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DF Chris Remo

The Great Double Fine Adventure Gamer Survey

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Hey folks,

One thing it seems like a lot of backers are interested in is some kind of comprehensive survey that collects demographics and gaming-related information from our sample size of backers, to try and learn some interesting things about the adventure game playing community, or at least Double Fine's adventure gaming community.

We think that's a cool idea as well, so we're going to investigate doing exactly that. But before we actually make any hard decisions, we wanted to get the community's feedback on what kind of data you'd be interested in. Of course there are basic demographic data like age, gender, and geographic location, but what about more topical questions? These could be things like, "At what age did you start playing adventure games?" "Do you still regularly play adventure games?" "Do you play games in other genres?"

Also, please note that if we end up launching this survey, it would be strictly opt-in. It would be conducted through an external service like SurveyMonkey, and would be totally distinct to the main backer surveys used to collect shipping information. We promise we won't keep any personally identifiable information--the surveys would be anonymous.

We can't use Kickstarter's polling because they forbid demographic collection, and we can't use the forum polls because they just aren't up to the task. But if you do have any privacy concerns, let us know. But we can brainstorm here! So go at it.

Chris

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I don't have any special ideas for questions right now but what I really would see is a good detailed analysis of the data. In fact preferably I'd like to see is interactive results to so that you can choose the variables to compare several ways - for example I'd like to see how favourite adventure game changes with age of respondent, or other little things like that. Might be a little ambitious, though. I just like data!

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Mmmm, delicious data.

An analysis of the data would be nice, if any interesting correlations can be found.

Some topical questions could be things like "What gaming platforms do you regularly play games on?" "What gaming platform do you prefer to play games on?" "At what age did you start playing video games (in general)?" (to compare with what age people starting playing adventure games at. I'm probably not the only person that is a relative latecomer to the genre).

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I think I'd most like to know what line of work people are in and what their interests are. Most adventure game fans I know are into creative stuff and I'm wondering if that's a real trend.

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I would be interested in finding out the following stastics:

1. Do you prefer console, phone, or PC games & why.

2. What game genre are you most tired of playing

3. Favorite game genre

4. Top 5 all time favorite games

5. Top 5 recently (within 2 years) favorite game

6. What game genre do you feel needs some innovation the most.

7. What was your happiest moment when playing a video game?

8. Does your significant other play a game?

9. What tipped the scale and made you buy into the DF Adventure?

Particularly with #4, I wonder how many all-time favorite games people have that have been released in the last 5 years of gaming history. If we really haven't had many memorable favorites in that time frame, what does that tell us about the industry and the products they've released in recent years? Or perhaps it reflects on the age of the community? only the results will tell!

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I would like to see most of the information in the geographical context. I suppose we could try to characterise the devotion to adventure games and geekiness in general.

Apart from basic demographic data (A/S/L) I propose things like:

- general occupation (grouped in some categories), maybe education level,

- time spent in front of a computer per day,

- number of gaming hours per week,

- top 3 adventure games,

- adventure game initiation age,

- what beard do you have (type, colour, length),

- on scale from 1 to 10 what is your opinion on lumberjacks.

I would also like to see how much people pledged, which we could obviously relate to the country area and GDP, but it is kind of a sensitive thing so I'm not sure if that's a good idea.

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Ha, survey!

You are trying to get it easy. We'll also will give you distances and ask you to complete a map.

Let's see now, I'm 1556 miles from Krzysztof.

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I'm mostly interested to know what level of challenge backers are looking for in their dream scenario for this project.

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I do market research for a living, so if you want to sling me a copy of the questionnaire for proofing once it's ready, fire away :-).

Here's a few questions that I'd love to ask a gamer audience, given the opportunity:

- To you, what's the ideal...

-- Length of a typical (single-player) game, in hours?

-- Length of a typical gaming session (i.e., time spent playing a game in one sitting), in minutes?

- Do you prefer games that provide a strong challenge, or games that allow for easier / steadier progression?

- Let's say you've been stuck on a challenge (puzzle, fight, etc.) in a game for the last hour. Would you prefer...

