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Oddwords

Written at 2021.05.31. / Words: 5575

The Second Fandom Survey

Circa two years ago I’ve decided to question the fans a bit about their tastes when it comes to Oddworld and 171 people dutifully responded. Based on the success of that survey, which you can read here, I promised back then to make a second survey once Soulstorm comes out. While this took far longer than I assumed it would, we finally arrived here and my second survey is bigger and better. Let’s get into it!

Table of Contents:

Methodology

Of course first I’d like to lay down the “rules,” so to speak. 262 people took part in this survey, which is frankly an amazing number, it’s nearly a hundred more than last time. The survey was shared on five platforms: OWI’s Discord, OWF’s Discord, RELIVE’s Discord, Insomniac Anvil’s YouTube and finally Reddit. This was done to both attract as many participants as possible as well as as an attempt to have people from all “sub-groups” in the fandom. As it will later be shown someone from say OWF will likely have very differing opinions than someone from OWI’s Discord.

The best thing, however, is the fact that due to how statistics work we can make fairly educated guesses about the entirety of the fandom using this data. Using a so-called “sample size calculator” one can easily find out the confidence interval of so many people when projected on the entire population. Now, this equation also requires knowing the population and as far as I know there is no clear consensus on how many Oddworld fans are there out there, so this is something I had to guess. PSNProfiles reports, that there are about 11500 PS5 owners and 250 PS4 owners who also own Soulstorm. This is about 12000 people and if we consider that the people who bought it on EGS are just as many, we get about 24000. Because I truly don’t want to underestimate things, I’ll add 6000 more people as a margin of error and thus we arrive at 30k people.

With this many people the calculator reports the confidence interval as 6.03% at 95% confidence, which basically means that 95% of the population’s answers will end up at most 6.03% off from my findings in either direction. For an example, if we asked some people about their favorite number between 1 and 50 and our result is 36, then for the whole population we could say that the favorite number of 95% of the people lies between 34 and 38 (because 36’s 6.03% is 2.16.) Similarly we can estimate for 99% of the population, however, in that case we have to work with 7.93% due to the fact that it includes a lot more people. All in all this means that we can make have a fairly good estimate of the entire fandom’s opinions, while only having less than three hundred participants.

One more thing I’d like to make clear is that I am not a statistician. Big shocker I know, but I find it important to point it out. I am doing my best to draw conclusions with good faith, but I cannot entirely guarantee that the post will be entirely rigorous.

The Answers

Now that I’ve described the background of the survey, it’s time to finally look at the questions and their answers.

Which platform did you find this survey on?

While this question appears quite late in the survey, I think it’s important to take it first to give a better insight into the answers that were given.

Platform Participants Percentage
Reddit 108 42.4%
RELIVE 54 21.2%
OWI 39 15.3%
OWF 34 13.3%
YouTube 20 7.8%

As you can see nearly half of the votes came from Reddit, RELIVE and OWF making up about a third of the participants and the rest the other little less than a third.

Which game did you play first?

The first question was about which game fans played. It is interesting to see, albeit perhaps not entirely surprising that New ‘n’ Tasty which OWI intended to be the soft/hard reboot of the series didn’t bring in nearly as much people as Abe’s Oddysee which alone is responsible for two-thirds of the fans’ first experience.

Game Count Percentage
AO 174 66.4%
AE 55 21%
MO 17 6.5%
NNT 9 3.4%
SW 4 1.5%
SS 3 1.1%

What is also interesting to see that despite the PS5 deal there doesn’t really seem to be all that many new fans as Soulstorm took the last place in this question.

Which games have you played/finished?

The results are fairly obvious in this question. If someone has finished AO and AE once, they are fairly likely to finish it multiple more times. Interestingly out of all participants nearly one third of them (32%) never even played Stranger’s Wrath. Seems like despite the fact that the game is way more accessible nowadays, still many are not interested.

