Hereafter Arc 1 Survey Analysis
As the first arc of Quest Friends! Hereafter came to a close, we asked you for your thoughts on the show so far. 38 of you (4 more than last time!) responded to my very long survey. Here are some of the most interesting results.
Before I get into the results, I want to note a few things. First, this survey represents a very specific segment of our audience: specifically, the 7% with the time and inclination to answer a survey, who also knew about it in the few weeks it was running. This is also definitely not an in-depth survey analysis. I didn’t run statistical significance, and I may have miscounted one place or another. Instead of being seen as a full analysis of our audience, these survey results should instead be seen as interesting tidbits that can inform our future direction.
Age, Race, Gender (38 Responses)
Our demographics are largely unchanged from the last time we did a survey. Respondents were primarily in their 20s and 30s, white, and queer. Compared to last year, we have a much higher number of men, but that might just be a variation in who specifically answered this year. Of our respondents, none of those listing their gender as “man” or “woman” also listed themselves as transgender.
Prefer Not to Answer: 2
Prefer not to Answer: 3
Sexual Orientation (38 Responses)
One stat that I think is really neat is that our top two sexual orientations were heterosexual and aromantic. These aren’t by any means mutually exclusive (although no one listed themselves as both heterosexual and asexual): many of the people who selected asexual selected another orientation, as well. And for those who didn’t, it’s hard to know if they meant both asexual and aromantic, or if they were only comfortable talking about their sexual orientation and not their romantic one. All in all, there’s not a lot of depth we can get from this other than there’s a pretty wide spread, which is cool!
Prefer not to Answer: 3
Disability (38 Responses)
I am wholly unsurprised here. In previous surveys, I had only focused on hearing and vision, but neurodivergent was often written in. This time I actually included neurodivergent as a selectable option, and, without the extra step of having to write it in, a lot more people chose it.
Chronic Pain: 2
Immune Deficiency Disorder: 1
Other Physical: 1
Engagement with Quest Friends!
How did you learn about the show? (38 Responses)
By far, the majority of our audience heard about us from other shows. I’ve believed for a while that one of the most efficient ways of gaining an audience is running crossovers and promos on other shows, and these results seem to support that. On the other hand, over the last year I’ve focused almost entirely on promos and crossovers as my marketing approach, so it could simply be that they saw the greatest results because they were my main focus. One thing that I find interesting is the 4.8% of respondents that were interested because of Under the Neighborhood, as the game has had a lot less downloads than the crossovers and promos. Spotify’s 7.1% is also interesting, because those are people who simply wandered into the show, and Spotify was the only platform where respondents seemed to do so. Finally, 4/8 of people who answered The Adventure Zone had listened for 1 year or less - so either the promo is still paying off years later, or the people who listed that didn’t know what The Adventure Zone was and just saw the word “promo.”
Knowing the Cast: 7%
Word of Mouth: 7%
Social Media: 5%
Under the Neighborhood: 5%
Guest Spot/Crossover: 19%
The Adventure Zone Promo: 19%
Other Promo: 31%
What Promo introduced you to the show? (10 Responses)
This one is tough to analyze. Because of the small sample pool, having even one person list your show increases it to 10%. That being said, appearing on this list is a sign that your audience and ours overlaps, especially for the smaller podcasts.
The Dicegirls: 10%
Dumbgeons & Dragons: 10%
Campaign Skyjacks: 10%
Monster Hour: 10%
Join the Party: 30%
What Crossover introduced you to the show? (10 Responses)
Unlike promos, which were short ads (or feed drops) of the show, crossovers involved me going onto another show and being interviewed or running a game for them. Of the names listed here, I want to focus on 6 Feats Under, Character Creation Cast, and The Owl House Reaction Podcast, as those three promos happened after Quest Friends! Hereafter began. There are two things to note about The Owl House Reaction Podcast:
2/3 of the people who listed that podcast just wrote “Owl House Podcast.” However, we guested on two Owl House Podcasts: The Owl House Reaction Podcast and Us Weirdos Have to Stick Together! So I personally like to think of this section as those two shows combined.
In the Owl House promos, I ran Under the Neighborhood in the setting the show is meant to emulate. I focused on the vibes I thought the audience would like (fun kids’ cartoons) rather than the actual play/roleplaying aspect. In fact, of the shows listed here, the two top ones (PONTIFACTS and The Owl House Reaction Podcast) both have nothing to do with TTRPGs.