-- An in-game hint or tutorial system to help you figure things out

-- Hints from an external source (strategy guides, GameFAQs, etc.)

-- A 'do-it-for-me' option (similar to the Super Guide in some Nintendo titles)

-- None of the above; I want to solve it myself

- Which visual styles do you prefer in a game? (visual examples here would be best)

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- To you, what's the ideal...

-- Length of a typical (single-player) game, in hours?

-- Length of a typical gaming session (i.e., time spent playing a game in one sitting), in minutes?

Those would, to me, be impossible to answer.

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As a completionist (100%er, achievement junkie, etc), I'm constantly surprised by statistics on how infrequently people actually finish the games they start playing.

Some question along those lines: "What percentage of games you've played were eventually played to completion?"

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Useful, quantifiable, graphable stuff.

1. Age

2. Sex

3. How many adventure games would you estimate you have played before? (Whether or not you played them for "long enough" is up to your own discretion.)

4. How many DF games have you played before?

5. How many different game platforms do you currently own?

6. How many games, for any/all systems, do you currently own? (estimate if necessary)

7. How many hours a week do you estimate you spend playing games?

8. How many DF games do you own?

9. Have you purchased any games from DF in the past six/twelve months outside of backing the DFA?

10. Have you ever purchased any non-game merch from DF?

11. If you were going to purchase any non-game merch from DF related to your favorite DF games, what kind of merch would you be the most interested in. Check all that apply.

12. What platforms do you expect that you will play the DFA on?

13. So kickstarter became a bit of a thing, huh? As of this moment, which answer most closely represents your feelings about kickstarter projects?

a) I'm still excited for all these new games and the opportunity to support them.

b) I'm sick of hearing about kickstarter already

c) no opinion

14. As of right now, if the DFA is to your liking, would you ever consider supporting another DF kickstarter project if they decided to do one?

a) yes

b) no

c) it depends

14.

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How about things like...

Are you primarily interested in single player or multi player games?

a ) mostly single

b ) fairly equal

c ) mostly multi

You are usually primarily drawn to a game for its: (check all that apply)

a ) story\characters

b ) gameplay mechanics

c ) art direction \ graphics

Feeling towards threat of failure and time pressure in games?

a ) motivated, enhances the experience

b ) generally indifferent, depends on the game

c ) frustrated, ruins enjoyment of other aspects of the game

Feeling towards violence in games?

a ) enjoy it frequently

b ) neutral \ indifferent \ accepting but not enthusiastic

c ) dislike

Preferred kind of multi player activity?

a ) competition with other players

b ) cooperation with other players in a competitive or hostile environment

c ) cooperation with other players in non-competitive but goal oriented gameplay (eg portal 2)

d ) creativity (eg minecraft)

You are playing a large, non-linear RPG. What primarily keeps you playing?

a ) story

b ) exploration

c ) combat

d ) character progression and customization

General preferences towards linearity in games?

a ) I like it on rails (interactive movie)

b ) I like having room for exploration and some choice within a linear story

c ) I want influence over events, branching storylines

d ) Give me as much freedom as possible - open world, emergent behavior

Are there enough developers making your preferred kinds of game?

a ) they are abundant

b ) they are a minority

c ) they are virtually non-existent

Preference towards which graphical style?

a ) hand-drawn 2D

b ) stylized 3D

c ) realistic 3D

Usual level of research before buying a game?

a ) screenshots and\or box art

b ) above and trailer

c ) above and gameplay videos

d ) above and reviews

e ) above and lots of reviews \ metacritic

These are some ideas of the sort of data that interests me. They can all be better worded and thought out no doubt. We should dig into the dark recesses of our gamer minds and see what surprising things we might learn.

Edit: oh, and a question for Myers-Briggs \ MBTI personality type would be very interesting (just include a don't know\care to find out option)

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Ooh, I do like surveys! Adventure game surveys, anyway.

"What's the most enjoyable aspect/s of playing an adventure game?"

"What's the least enjoyable aspect/s of playing an adventure game?"