The aforementioned trend in finishing the games multiple times is also found in the other games, albeit to not that much of an extent. The only exception is Soulstorm, where the ratio is basically the exact opposite. Though I personally wager this most likely comes down to the fact that the game hasn’t been out for that long and it has been fairly buggy until now.

Another thing to note is how many tried to play Munch’s Oddysee, but gave up. 78 people chose this, with 77 answering that they finished it multiple times. It seems like many people can’t really put up with Munch.

On a scale of 1-5 how would you rate the games?

Parts of these results might not be entirely surprising:

Game Average StD. Var.
Abe’s Exoddus 4.6 0.60 0.78
Abe’s Oddysee 4.2 0.66 0.74
Stranger’s Wrath 3.7 0.86 1.14
New ‘n’ Tasty 3.3 0.82 1.00
Soulstorm 3.2 1.06 1.62
Munch’s Oddysee 2.6 0.84 1.04

As expected Abe’s Exoddus blows everything out of the water. It was the fan favorite two years ago and nearly every single subsequent survey has placed it firmly on top. Of course Oddysee follows right afterwards, with a close, but a bit less overwhelming score. This is then followed by Stranger’s Wrath, which might not see as many players as the other games, but has firmly took its place on the third place of the list. The next is New ‘n’ Tasty, with its perhaps not very surprising score, fan reactions have been and continue to be mixed at best when it comes to this game. The last place of course belongs to Munch, who continues to be the black sheep of the series and always placing last.

Game AO AE MO SW NNT SS
OWF 4.52 (5) 4.84 (5) 2.67 (3) 3.88 (4) 2.73 (3) 2.85 (3)
RELIVE 4.19 (4) 4.57 (5) 2.40 (2) 3.67 (4) 3.11 (3) 2.77 (3)
Reddit 4.18 (4) 4.60 (5) 2.55 (3) 3.62 (4) 3.32 (3) 2.96 (3)
OWI 4.17 (4) 4.69 (5) 2.66 (3) 3.97 (4) 3.42 (3) 3.92 (4)
YouTube 3.78 (4) 4.18 (4) 2.88 (3) 3.67 (4) 3.95 (4) 3.87 (4)

However, what surprised me and might surprise the reader too is the fact that Soulstorm took the penultimate place in the ranking. It seems like despite the hype and being the Original Vision, Soulstorm wasn’t able to truly steal the fandom’s hearts.

You may have noticed that next to every score I’ve written “StD.” and “Var.” The former stands for “Standard Deviation,” while the latter means “Variance.” These two help us give a more clear idea about how much are people in agreement about each result. Variance defines how spread out the values are and the smaller it is, the more people have voted the same way. This means that for instance in AO’s and AE’s cases the large majority was in agreement about their score, but for instance for Soulstorm people have been much more divided.

A graph demonstrating the Standard Deviation, taken from Wikipedia.

The Standard Deviation on the other hand allows us to define ranges in which the true values lie. 68% of the answers lie within one StD. distance from the result. 95% lie within two and finally 99.7% lie within 3 Standard Deviations, which for our intentions we can basically consider 100%.

This means that people have cast their votes this way:

Percentage68%95%~100%
GameLowestHighestLowestHighestLowestHighest
AO3.30 (3)5.07 (5)2.42 (2)5.95 (5)+1.54 (2)6.84 (5)
AE3.73 (4)5.46 (5)2.87 (3)6.32 (5)+2.01 (2)7.18 (5)
MO1.56 (2)3.60 (4)0.54 (1)4.62 (5)-0.48 (1)5.64 (5)
SW2.66 (3)4.80 (5)1.59 (2)5.87 (5)+0.53 (1)6.94 (5)
NnT2.28 (2)4.29 (4)1.28 (1)5.29 (5)+0.28 (1)6.29 (5)
SS1.89 (2)4.44 (4)0.62 (1)5.72 (5)-0.66 (1)7.00 (5)

Of course some of the values are impossible (less than 1 or more than 5), but these are only the result of the calculation being so simple. I have rounded everything to correct values in parentheses. The reason why I nonetheless still included these outliers is to show just how divisive the answers were in for instance Soulstorm’s case, where the lowest score actually hit the negatives, while the highest hit 7 points.

