Would it be detrimental to have a survey?

No, I won’t be surveying you.

Though, a question just popped in my head; how game-breaking would it be to have a survey before playing the game? Like, perhaps I wanted to ask the player what their desired profession in real life is and impliment a change in the story that way, instead of trying to weasel the question in the content as I’m writing it?

Would that be too illusion-breaking… Or, because the story hadn’t begun yet, it’s just another list of personalization pre-gameplay?

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I think it’s basic marketing. You reach out to your target audience, study their needs and desires and tailor your product to suit those needs - put it through a market test, fix any problems, etc…

Release a finished product that the the target market approves of.

Generally, This only makes sense if your target market is substantially larger than your survey. Which it probably is if you plan on releasing through the Choice of Games or Hosted Games labels.

I don’t think such things would ruin the narrative magic of the game, (unless you do it in-game, in which case it’s working outside the bounds of the narrative world and is a little strange).

I don’t think it’ll be too disturbing, unless the survey would be very long and unskippable, in which case it might create frustration.

Wait, is this within your game or on another platform such as the forum?

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To be fair, only a handful of games on here manage to successfully “weasel” those questions without being expository. The far majority of cases simply ask the questions in less blunt approaches:

Eg. Instead of "What gender are you? " they’ll put in something along the lines of " You look into the mirror to see a "

If you don’t want to put in the extra work to come up with something quirky to fill the setup with then it wouldn’t detract too much as long as the rest of the game is good


I don’t think I’d want a survey in the start of the game, so I would hope it would be skip-able. But I guess it depends on how many questions you plan to include. Maybe include the option of pre-set answers in there if you are trying to integrate it into the story.

If your survey turns into a long list of questions, I would hope that you would cloak it in story like kyros mentioned above. Otherwise, it might come off as tedious. Or maybe that’s just me. I hear the word “survey” and I just groan. :slightly_smiling_face:

To stay with this example, how do you extrapolate from my answer about myself how I’d want to shape the MC of the upcoming story to shape out? Just cause I always wanted to be a palaeontologist doesn’t have any bearing on a guy who lives a completely different life. People don’t necessarily project themselves into the story, you know? Personally I prefer the tried and true approach of digesting bits about the game world piece by piece as I make decisions pertaining to them.


You’ve all been wonderfully helpful!

To clarify, I mean a small survey in the game. Maybe like… 5 Questions right before you hit the start button?

Instead of survey, why don’t have a scene where you ask the player something like, “After you get dressed, you reach for that one item so important to you that you can’t live without it.” and proceed to a list of items that resemble the job?

Feels more natural :deciduous_tree:

Isn’t the intermediate level chargen in Zombie Exodus set up like that? An in-character survey I mean.

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i know i dont have any credential to evaluate but i must admit your post is such an eye-opening content

This may not be intuitive but having more then a couple (3+) of choice-bodies in a row tends to test very poor in beta feedback sessions that I’ve seen.

There is an additional mechanism involving multiple choices linked together to form a multipart choice body but I don’t think it would work for your needs.

No but you might be thinking about the dating site’s survey - that was set up in questionnaire form.

I personally wouldn’t find it illusion-breaking so much as uninteresting - with a survey, you have to wait a while for the story to begin, whereas integrating them into the story itself lets the reader jump right into the action.

I don’t think it’d be a deal-breaker either way, seeing as you’d be keeping the survey short, but incorporating the questions into the story would still be preferable unless you have a good reason to include a survey instead!

From what I recall, there was a scene in the beginning of Empyrean in which you had to ‘fill the papers’ that kinda takes this approach, but it’s done in a smooth way, one that fits nicely in the scene and the story. Maybe something between that scene and the Vault tec rep’s survey @Fallout could be actually nice, and fit your idea, while avoiding going ‘meta’. :stuck_out_tongue:

To be fair, considering that metafiction is all the rage these days, if he puts in something like
"I couldn’t be bothered to integrate this in the story so answer these questions and make my life easier"

I’m sure it’d make for quite the unique experience, unless the tone of the story is a serious one. In which case, having something quirky like that might undermine the story

I like questions! Of course there can be too many. I think 5 questions is enough.