6 Feats Under: 12.5%
Amber Clave: 12.5%
Owl House Reaction Podcast: 37.5%
Character Creation Cast: 12.5%
What was your first episode? (21)
During all of Season 1, I noticed that people would start at the first episode, even when we suggested starting with other episodes. With Hereafter, I wanted to do two things:
Create a show where a new listener could hop in at the beginning of any Adventure.
Make it clear that, if you were here for Hereafter, you should start with An Oasis of Ghosts.
Based on the first episode listed by anyone who had been listening for 1 year or less, it seems like this worked! Kindof. Plenty of people still listened to Turingtown, Part 1 first, and no one seemed to start with any part of Hereafter other than the very beginning. It’s also worth noting that:
A new listener who started with Flashback Future might not have been caught up by the time this survey released, and therefore might not have known about it.
It’s possible that more people started with Ep. 1: Turingtown, Part 1 and bounced off it than people who started with 1. An Oasis of Ghosts.
First episode (for new listeners)
Turingtown Part 1: 33%
An Oasis of Ghosts: 52%
Both Intros: 5%
Welcome to the Hereafter: 10%
What Seasons have you listened to at least three episodes of? (38 Responses)
The reason I framed this question this way was because I didn’t want any ambiguity concerning what counted as “listening” to a Season (was it all of it? Half of it? One episode of it?). The results are largely unsurprising; all but one person had listened to Hereafter (where the survey was largely advertised), and the mid-season was listened to least of all.
What Season did you listen to?
Flashback Future: 30
What I was most interested in was how many fans of Flashback Future had stuck around, and how many new fans went back to listen to that season. Concerning the first question, the answer seems to be “ a little less than half,” as our average number of listeners hasn’t grown, and 42% of survey respondents started listening before Hereafter began.
Length of time listening to quest friends
<1 Year: 45%
1 Year: 13%
2-3 Years: 29%
4+ Years: 13%
Concerning the second question, it seems that, despite only 33% of new listeners starting with Flashback Future, a fair few still go back to listen to it later on! Not including those who only listened to Hereafter, fans of 1 year or less split up relatively evenly into three groups:
Listened to All Three
Listened to Flashback Future and Hereafter
Listened to the Mid-Season and Hereafter
Campaigns Listened to by New Fans
Flashback Future: 14
How soon after release do you listen to a new episode? (38 Responses)
This is one of those questions where the nature of the survey really impacts the response. This survey was primarily advertised on our announcement break and only ran for a few months, meaning that in order to even know it existed, you likely had to be up-to-date on the show. Additionally, I would imagine that the fans who willingly answer a (very long) survey are the same who would be most likely to listen to show right as it releases.
When do you listen?
Release Day: 32%
Within a Week: 40%
Within Two Weeks: 10%
Within a Month: 3%
After a Backlog builds up: 5%
Still catching up: 5%
How did you learn about this survey? (38 Responses)
As I mentioned, most people got information from the Announcement Break. This is one of the reasons I want to start releasing a newsletter: that way you can keep up-to-date on the show without having to listen as soon as episodes come out. Interestingly, some folks learned from our Patreon Discord, because we have one of those! We also have a fan-run discord.
Social Media: 16%
Announcement Break: 68%
How often do you listen to the announcement break? (38)
Yeah, look at the previous two answers. If most of the respondents knew about the survey through the announcement break, then most of them have to have listened to the announcement break.
How often do you listen?
How often do you use our episode transcripts? (38 Responses)
We have transcripts! And thanks to our transcriber Raina, they’re up to date and they’re GOOD. At least, I find them really helpful when trying to remember what happened in previous episodes. I’m pretty unsurprised by these results - especially since our transcripts weren’t up to date by the time of this survey, I doubt anyone who consistently uses them would have been up to date, either. I’m a little concerned by the number of people who didn’t know we had transcripts, but then again, it’s only twice as many people who don’t know what Under the Neighborhood is (see below), and I mention the name of the game in the intro of every Adventure. That being said, it might just be a matter of me mentioning transcripts too infrequently that people don’t know about them and mentioning Under the Neighborhood so often (and in such a similar fashion) that the meaning of the name gets lost.
How often do you use episode transcripts?
I didn’t know you had transcripts: 16%
How often do you use each Adventure’s character list?