"What sort of puzzles do most like: Inventory, Logic, Mechanical, Conversational, Actual Jigsaw Puzzles...(whatever type of puzzle you can think of, put here)

"What sort of puzzles do you least like? (same deal as above)

"What do you think is the number one thing that defines an adventure game?"

"Do you have a preference for either 1st or 3rd person-perspective?"

"Do you have a preference for comic or dramatic adventure games? Or a combination?"

"How much does Myst suck? Like, seriously..."

" Do you think Ron Gilbert's new DF game should be classified as an adventure game even though it's clearly a side-scrolling, Abe's Odyssey-like puzzle/action game?" ;)

Okay, not the last two. :P

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You should put some head-crunching Professor Layton-style puzzle in the survey and check the correct/incorrect/didn't bother ratio.

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Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?

Didn't they used to ask that before boxing matches in the US?

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Perhaps some questions on how they feel about kickstarter and their backing of DFA now?

E.g. (together with how much you pledged etc)

"Would you have pledged the same amount had DFA's kickstart launched today (perhaps with something about disregarding their current financial situation or perhaps phrase it as "with what you know today would you have...")?" - Yes, No

"If not how much would you have pledged today?" - X

"Would you support annual/regular kickstarts by the same developer to fund their new games?" (perhaps with the risk of giving some the wrong impression... but I think e.g. of Pinkerton Road's model)

"Which were the main reasons you decided to back DFA's kickstart?"

- I miss graphical adventure games! yada yada

- Schafer/double fine ... etc etc

- Death to publishers!

- etc

"etc"

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In addition to questions about favorite genre and type of games, I think it'd help to know what people's preferred platform is for future games (PSN, XBLA, Steam, PC, Mac OS, iPad, smart phone, Wii, 3DS, PS Vita, etc). Given so many platforms, maybe the way to go is to allow people to vote for 3 or 4 and rank them.

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I'm actually rather surprised no one has brought this up here, seeing as I spend most (80-90%) of my time online in a particular adventure game development forum...

"Do you now, or have you ever wanted to design or create adventure games yourself?"

I've spent the better part of the last 9 years contributing to the aforementioned community. Don't want to seem like I'm advertising, it's just a big part of who I am, and indeed how I heard about the Kickstarter project.

Could be interesting to see the results of this proposed survey. :)

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Just thought of something. Maybe it would be better waiting until DFA is released before sending the surveys. It would allow additional feedback.

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I don’t think anybody mentioned it before, but it would be cool if personal questions and more game oriented were listed separately (still on the same survey, obviously) with an option to opt out from the former and maybe a percentage at the end of how many people did.

Since though I’d like to answer and read gaming questions, I don’t really care about the age or sex of my fellow backers, nor am I inclined to share mine anonymously or not, I understand why DF wants to know (or any company really) due to marketing reasons, but it would be nice to make that separation so people like me don’t need to opt out the survey altogether (or you could simply make the survey submit-able ‘incomplete’ with only select options chosen, not sure what Surveymonkeys can let you do).

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I would like to know how many of the backers would consider themselves "creative." i.e writers, painters, sculptors, serial-killers, e.tc.

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I'm not sure what the point of the survey is, but if you're giving it to all backers, I think it's wrong to assume all of them are adventure fans, and one of the more interesting questions would be one mentioned above regarding the reasons to back the project. (For me it was mostly the video.)

As to what questions to put there, all I can say is what I'm unlikely to answer:

- Questions which require me to remember a detail from 20 years ago.

- Questions which ask me to decide on favourites.

- Questions which ask me to select certain design features I like.

In short, questions which aren't factual and reasonably recent I'm unlikely to answer.

Possible questions for an interesting survey:

- Gender

- Are you hot?

- What's your phone number?

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Possible questions for an interesting survey:

- Gender

- Are you hot?

- What's your phone number?

But if they answer that they're hot, they must also submit a picture. :D

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Have we completed the survey for the questions of the survey and ready for the actual survey or did we give this up?

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Have we completed the survey for the questions of the survey and ready for the actual survey or did we give this up?

Is your question a part of the survey?

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