Do you prefer the original or the new version in terms of…

Now, while some people object to comparing Abe’s Exoddus with Soulstorm, I personally think it is important to compare them as the latter is supposed to replace the former, so it should be at minimum as good, if not better for it to be a worthwhile exchange.

Platform Gameplay Music Characters Story Abe’s Design Overall Real overall
Reddit -1.065 -1.426 -0.213 -0.120 +0.185 -0.972 -0.528
OWI -0.436 -0.769 +1.026 +0.821 +1.231 +0.000 +0.374
OWF -1.029 -1.441 -0.176 -0.294 +0.000 -1.176 -0.588
RELIVE -1.296 -1.352 -0.685 -0.667 -0.463 -1.296 -0.893
YouTube -0.200 -0.600 +0.950 +0.650 +0.900 +0.400 +0.340
Weighted Avg. -0.945 -1.247 -0.027 -0.055 +0.239 -0.812 -0.475

I’d like to explain how to interpret the table above. People have been asked about whether they prefer AE or SS in six categories. Their answers could be one of the following:

To make it easier to quantify these answers, I have mapped them to values between -2 and +2 and then took the average of them, based on the platform where they found the survey. Values leaning towards negatives imply that the platform prefers Exoddus, consequently positive values imply preference towards Soulstorm. If you have JavaScript enabled, you can see this on the table represented with colors, preference towards AE is shown with green and towards Soulstorm with blue.

Finally there is one additional row and one column that was calculated using the averages themselves. The “Weighted average” took the averages of each column, but with respect to how many people took the survey from each platform (more people => stronger sway in the final average.) And finally the “Real overall” column is a row-wise average of the first five columns. I calculated this to check how self-aware the voters are about their real preferences.

Each group represents a platform. Answers pointing downwards prefer AE, while those that are upwards prefer SS.

As I have previously joked with friends, there seems to be an “Iron Curtain” between the OWI-YouTube and OWF-RELIVE-Reddit axis. What I mean by this is aside from a few outlying cases OWI’s Discord and the people asked on YouTube overwhelmingly lean towards Soulstorm, while the other platforms lean towards Abe’s Exoddus.

The same dataset, but this time grouped by category.

However, there are two categories where everyone agrees: Both in the Music and Gameplay department Exoddus clearly wins. Similarly, however, a bit less unanimously people seem to prefer Abe’s new design over his old one.

Either way as the averages show the participants prefer Abe’s Exoddus overall.

Would you rather see the Old Quintology continued or the New one?

Of course now that the series has been rebooted, the question arose whether people are more interested in seeing the old story finished or the new one. While I assume most have a pretty clear idea about what the Quintology is at this point, I’d still give a short recap just to be sure:

Basically the “Quintology” refers to the five planned main games in the series. Originally these would have featured five different characters (Abe being the first, Munch being the second, Squeek the third, etc.), however, with New ‘n’ Tasty and Soulstorm the focus has shifted to Abe only.

Platform Old New
RELIVE 69% 31%
OWF 56% 44%
Reddit 47% 53%
OWI 23% 77%
YouTube 20% 80%
Average 47% 53%

As the table shows the OWF-RELIVE axis prefers the old story, the Reddit is largely indecisive, while YouTube and OWI’s Discord predominantly wants to see the new story finished.

Do you prefer the visor Slig mask or the pilot goggles?

First things first, yes I did write “pilot googles,” silly mistake, but thankfully people understood what I meant. This is one of the questions I have asked in the last survey, so I think it’s interesting to compare the two.