The character list is something I introduced shortly after the Crime and Courtship finale, which referenced so many characters, I thought it was unreasonable for the average listener to remember all of them. Since then, it’s been a staple of each Adventure, providing a 1-2 sentence summary of most proper nouns in that Adventure’s episode(s). While I’m currently working on a Quest Friends! wiki, I think the character list is here to stay, both because it serves as a short, single-page reference, and because there’s little risk of spoilers, as I get to cater each character’s description to the specific episode.
How often do you use the character list?
What’s the character list? 11%
Patreon Backers (37 Responses)
I think it’s fair to say that anyone who took the time to answer the survey is a pretty big fan of Quest Friends! So when it came to Patreon, I was curious if there was anything that separated those who were subscribed and those who weren’t.
My first theory was age. I noticed that, while a lot of our fanart and fanfiction was created by younger fans, when it came to Patreon, our backers seemed to skew a bit older. I also noticed that, across surveys, being a student or recent graduate was often listed as a reason for not joining our Patreon. So I decided to compare Patreon backer status with age group, and it certainly seems that, as a fan member gets older, they’re more likely to financially back the show! This fades a bit once you get over 40+ years old, but of the three 40+ year old respondents who weren’t Patreon backers, two didn’t know we had a Patreon at all. I’m not sure why - my guess is that older fans on average have more disposable income, but I could be wrong.
Backer vs. Age
13-19 Years Old: 0 Subscribed, 6 Not Subscribed
20-29 Years Old: 6 Subscribed, 8 Not Subscribed
30-39 Years Old: 8 Subscribed, 3 Not Subscribed
40+ Years Old: 2 Subscribed, 3 Not Subscribed
The second thing I was curious about was whether there was any correlation between Patreon subscriptions and purchases of Under the Neighborhood. While Patreon subscribers are slightly more likely to have purchased Under the Neighborhood, there doesn’t seem to be a very strong correlation between backing the Patreon and buying Under the Neighborhood. I’m not really sure why this is; my only theories are that the audiences are slightly different (not everyone into the podcast might be into playing TTRPGs, and not all of our fans even know what Under the Neighborhood is) and that $10 and above Patreon backers get a complimentary copy of Under the Neighborhood. That being said, for every copy of Under the Neighborhood sold on itch.io, we release another copy for free - it’s difficult to know how exactly this survey’s owners of Under the Neighborhood acquired it.
In retrospect, I could’ve asked respondents why they didn’t buy Under the Neighborhood, but my guess is that almost everyone would respond “price” or “not having money.” That seems to be what folks default to, which makes sense - when making purchases, the question is often “is this purchase worth the money?” If the answer is “no,” the solution isn’t necessarily to decrease the price - it might be to change the value of the product or market to a different group of people.
Under the Neighborhood vs. Patreon
Subscribed to Patreon: 5 own UtN, 11 don’t own UtN
Not Subscribed to Patreon: 5 own UtN, 16 don’t own UtN
Finally, I think it’s interesting to note that, while most respondents who don’t back the Quest Friends! Patreon have never checked it out, many more respondents have looked at Under the Neighborhood and chosen not to purchase it. It seems that, if someone goes to check out a Patreon page, they do it with a higher intention of backing it, which makes sense to me, considering the semi-charitable nature of Patreon.
Are you aware of the Quest Friends Patreon?
Yes, I’m subscribed: 43%
Yes, I’ve checked it out but am not subscribed: 8%
Yes, but I haven’t checked it out: 41%
im a broke collage student, sorry: 3%
Are you aware of Under the Neighborhood?
Yes, I own it: 26%
Yes, I’ve checked it out but haven’t bought it: 21%
Yes, but I haven’t checked it out: 45%
Our penultimate section is all about the wonderful (and not so wonderful) ways we could change the show. I started by listing a series of changes I was thinking of making, and then I included an opportunity for general feedback.
Do you want a clean version of Hereafter with the swears bleeped out? (38 Responses)
Thank FUCKING God. While these results are biased in that the people who would’ve been put off by our swearing definitely wouldn’t have stuck around long enough to do the survey (Hi Mom!), this is still a relief. Special shout-out to the person who said it wouldn’t really make that much of a difference in appropriate-ness; oddly enough, it helped put my mind more at ease.
Should we bleep out swears?
