Trade Offs in Designing Peloton Lanebreak

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This week, Peloton released its fitness game Lanebreak to users, and one thing that I noticed quickly was the resistance levels for each ride were higher than a normal, instructor-led ride. This was especially evident in the warm up rides which go up to 61, 65, 71, and 75 resistance for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert levels, respectively. Considering most instructor-led warm up rides max out around 40 resistance, this was a surprising increase.

In playing the game, though, I think they made the resistance so high due to a technical limit they were building around. During the game, you switch lanes by changing your resistance. Lanes are defined by a minimum and maximum resistance. Part of the game play is changing lanes, and you must be in an active lane to earn points. However, when you turn your resistance knob, the change isn’t immediately reflected on screen. There seems to be a delay of a second or so. Because of the delay, I think users would naturally keep adjusting the resistance to make their on-screen player move. If the lanes are too narrow in terms of resistance ranges, a user would be likely to overcompensate and end up in the wrong lane, causing frustration.

Each difficulty level has the same spread for resistance: 41 resistance points. It seems that they wanted to keep each lane a consistent number of resistance points, and the number of lanes increased the maximum resistance.

If I were to improve this with the current hardware limitation, I would change warm up and cool down rides to have less lanes (3 instead of 5) to reduce the ride’s total resistance range. I would do more testing to find a better resistance range for each lane during warm up and cool down, possibly by decreasing the complexity since warm up and cool down rides are supposed to be less difficulty for the ride itself. Perhaps with less lane changes or less drastic lane changes, it would be easier to shrink each lane’s resistance range.

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