After 5 months of having this survey running, we received feedback from almost 1000 people. Considering the "niche market" these types of games are generally considered to be, this is a truly impressive amount. Especially when you consider that for each person who did bother to take the survey, there must be several more who either didn't bother or didn't know about it.
From that, it can be concluded that there most definitely IS interest in an historical seafaring game done right.
The first question on the survey concerns in very broad terms the overall experience that players would prefer.
The first thing that is immediately apparent here is that all realistic options have received FAR more votes than the others. This is something that is further reinforced by the other results. It seems people really do want to see realism in their game, both historical and otherwise.
The other questions related to the game experience were more specific.
In the following graph, "blue" represents the average score people assigned to this item, while "red" represents how much people DIS-agreed with each other.
From this, it can be concluded that Historical Fiction is preferred over actual Historical Scenarios, though both score very high. Despite this, Pirate Clichés and Myth and Superstition do score very high as well, though are slightly more controversial.
However, ESPECIALLY controversial is "Relevant Fantasy Elements". On average, it does score very high, but on no other subject are the preferences SO divided. This is more obvious when looking at the individual score graph below:
Basically, while just over half the people really DO want this, just under half REALLY DON'T. And when you get to "Extreme Fantasy Elements", the results become very obvious: While there are a few people who would appreciate this, the vast majority of people has zero interest whatsoever:
As for the hardware-related issues, almost 90% of the people taking the survey report that their computer is already able to run games with similar system resources. And for the people who can not, two thirds of them would upgrade their hardware just to be able to play a proper historical seafaring game like the one we are working on.
Again, that not only shows that system resources will not be a problem, it also reinforces the point that people really DO want to see a game like this.
So the above is all very nice and everything, but what does it mean for us?
In other words: What will we DO now that we know this?
1. There IS an interest in such a game, so it is definitely worth pursuing further.
2. Realism is considered very important, so that is where we must initially focus our efforts on.
3. Pirate clichés and fantasy elements would be welcomed by many, but definitely not all. Therefore once we get around to adding these, they must be completely avoidable as well.
4. On the hardware aspects, we have decided that we will include DX11 compatibility and aim for future-proof visuals.
Of course the above is just a short summary of the results.
To see all of it, have a look at the full form here.