Platform Visor mask Pilot goggles
RELIVE 74% 26%
Reddit 63% 37%
OWF 53% 47%
OWI 49% 51%
YouTube 30% 70%
Average 59% 41%

Considering that the previous percentages were 64-36 in favor of the Visor mask, we can more or less conclude that while the old mask is still the fan favorite, the terms are far more even now.

2019’s results.

I believe cutting farting as a mechanic was…

There might not be a more divisive topic than the humble fart. On one hand, it was a really unique and well-integrated gameplay feature, that also added a bit of body horror to Exoddus. On the other, many consider it childish and Lanning himself hates the mechanic.

With this in mind it might not be a great surprise that the votes were nearly 50-50, however, the people who considered it a bad move ultimately won by 10.6% or 28 votes.

Platform Good decision Bad decision
YouTube 65% 35%
OWI 62% 38%
OWF 50% 50%
Reddit 41% 59%
RELIVE 26% 74%
Average 44% 56%

Who drew the picture?

This question was asked in this exact way two years ago. And just like back then, now I’m gonna break a few people’s dreams. It was a trick question, there was never a person called “Abraham O’Neil” who worked at OWI. The name was made up by me. The text on the image is simply the title as Abe’s original name was “Abraham Lure.”

The real answer is of course Steven Olds, the artist who practically defined Oddworld’s creative DNA by designing nearly all of the original species seen in Oddysee.

Person Votes % Who?
“Abraham O’Neil” 104 39.7% Non-existent person.
Steven Olds 101 38.5% Artist at ’90s OWI who created most species. Created the drawing.
Lorne Lanning 28 10.7% Needs no introduction.
Farzad Varahramyan 17 6.5% Another artist, who carried Olds’ legacy, after he left after AO.
Paul O’Connor 5 1.9% The main gameplay designer of AO-MO.
Raymond Swanland 5 1.9% Environment artist, who actually worked on Soulstorm too.
Chris Ulm 2 0.8% Assistant Director/Writer between AO-MO.

Comparatively in the 2019 survey:

Person Votes %
Abraham O’Neil 106 62.0%
Lorne Lanning 32 18.7%
Steven Olds 13 7.6%
Paul O’Connor 9 5.3%
Farzad Varahramyan 8 4.7%
Raymond Swanland 3 1.8%

As the numbers here show many more people knew the right answer this time around, which I’m personally really happy about. The original artists receive such little recognition despite their gigantic contributions to the series.

Platform Steven Olds Abraham O’Neil Someone else
YouTube 50% 20% 30%
RELIVE 43% 37% 20%
OWF 41% 44% 15%
Reddit 37% 40% 23%
OWI 33% 46% 21%
Average 39% 40% 21%

Surprisingly YouTube was the platform who was least fooled by my trick question. I’m, however, a tiny bit suspicious about the result in this section as the Youtuber who showcased my survey gave away the correct answer, so I think it’s plausible to consider that the viewers on YouTube simply followed along.

Which fan-made content do you consume?

I was also interested in what sort of fan content creators people usually watch, so I included it as a question:

Creator Viewers Percent
The Oddworld FANDOM 109 48.4%
The Oddworld Library 106 47.1%
Pupbenny 106 47.1%
Magog on the March 101 44.9%
Caddicarus 100 44.4%
Oddwords 80 35.6%
Spirit of 1029 54 24.0%
Crashpunk 37 16.4%
Insomniac Anvil 31 13.8%

I don’t really have much to comment as who you follow is a very subjective thing, but personally I’m not very surprised by the results. Also, of course I greatly appreciate the 80 people who continue to follow my site. Thank you! You make it all worth it!

Which unreleased project would you see made the most?

As I’ve written about once on my site there are quite a few unreleased games in the series that the fans still want to see made. This question intended to find out which of these games the people want to see made the most.

