CVRCade is back

To say that CVRCade so far has been massively disappointing would be a massive understatement. DC Rainmaker’s review was far nicer than anything I would have come up with. It’s been clunky, clumsy, buggy, just a mess all around. I tried out out once or twice trying to will myself to like it…but found it far too much of a hot, steaming mess. Uninstalled and hadn’t thought about it since.

A couple of days ago, I received the email announcing that CVRCade is bring the World Cup format back, and it appears a new update of what until now has been truly crap-tastic software will be available.

Once bitten, twice shy?

Maybe.

But if nothing else, for old times’ sake, I want to give CVRCade another try; I guess I owe it that much.

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I always look back at the CVR event in Vegas with a huge smile. They were way way WAY ahead of the curve back then in 2017. Travelling the world twice to represent Australia in their events was something I’ll never forget. They worked their arses off (asses I guess here?) to make the platform they used at the time do what they wanted. Three years later it really hasn’t progressed in leaps and bounds in regards to Esports - although typing this a TV ad has just popped up for the software in question…

The release of their own platform makes sense for having control. The response to their platform has been consistent.

I’m interested to see they’re offering an Xbox beta/test. If they can interface with smart trainers and power meters on that platform, it’ll be a game changer for the industry. I’m sure others will take note.

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Any new screenshots of what it looks like?

I agree that what CVR was doing on Zwift was way ahead of the curve and was the right direction for “esports” on Zwift compared to the pro angle they’ve been pushing.

I was another big fan of the CVR World Cup, with Zwift as the platform. They completely lost me with the move to their own software, and kinda killed my interest in Zwift racing as a whole really since nothing else compared with the level of rankings and whatnot as part of a season structure that they put together (that I found anyway–if anyone has recommendations for something similar to look at for this fall/winter let me know!). They would need to make HUGE changes to their software for me to even bother trying it. :confused:

Just to set the stage, random quotes from my written review include:

“Oh god, I was so wrong.”
“… Second, what are we, 1998? Who the eff uses…”
“Otherwise, you basically just pedal alone.”
“Eventually I got bored enough that I decided to go off to a different platform and get in an actual workout.”

Source: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/01/cvrcade-trainer-adventure.html

Though, the video review is where the real action is.

Like @gplama says - I’m interested to see what they do on Xbox from a tech standpoint. I’m not sure it actually makes more sense than Apple TV for most consumers of this market (I don’t even have a current Xbox these days), but it may actually make sense for their specific goal of getting non-athletic people on the platform. But for people into the pedaling part of cycling, I don’t see how increases the barrier to entry will help. After all, we’re already being told we have to buy $700+ smart trainers, some adapters, some more adapters, and who knows what else to make it work. Simply adding in yet another piece of the costly puzzle without a significant reason isn’t ideal.

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This is an interesting thread!!!

I think CVRcade lost me on several levels. Firstly the physical equalisation. Secondly the ability to play on a keyboard. The visuals were awful, but that could change.

The Xbox proposition is exciting. Xbox Live has been the best platform for online gaming for best part of two decades. Now, can you imagine Zwift with all the trappings of Xbox live? That would be great!

I think CVRcade is a cycling eSport for gamers (physical equalisation/high skill games), while Zwift is a eSport for cyclists. There’s a long way to go for Zwift to get to the level of many top eSports, but I prefer the direction they are moving in as opposed to CVRcade.

Oh, to be clear - you thoroughly (and deservedly) gave CVRCade a pretty good thrashing…and it was still nicer than I would have been.

If anyone hasn’t seen DC Rainmaker’s video review of CVRCade, stop what you’re doing now and go watch it. It’s gold.

What made World Cup interesting was the format - instead of one race slot (the norm) or three race slots (some Leagues on Zwift will have one race in the US AM, US PM and Europe PM), World Cup has 10-12 races spread out across the day, so it’s considerably easier for people to race. People raced in tiers - not necessarily w/kg - which also meant a reasonably level playing field, and IIRC there was a relegation / promotion system, which i think makes a ton of sense, more than w/kg - at the end of a season, the top riders (maybe top 10%?) get promoted, bottom 10% get demoted, something like that? Lots of interesting options.

CVRCade has introduced what they call ‘Physical Equalization’, they’re calling it a ‘special feature’ but from what I can figure out it appears to be simply a (weight-driven?) handicap system, so everyone races together - which…I’m not sold on. Cat D rider theoretically beating a Cat A rider seems…silly. The Zwift system isn’t perfect by any means, but its clear, transparent, and lets me ride against people in the same w/kg class, which seems to work well enough. A black-boxed handicap system isn’t really going to fly for e-sports to get off the ground; I want to know exactly what the system is doing if I’m a 4w/kg rider losing out to a 2.5w/kg rider.

The handicap system would need to be pretty robust - how do you tell the difference versus someone ‘cheating’ and someone that’s losing weight and getting fitter at the same time? If I have a big breakout day I’d be pretty pissed if the handicap system slowed me down. And CVRCade says specifically that new riders will find it very hard to do well in races until they have a bunch of data on you.

Now, to be fair, I haven’t raced on CVRCade to get an idea of how it works. Maybe it’s implemented beautifully.

I’m also not a fan of the idea that you can ‘crash’ in-race. I mean, one of the draws of indoor training is just being able to focus on suffering. I understand trying to make indoor training more ‘realistic’ - but we’re indoors - why copy the crappy parts of outdoor riding?

I’d post a screenshot, but the software has been even more buggy than I remembered it, it isn’t even usable now, although it seems to be due to some changes related to the upcoming update.

My very initial ride with it when the software first came out, the way the avatar moved looked very amateurish, not realistic at all - that’s where I think realism is important. Makes you appreciate how natural-looking Zwift is, you don’t really notice it that much.

CVRcade is so bad looking it makes you want to get drunk and play it just to take the piss :smiley:

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I think xbox actually lowers the cost barrier to entry. If i want to run it on a PC, to get a decent one I’m looking at about £700 - $850. That’s why I use ATV which is great. But the remote is crap which makes navigating around the system very frustrating. Graphics ok but lacks functionality like drone cam. Now, XBOX is very close to the price of ATV, but graphics would be much better and control better. So, therefore much cheaper than a PC, better than ATV…so a big win for me.

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I don’t see how xbox does much for the cost barrier to entry. I’m guessing that 99% of the target population for TrainerRoad / Zwift / CVRCade etc. already have a desktop/laptop/mac or smartphone / tablet that runs one of those apps. The population that a) doesn’t have any of the above but b) has an xBox has to be awfully small.

I, like most families, have our game consoles in the living room, hooked up to the main TV. In the middle of the living room is definitely not where I’d be doing my workouts, my pain cave is in a different part of the house. I’d guess that’s probably the norm?

So I honestly don’t quite see having a cycling app hook up to xBox or PS4 etc. as a game changer.

The thing I’d be interested in would be seeing the next gen consoles (which undoubtedly will be powerful enough) run Zwift in 4K. At the moment you either have a high end PC to do that, and most people won’t. I certainly don’t.

Apple TV 4K, which is gaining popularity for Zwifting is just a 1080p machine really. No way Apple are bringing out an ATV that will run games in 4K any year soon, so a console would be a better option. I’d buy a PS4/XBOX for that alone.

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It appears the updated CVRCade software is out.

Still seems quite buggy, and the interface remains a mess. Far too many options and not near enough explanation of what things do, clunky interface with option boxes opening with menu bars over them so no way to close menu items or actually select things, etc. Just trying to figure out how to get devices paired and actually start a ride takes a bunch of poking around.

They really should have done what DC Rainmaker said: Just strip everything down to the basics, and figure out how to do that really well, and work from there.

If nothing else, it really makes me appreciate how intuitive and well-designed TrainerRoad and Zwift are (SufferFest isn’t quite as tight / polished here, IMHO).

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The hardware is only part of the attraction. I suspect you’d get an almost as good visual experience with Zwift on Xbox as you do now with only high end gaming PCs.

For me it’s all the trappings that Xbox live could bring. Can you imagine being able to set up whenever you want, lobbies for community races whenever/wherever you want? Being able to set the rules for races from your paincave and have a race full in minutes rather than having to schedule things through Zwift? You could so easily organise club runs etc. Being able to use Xbox live to voice chat to other racers instead of having to use a third party app such as discord. The possibilities are endless!!!

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I agree, not a game changer (I didn’t say that) but more a better option than ATV at a similar price. i bought ATV, because i didn’t want to pay for a new PC. But if it was on xbox, i’d probably have bought that based on how good my kids games look on it.

So over the past two days I’ve spent well over an hour - ultimately fruitless - trying to figure out how to @#U)%_{*I% ride on CVRCade. To be fair, CVRCade tried to trouble-shoot, to no avail.

I really really wanted this to work and to love it, but ffs - seriously, just wanted to log on and ride, but nada, zero, zilch. Software is still buggy, poorly designed and implemented, just a clunky, clumsy mess. They need someone to go in and strip everything down to the basics and start over, focusing on the core essentials and UI. DC Rainmaker has noted this before, but the most important thing for software is UI, UI, UI. Software doesn’t have to have the most robust functionality - certainly not all at once, you can start out minimalist and slowly add things - but bad UI will just turn people off.

Classic case of people trying to get the ‘wow, this is amazeballs’ reaction by adding in everything plus the kitchen sink without actually having any of the basics solid. It never, ever works out. The three mega-million dollar projects I’ve been involved with that the PMs tried to go that route, all failed spectacularly.

I strongly believe that the core idea behind CVRCade - a true cycling e-sports platform - can work, some of the ideas (such as integrated voice/streaming etc.) look very interesting.

But first they need to have something that actually works.

Sigh.

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Agree, i tried but could not even get it to run on my PC. It’s not the highest spec but runs Zwift fine. Was told by their support that I need a new PC! Again, like you I wanted to really like it. Some of the ideas they have are very cool but looking at how long Zwift take to develop things i think they have rushed this out.
First and foremost, people need to be able to use the system, doesn’t matter what bells and whistles it has, if you can’t do the basics, you aren’t going to use it.

I am surprised they are going for this big launch, $000’s of prize money, Microsoft on board. The way the game looks, I can’t see it ending well.

I know people are getting paid to promote/use the application. maybe they were bought new PC’s as part of the deal.

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I watched some videos of CVRCade wondering how it is and it doesn’t look as bad as from 3 years ago, I may going to try it, I have unfortunately have to get my PC for that which runs on Ubuntu and would need to figure out a way with my tech guy to see if he can help me,

https://youtu.be/f1bJ2eIZ1RE?t=967