It's 2020 and we finally ran another survey on the OpenRCT2 community to see how the demographics have changed since the last time, in 2016. Interestingly enough, we had about the same number of respondents, ~1300, which means you are all very loyal <3, but also that we didn't attract too many new players. Come on, refer it to your friend, have you told them that we now have plugins to wreak havoc in the game in a whole new sort of ways? :D
Speaking about geo-demographics, we'll forever regret allowing free text because boy did we get different variations on how to say you're from the USA. Here's the logarithmic distribution of our players:
In terms of age, we're still mostly people in our early adulthood, with 70% being between 20-30, however the 18-25 range accounted for 60% in the previous survey and is now 40%, so yes, we're aging. Still curious to observe that 6% of the players are under 18, when RCT2 was released they weren't even born yet, which means it does spark interest in the new generation as well.
The community still primarily identifies itself as being Male, something tells me that this group is a lot more prone to answer "yes" to the question: "Are you willing to imagine near-death experiences which you would definitely want to experience in real life?". That number did decrease from 94% to 87%, so we're slooowly becoming more diverse.
In terms of primary operating system it's basically the same as in 2016, with a slight decrease in Linux in favour of macOS. Windows 10 has 92% of the share in its subsystem with just 0.5% using something earlier than Windows 7. Linux has over 20 different distros, but half of the users are either on Arch Linux or Ubuntu. On mac 70% are on Catalina. With regard to keeping the game up-to-date, most of the non-Linux users either download the zips or use the launcher to update it, whereas in Linux it's the distro package manager that mandates. Finally, 95% of the respondents use the 64-bit version which is statistically the same ratio as in 2016, so those 5% are definitely nostalgia driven :D
Back in 2016 over 60% of our players discovered the game through Reddit, which now only accounts for 30%. In the meantime YouTube has boomed, thanks to the amazing people that create content based on what we do! GitHub has also appeared as a quite frequent way of finding out about OpenRCT2 - you know we are an open source game and always welcome new developers to help us build an even better game, right?
The distribution of related games that people used to play didn't seem to change widely, with RCT2 still being the lead and the others staying pretty stable, with only RCT World losing a third of its prestige and Planet Coaster doubling its impact.
We talked about loyalty, but actually 70% of the players that took this survey didn't fill the previous one (or just have bad memory. Us humans, right?). Don't worry, you're all very welcome to the community!
This is a game made by the community and for the community after all, but how do we interact with each other? Apparently 70% of us love to watch tutorials and demonstration videos, which helps explain YouTube as a major referral source and has increased since 2016. The other entertainment options are statistically the same as before.
Things are a bit different on the competitive side: less than 20% do or have ever engaged in any sort of OpenRCT2 contest, which is still a jump from the 8% back then. We know OpenRCT2 is a safe retreat for many, to distract from the daily chores, but at the same time I haven't seen anyone build a wooden roller coaster that tops mine :D
In terms of community Reddit is still where most of us lurk, with our own OpenRCT2 Discord coming at a distant third, and none in fourth place! Come join these communities folks, you can find awesome content and people.
Our game is in constant development and you stay on top of the changes, you agree to: experience some weirdness every now and then, but also have the latest fixes, features and perks in return. Maybe that's why 35% of the players choose to use develop builds and 10% had already tried plugins even before v0.3.0. To all these players who face the unknown, and are willing to walk along with us, our respect and the (informal) title of OpenRCT2 beta testers!
Curiously, the percentage of people that prefer sandbox is virtually the same as in 2016, but the ones that are more into Scenarios and objectives grew 10%, which comes as a surprise as we officially haven't done much, so credit goes to the community! Did you know that we do have an OpenScenarios project to make new scenarios for the game?
Almost 90% of the respondents claim they don't need the RCT2 original game anymore, this is a huge increase from the 66% in 2016 and a sign that you trust our work! One of the reasons might be because almost a third of all the players use some kind of OpenRCT2-only feature, which we have many and always add more! Still, 32% of us have never even tried multiplayer (compared to 44%). The ratio is diminishing, but come on people, explore it!
There are some things we always dream of and so do all players. What we didn't expect though is how diverse the priority is for each of you. We see that people don't really think of the day when "weather effects will be better and more varied" as hard as they do for "more types of objects and higher quantities".
Imagine if you lived in a 10-story tall building and all of a sudden the landlords decided to add 90 floors. completely rework the wiring and tubing without requiring anyone to move in the meantime. Sounds hard, huh? That's what some of the changes above feel like, they're doable, but also huge and take time.
And that's also why we're always willing to receive help in our GitHub projects, which can come in many forms as shown below. Only 21% of the respondents have ever interacted with our GitHub and even fewer, 7%, have contributed something. Remember there is room for everyone: testers, graphic designers, developers, translators, wiki maintainers... Come join us!
Plenty of people are being vocally grateful that the project exists and continues to be maintained, which makes us blush and happy at the same point. Here are a few quotes and quick answers:
You're doing great work, I love the work you put into this project, I already considered helping out with some tickets, I hope I have the time at one point!
We hope you do too!
make a easier how to contribute to the project on your discord or github because it's no where to be found. make a list what needs to be done. not the github issue list but more of what u want to make/edit/rewrite....
We recently wrote a whole section of it on our wiki, look for the "Finding something to work on" section for tips on available tasks, I hope it's what you're looking for! OpenRCT2 - How to Contribute
You guys are great! When I get some free time I would love to make a music pack for the game but I don't know how to code even slightly and wouldn't know where to start with how to format them correctly.
You don't really need to know code to contribute music, come to our #open-sound-and-music channel on discord!
android development is dead :(
We kind of don't have the bandwidth to advance the core game and Android simultaneously, but we would love if someone could help there!
A Flathub/Flatpak package would be nice
I really think that plugins would be the second wave that draws people back to this game. For people like me, rct is irreplaceable and adding new content to it easily and adding improved behavior via mods would be amazing
We hope too and, in a way, it is! Have you checked https://openrct2plugins.org/ yet?
Thank you for reading, filling up the survey and overall being such an amazing community, we are all here because we love the RollerCoaster Tycoon series and wanted to breathe new life to it. Wanna report bugs, suggest things, discuss ideas? You know where to find us - Discord or Github!
Tupaschoal on behalf of the OpenRCT2 team