Rolla - thoughts/comments

8 Likes

Looks pretty and the cloud / local machine options are nice to see. This is done elsewhere in the industry and good to see here. Take-up & adoption are key here, if competing against Z will be a reality for this.

It’s possible the tech side may be enough of a draw to pull in masses, but even the best pictures and tech will end up failing if they can’t get critical mass. We’ve seen the other “also-runs” struggle with the adoption already present in Z.

As ever, competition stands to benefit consumers overall, but only if they are able to legitimately challenge for users in the space.

3 Likes

It looks great but without the social features (coming soon I’m sure) I can’t see using this, at least not over Zwift. My opinion may not be completely relevant as I abandoned Zwift when I started TR.

1 Like

Meh…what is the compelling advantage of this over Zwift? What is going to make me want to use this vs. the orange Z?

Other than trying something new, I can’t see it. I don’t really care that much about the graphics because I don’t expect / need it to loook “real”. I accept that I am in a virtual world already.

I guess the option to use it on any platform is kinda appealing, but I don’t really have an issue right now using ATV or my PC with Zwift (other than the slow PC load times).

The $1M question is 9as always) can they get enough participants to switch? If there is a subtantial participant base, I’ll give it a shot.

7 Likes

For me, it looks way better than Zwift on a lot of levels. The cloud part is super interesting. I don’t have a powerful computer but I do have super fast internet. So the ability to stream high res graphics using my phone or Apple TV is a huge plus. And the graphics themselves are so much better than Zwift. And it sounds like there’s going to be a good deal of customization. I also like the full integration part that would pull in other rides. I’m definitely interested in this as Zwift doesn’t really draw me in any longer. Looking forward to trying it out in the future.

7 Likes

I’m quite interested in this. Especially the streaming aspect. I’m also a person with a slow computer but very fast internet. So hopefully that helps. Zwift is frustratingly slow for me.

I’m a very casual user of Zwift (I use RGT more often for instance) and don’t really bother with the “social” side of it much so that’s no issue.

I’m not usually fussed about graphics…I always thought Zwift looked good enough for me. But…i think this looks great. A good mix of looking like a video game but also pretty realistic.

3 Likes

I use Zwift on my Apple TV and yeah, this looks really interesting especially considering I mostly use it for something to look at while I’m working out indoors.

2 Likes

I like what I see. I don’t give a rat’s butt about the social, race, or game aspects of Z, I just want a variety of courses to ride. As they build out their repertoire, it will be more and more interesting to me.

6 Likes

I’m running a macbook air (intel based) and it doesn’t look like it supports Rolla. now that I’m not using TR I’ve been thinking more about getting an apple tv as a slightly upgrade to the visual experience. I have an ipad, but I prefer to use my ipad for other stuff while I’ve got a 32" tv as my main monitor. I might give this a try on my ipad to get a feel for this.

As someone who doesn’t really love Zwift but uses it a couple months a year when I need a change of pace: I fear that looking prettier than Zwift is not going to be enough of a selling point. Even if there’s more to see, I don’t see myself caring that much. It’ll need other kinds of interesting features to really get going. The cloud rendering thing is neat but exists as a solution to the problem they created, which is having such high-end graphics.

Maybe folks will like the ‘emptier’ feature, not having to deal with others. But I suspect there are ways to do this on other platforms too (e.g., in Zwift I think you can create a meetup where you’re the only person who shows up; this also allows you to ride courses not in current rotation).

2 Likes

For those that aren’t interested in the social aspects of Z, but do like pretty environments to ride in, Kinomap is worth a try. 1000s of km of high quality handlebar video that integrates well with smart trainers, power meters, hrm, etc.

Kinomap

1 Like

I tried to get into zwift when I was injured and just didn’t get it at all. I switched to Tacx’s prerecorded video/virtual routes and was much happier. I guess this would kind of be something in between the two, but I guess I just don’t see the appeal of having an avatar when there isn’t really a “game.”

1 Like
  • I get the benefits of 3rd person views for stuff like positioning in group rides and races in virtual apps. Outside of that, I get no point of “seeing myself” in a virtual world.

  • Anytime I am just riding in Zwift I use the 1st person view. When combined with my large screen (placed 2 feet from me) I get a feeling of being in the game more. The same is true when watching POV vids and similar apps (Rouvy, FulGaz, etc.).

1 Like

The graphics look great but that alone would not get me to switch from Zwift.

I am a regular Zwift user and I do take advantage of group rides, pace partners, the occasional race and I also make regular use of the workout/erg tool. Even on free rides I enjoy using other riders to push myself when I want to be hard. The large user base is a key feature of Zwift and Zwift does have some nice features beyond just letting you pedal in doors. So while having a virtual “road” to ride on is a necessary feature, graphics quality in and of itself a pretty minor part of my Zwift experience.

4 Likes

Looks interesting. I rarely train inside. Just want an inexpensive or free app for Sim mode control of my Kickr, to emulate riding outside.

I tried a zwift race, and since I couldn’t pick my lines or which wheel to follow, I lost all interest. Maybe I’m missing something, or maybe the controllers now allow more of that? But without the control, I just get more and more annoyed watching my avatar make poor choices!

Steering just got opened and Zwift now offer their own steering device (along with those from two other sellers). They previously had steering nearly prevented in any use other than free rides or events where organizers chose to turn it on (few did).

So now steering is on by default and you can use a smart steering block and steer with the handlebars, or use the new Zwift Play that uses buttons. The button approach is also similar to many of the smart bikes that have them on the bars. With that, placement is now literally in the hands of riders that get the devices. Makes for interesting results, and there is a large discussion about the impact in that space.

That can be frustrating, but what you see on screen isn’t necessarily what the in-game physics are replicating. So it may look like you aren’t in the draft of the pain pack, but you really are. Your avatar’s position on the bike is the best indicator of this…if they are sitting up on the hoods, you are drafting. If they are down in the drops, you are in the wind.

But yes, this is an annoying feature on Zwift since most people don’t realize how it works and just go by what is on the screen.

3 Likes

A quick look at their website seems to suggest that they are using a Unity engine, which could make development of new roads, features etc a lot quicker than Zwift with their in-house engine ?

I hope this is just the start of a journey for Rolla and it stays around long enough to mature. But it has tough job trying to lure users away from other platforms, but they have to start somewhere.

As a gamer i appreciate the better visuals that Rolla has to offer, I’ll be checking it out at some point.

5 Likes

The two positives I can see are using an off-the-shelf game engine, and allowing a streaming mode. That takes care of two major Zwift issues (slow dev due to in-house engine, and slow dev due to running the engine locally while supporting a really wide variety of devices). But they will have to address the other challenges (apart from hitting critical mass user-wise): easy and reliable connections to a myriad of sensors and trainers (good luck), and simple/effective UI (took Zwift years to go from horrible to passable).

3 Likes