Multiplayer Survey Results

Many thanks to everyone that took time to fill out our digital board game multiplayer survey!

We had 559 folks reply, which was awesome to see the support from the players.

We put this poll out to help with structuring our multiplayer for the upcoming Flight expansion, and our new game Nature.  Let’s go through the results:

Real time vs Async: Pretty clear preference for real time games, which surprised me a bit, as I know there is a pretty healthy contingent of board game players that prefer asynchronous games.  This survey was heavily biased towards Evolution players, so I’m sure that influenced the results as Evolution isn’t the greatest for asynchronous play due to the feeding round.  We were considering changing our matchmaker over to Asynchronous play, but from the results and comments, it’s pretty clear this would be a mistake to do that all the time.  We’ll continue to make Async games available in private games, and will instead focus on making it easier to matchup for a real time game.

Slow Traffic: Our next question probed on preferences when network traffic is slow.  This was meant to compare a lobby to a matchmaker function, as well as how long to wait for specific expansion preferences.  The top option here was to make sure players can play singleplayer while they wait.  Again, this may be influenced by the ability to do this in Evolution.  The second place option though was to switch the matchmaker over to Async.  The third place option was similar, combining real time and async.  This is high enough that were definitely going to explore how this could work and if it’s practical to actively switch the matchmaker back and forth between real time and async.

Multiplayer Hurdles:  This question was specific to what’s holding folks back from playing multiplayer in Evolution.  Not surprisingly, the number one issue was folks didn’t feel skilled enough.  We had hoped to address this with by using the campaign to develop folks and help them feel comfortable, but it looks like it’s still not enough.  The next issue was slow traffic.  This is a tough one.  This adds some additional incentive to invest in paid acquisition with the launch of Flight to ensure the player base stays healthy for quick matches.

Player Counts- This answer was a bit surprising.  Taking the two player options together, they barely edged out the four player option at 36%.   The next choice here was for four player games, 35% which seems to conflict a bit with the previous question subsequent question that shows quick matchmaking is a top priority.  This was followed by three person games.  This looks like it may be worth experimenting with an option for 2 player games when the matchmaking activity is a little slower.

Lobby or Matchmaker- Pretty clear response here for a matchmaking system.  It was surprising how strong the preference was for quick matchmaking, this seems to conflict a bit with the player count data.  From observation of our analytics, however, it’s pretty clear that quick matchmaking time is highly correlated to folks coming back to multiplayer.  This gives pretty strong evidence towards using a “first available” type system to match folks up on expansions, in which they may not necessarily get their first choice.

Device Type – Pretty balanced representation of each of our major platforms here, except for the Nintendo Switch which had a pretty miniscule showing.   iOS came out on top with the combined iPhone/iPad result, followed closely by Android devices, then PC & Mac.  Each of those was fairly well balanced.  I wish in retrospect that I had listed each of the consoles here as options rather than write-ins, but not sure it would change the results here much.

General Feedback – The details here were great and had some good advice, which is a bit too diverse to summarize.  A lot of positive remarks from the community for Evolution which is the fuel that sustains us as developers.  Thanks for taking the time to take our survey all!  If you want to dive further into the data, here is a link to the online survey results:

evolution on steam

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