

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Yes. Agree.
Interesting question from the podcast moderator regarding “Why Zwift is terrified in upsetting users?” - this is not clear, especially when spoken about races - totally another part of the game. No shame here to have good and very practical racing protocols in place.
With all this, very interesting comment regarding the long-term plans of in-game rating integration.

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Yes, didn’t say we were being starved of new roads but in the Min interview he called out specifically the difficulty in organising limited resources. If resources are limited then resources should be directed to the most deserving deliverables. Any effort directed b elsewhere must be impacting other things if resources are limited. Again he talked specifically about not being able to do things as they are not priorities. So I’m not disagreeing with anything you say, just looking at Eric’s point of view. With limited resources they are working on things on a priorrty basis (his words not mine) my point is I don’t think Richmond update is on the majority of users priority list.

Aww, come on, the old thing deserved some TLC. It’s been the ugly child for more than 4 years. :smiley:

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Eric also mentioned on boarding new members to the team, maybe the new team members was trained on Richmond. Richmond was already functional, so it will be a good starting point for new team members to hone their skills with the new software.

That is how we do stuff in my office, we have a few projects that work but need some love, so we start new team members or interns on them.

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Here is what I heard from that interview:

We are trying to hire developers but it’s hard to compete with the other companies in the area…AND we continue to operate in one of the most expensive areas of the country…AND we’re focused on ESports, ESports, ESports…

I get it. You’re trying to expand your company and brand. That is fantastic and I’m behind you on that. But I KNOW there are so many little things mentioned in this forum that could be easily corrected with minor code changes, better calculations, and SIMPLY more attention to detail.

Other than a new UI coming out “soon” and maybe some ghosting of sandbaggers, he did not sound as though they are focused too hard right now on the problems brought forward in this forum.

But I digress…

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Zwiftpower does a fantastic job of trying to bring fair racing on Zwift by putting those people who sign up into a category based on how they do in their first 3 races. The downside is that DQ’s etc are done after the event, which means for whatever reason racers were dq’d they had an effect on the race.
The biggest problem with racing is those that race in the wrong category, the watt watchers are too busy racing and watching their watts to try and stay in category limits and the dopers, they are probably in events but are difficult to uncover.
Surely if everyone can be categorized within their first few races then automatically put into their correct category when they sign up for a race, that would be a massive step in the right direction on providing a fairer racing experience and if done by Zwift prior to the start of the event, no impact to the racing by the riders who drop categories…
Eric Minn talks about a “trigger” to ghost those who are obviously going way to quick for the category they signed up in, end result they get ghosted and are not in the results BUT next time they ride a bit slower and again slower trying to find the “trigger” boundaries. Then subsequent races they know what the limits are and are riding well within their limits, unlike those people riding in the correct category and end up completely spent at the end of the event.
I think we will end up back at square one still discussing ideas on how to clean up the racing and having Zwift continue to ignore them.

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This may be true, but they won’t be able to win races that way or at-least not all of them.But a heavy rider will go a lot faster at 3.19w/kg on a flat road so the sandbaggers wont be able to hold on and stay under the limit, so they will have to choose ride under the limit or “win”. Once they stop winning the motivation to sandbag will hopefully disappear. So they will have so many things to watch that it might urge them to race in the correct cat.

But Eric also said that a ranking system is the long term solution.

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To be fair it looks great. I always liked racing on Richmond and now it looks fab .

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Richmond does look amazing, I’m almost judging whether Watopia needs some love now! Reverse also brings a whole new dimension.

As fir the racing, whilst I think ghosting is a good idea, if we can create our own events and invite who we want, that will solve the issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zwiftpower is Used to classify riders to help with selection.

My question though is whether it will be as simple as anyone creating an event and inviting people to it or will only certain people be allowed to create events. We wont know the detail until we see it I guess.

Didn’t notice any differences on the flat course except bricks on the road which i don’t like as it bothers my eyes. :neutral_face: