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Spoiler Hearts of Oak: Survey Results

Discussion in 'PiratesAhoy! News' started by Pieter Boelen, Sep 23, 2013.

  • by Pieter Boelen, Sep 23, 2013 at 9:45 PM
  • Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

    Nov 11, 2004
    Maritime Research: Project Engineer (Analysis)
    Wageningen, The Netherlands
    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.​


    Overall Experience

    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.


    Specific Subjects

    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.​


Discussion in 'PiratesAhoy! News' started by Pieter Boelen, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Pieter Boelen
    The above has been submitted now to the ModDB as well, of course.
    Edit: Well, THAT was quick. Authorized already and available here: http://www.indiedb.com/games/hearts-of-oak/news/hearts-of-oak-survey-results
    Also on the IndieDB main page. :cheeky

    And while I was at it, I set up News Categories for HoO and PotC: NH. So you can now use these two links:
    To see all relevant older news posts on these subjects.
  2. Armada
    Good to hear the article is up on Mod/IndieDB so soon. And thanks for adding those news categories! :doff
  3. MatthewThePirate
    Cool, for the fantasy stuff I imagine you can please both parties by having a simple tick box perhaps? example:

    Fantasy Elements/Quests?

    Full on (All quests and fantasy encounters)
    Occasionally (Fewer Quests,Encounters/Toned down fantasy elements)
    None (No quests to do with fantasy or encounters, total realism)
  4. Pieter Boelen
    I am not a fan of toggles if we don't need to use them. But we have discussed it to death already.
    There are plenty options to make fantasy stuff avoidable when the time comes; that is not a problem.
    Actually getting to that stage, however, is a huge challenge indeed.
  5. darthjantom
    I think it all depends on what kind of pirate games you guys want to make.

    Game = Gameplay over Realism
    Simulator = Realism over Gameplay

    I guess you guys could always try to make something inbetween, just be careful not to set your goals to high.
    Best bet is to start simple and slowly work your way up.

    I have seen more than one videogame/mod project go under because the people behind them were trying to reach impossible goals, resulting a development taking years causing team members to leave the project one by one until it finally died.
    Pieter Boelen likes this.
  6. JohnV
    My preferable overall experience is none of those standalone, but the combination of both first and last one. I would like a pirate game that will have a world as realistic and authentic as possible with the addition of creative and exciting fantasy full of mysteries, that will be optional for the player to choose and not primary to realistic experience. For example, among all the accurate Caribbean islands ingame, there could be an additional island created by us that could hold a great mystery, for which some pirates would tell its story to you if you meet them in tavern. That will fill you with curiosity and interest to uncover this mystery, but at the same time you will not be forced to do it and if you don't, you will continue playing as if it doesn't exist, without this having any effect in realism. And if you do this quest, you uncover the mystery, find a unique item probably and then continue playing realistically like before. Also, this island can be difficult to reach and also will not affect realism too (for example, if invalnurable skeletons live there, they will not intervene and attack the Caribbean, but will stay at the island instead, and attack anyone that "visits" them).

    This is just an example of what I mean with "combined realism and fantasy, with realism the primary feature and fantasy secondary and optional to follow additionally".

    Sorry for the complicated way of stating my opinion, I hope you understand what I mean.:rolleyes:
  7. Pieter Boelen
    I think we've all agreed to something similar. Though personally I figure if you DO go looking into the mystery stuff,
    it would be OK for it to get out into the rest of the Caribbean. Player choice, eh? :shrug
  8. JohnV
    I definitely agree to this. The starting world could have separated realism and fantasy, but depending on your actions you could bring them interacting with each other.

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