As a company, we occasionally like to gather feedback from our fans and friends. This year to glean feedback we sent out a trio of surveys. The first two, the 2021 Fan Survey and Saga Machine Survey, were sent out to the general public. They asked questions about our publication plans and flagship roleplaying system, respectively. The third survey was sent out exclusively to our Patreon backers and largely mirrored the general fan survey.
These three surveys garnered some useful feedback, which we intend to use when planning our future releases at our semi-annual business meeting next month. While the numbers weren't quite what we aimed for - we could have really used a few more fans filling out the surveys - they nevertheless provide important guidance.
For some of the questions we asked our fans had a clear preference. For example, the vast majority of respondents either prefer our trade sized books or have no preference over more traditional letter-sized RPG books. Additionally, most respondents were generally in favor of us experimenting with a "quick-starter" model for publishing adventure supplements, generally in favor of publishing more One-Sheet Scenarios and had no clear preference between whether we publish adventures or other kinds of supplements.
For other questions, fan responses were more fragmented.
When it comes to game line preferences, as expected, both Age of Ambition and Shadows Over Sol were neck and neck for the top pick. This mirrors our sales numbers. In the survey, however, Shadows Over Sol narrowly edged out Age of Ambition, whereas in sales it's the other way around. This suggests that Shadows Over Sol fans are a bit more engaged than fans of Age of Ambition.
Dime Adventures trailed a ways behind the two frontrunners, and Against the Dark Yogi brought up the rear. This is interesting because Against the Dark Yogi has historically been our second best seller, whereas Dime Adventures has generally been the game line that sells the least. Our best guess regarding this data is that Against the Dark Yogi, as a game line, has perhaps run its course. Meanwhile, Dime Adventures fans may be comparatively few, but they're very engaged.
Finally, fans were split over how they prefer to stay in touch, but Facebook, Reddit and the Tab Blog were the most popular. As a consequence, we recently created a subreddit for discussing our games. Go and join it!
Our Saga Machine survey asked more specific questions about game mechanics. Unfortunately, the number of responses was low enough that I'm not sure how much the feedback can be generalized.
One aspect of the data that jumped out at us, however, is that few respondents were familiar with all of our game lines, and that fans tended to prefer the version of each mechanic that they were most familiar with. For example, those most familiar with Shadows Over Sol preferred its skill system, whereas those most familiar with Age of Ambition preferred its skills. The same can be said for consequence mechanic preferences, round structure preferences and damage tracking preferences.
Part of this may be explained away by the human tendency to prefer familiarity. But it also has us concerned that the player base may be truly fractured in their preferences. If so, this would put us in an unfortunate situation going forward, where in future game lines or editions, we would have to pick half our fans' preferences over the other. We will need to glean more feedback on this in the future.
Last but not least, we want to give a big Thank You to everyone who filled out a survey. Your feedback is critical to shaping our products going forward.