Game/Platform % Total Reddit OWI OWF RELIVE YT
Sligstorm 33.2% 82 36 12 9 18 7
The Hand of Odd 23.7% 59 22 13 10 12 2
Squeek’s Oddysee 22.9% 57 28 9 5 11 4
Munch’s Exoddus 10.7% 26 12 1 4 5 4
The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot 9.5% 24 7 4 4 6 3

As the table makes clear most still want to see Sligstorm, the bonus game OWI planned that would have featured an albino Slig and his attempts to escape a Slig Birthing Complex. The second place is the Hand of Odd’s OWI’s canceled RTS game and the third belongs to Squeek, the Old Quintology’s third hero. Finally we have the sequel to Munch and Fangus which would have been a Stranger-like game set in an Eastern-European-like world.

What sort of merchandise would you like to see?

This question was about what sort of merchandise people would like to see. As it is evident many are desperate to see basically anything at this point.

Count Item
39 Figures
37 Lore books
36 Posters
25 Vinyls
13 Clothing
8 Plushies
6 Soulstorm Brew Bottles
4 Novels
3 Comics
2 Art books
2 Consumables
2 Pins
2 Soundtracks
1 Stickers
1 Soundboards with rgbs idk
1 RPG books
1 Porn
1 Paramite Pies etc.
1 Oddworld themed PS5 controller
1 Oddworld the animated series
1 Oddworld Alcoholic and soft drinks.
1 OST’s with a booklet on the lore designed like the AO/AE PS1 Booklet inserts
1 Keychains and Mugs
1 Jewlery
1 I just wish they could do animated movies instead of half baked videogames.
1 How about a game a little more often than once every decade?
1 Good games
1 Food/confectionary goods
1 Coasters
1 Board game
1 Abe’s backpack

Four people expressed that they wanted “anything” as long as it’s merchandise. Two that they don’t care or don’t want anything.

How old were you when you first played the series? / How old are you now?

Just like in the previous survey, I figured it’d be interesting to know how old people were when they first played the games and how old they are now. The reason why this is something of note (aside from the inherent curiosity we might have), is the fact that there is a really common belief that nearly everyone played Oddworld first when they were under about 9 years old. And as we can see the “myth” is once again largely reconfirmed just like it was back in 2019.

A bar chart of this year’s results.

A bar chart of 2019’s results.

Survey 2019 2021
Average 7 8
Median 5 7
Mode 6 5
StD. 3.32 4.33
Var. 11.05 18.77

As you can see both visually and by reading the table, most people were around 8 years old when they first played the games, however, with 2021’s survey we had a much bigger variance as this time some of the participants were nearly 30.

How old people are in 2021

The previous survey’s results.

Survey 2019 2021
Average 23 25
Median 24 25
Mode 23 23
StD. 4.78 6.15
Var. 22.88 37.84

The 2021 graph has three submissions removed. Two due to trolling, one because it was such an outlier that including it would have totally messed up the graph. So, for you, that one 45 years old person, I offer my apologies, but rest assured you are counted everywhere else.

As expected the average age has increased by two, since there were two years between the two surveys. This time, however, the variance is much greater as more relatively old and young people have taken part in the survey.

First playedCurrent Age
PlatformAverageMinMaxStD.Var.AverageMinMaxStD.Var.
Reddit 8 1 29 4.42 19.51 26 14 45 5.33 28.46
OWI 8 2 27 5.18 26.84 24 13 34 4.73 22.41
OWF 7 1 13 3.06 9.37 24 12 35 4.75 22.60
RELIVE 7 3 15 2.71 7.33 24 13 32 4.56 20.77
YouTube 10 3 22 5.50 30.29 22 14 34 5.02 25.25

Conclusion

I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the survey, I literally couldn’t have done it without you. I’d also like to ask my friends who provided support with the survey, whether by proliferating it or providing technical help.

I believe with these numbers it is far clearer what the fandom thinks about the topics that were handled here and I hope you found the post entertaining.

💡