What if we released shorter episodes more frequently? (38 Responses)
As our average episode length has gotten longer, I’ve wondered if it’d be easier for fans (and more marketable) to cut our current episodes in half and start releasing weekly. It looks like the fan consensus on this idea is “no,” although if an episode gets too long, it might be a good idea to split it up into extra parts (like with The Necromon Thief, which turned from a two-parter into a three-parter). This does make me wonder how to handle massive episodes that belong as a single unit, like The End; if I split them up into multiple episodes but released those episodes on the same day (or a few days apart), would that make them less intimidating?
Do you want shorter episodes?
Do you like our “episodic” structure? (37 Responses)
Just like with the episode length and swearing questions, this is a case of survivor bias. If someone didn’t like our current “episodic” structure, they likely wouldn’t be answering the survey. I really like the idea of doing a few more one-shot episodes, though - I think playing around with Adventure length but keeping to an average of two episodes per Adventure can encourage some creative stories (like Flashback Future’s Part Ness). I’ve currently got three one-shots planned for next arc, although we’ll see what the final number ends up being.
How do you like our balance of long and short episodes?
I like the balance as is: 91%
I’d like more short Adventures: 3%
I’d like more long Adventures: 3%
Gimme one-shots! 3%
Would you find a Quest Friends wiki Helpful? (37 Responses)
About a year or so into our first season, fans started work on a Quest Friends! wiki, although the project was quickly abandoned. As someone who loves over-organizing things, I’ve thought about the wiki from time to time, and I decided to ask what people thought about updating it. The consensus seems to largely be a vague “sure, why not?”
Right now, I’m updating the Wiki as best I can. I used to update it every Wednesday at 8PM CDT while streaming a Flashback Future episode over at twitch.tv/questfriends. But I’m only really able to update a single episode per stream, and my streaming schedule is erratic, to say the least. This is all to say… please contribute to the wiki it takes so long and I’m too methodical.
Do you want a Quest Friends wiki?
Do you like the Slice of Life Complication discussion at the beginning of each Adventure? (38 Responses)
Good. I like them too 😊. Funnily enough, my original plan was to cut this discussion from each Adventure, but I got some pushback from players, which I’m so thankful for, because I love editing and listening to the Slice of Life Complication discussion. Thanks, Tom.
Do you like the Slice of Life discussion?
Do you find the “Previously On” segments helpful? Why or why not?
Instead of focusing on how many people answered “yes” and “no,” I want to look at the reasons why each group answered how they did.
YES: Respondents who found the segments helpful attributed it to poor memory or wanting to remember key details. The “Previously On” segments seem to be particularly helpful when mentioning events from long-passed episodes, for fans who are listening to multiple podcasts at once, or as a little bit of foreshadowing for the upcoming episode.
NO: Respondents who didn’t find the segments helpful attributed it to good memory or listening to multiple episodes back-to-back.
One respondent commented “I might find it more useful to have a narrative rather than clips,” which I’ve considered before, but I don’t know how well it’d work out. Maybe it’s worth a shot?
Do you want a “Previously On” segment during the first episode of an Adventure, or the session recap? (36-37 Responses)
At least, that’s the question I should have asked. In my opinion, including both a “previously on” segment and “since last time” recap during the first Adventure of each episode would be overkill. The question isn’t whether we should include one, it’s which one to include.
Respondents were interested in both, but they especially liked the session recap, so I’m going to stick with that. That being said, we’ll have “the story so far” recaps between arcs, and I’ll be vigilant about mentioning deep cuts if necessary.
Should we have a “Previously On” during the first episode of each Adventure?
Do you like the session recap at the beginning of each Adventure?
Would you listen to Hallmarked as a stand-alone series? (37 Responses)
Hallmarked is a two-time Christmas special where Hallie and I review a Hallmark movie. It’s pretty fun, and I’ve been considering starting a second podcast, so I figured I’d see what folks think! There were a LOT of unique answers (10 in total), which I separated into three categories.
In the end, I think the feeling most respondents had - and the feeling that I have, after more thought - can be summarized by the response “it is a nice bonus episode.” So while it might not become a full series, maybe Hallmarked! can become a holiday standby, similar to our Daemon-themed Halloween specials.
Do you want a full Hallmarked podcast?
What is your favorite other fiction/non-fiction podcast(s) (27-32 Responses)
I like asking this question both because it gives me an idea of what types of shows we overlap with, as well as an easy-to-reference list of shows to promo or crossover with. I won’t list all of the podcasts, but special shoutouts to these ones in particular:
Is there anything we can do (or should continue doing) to increase accessibility and help you feel welcome as a listener? (13 Responses)
With the exception of one fan wanting more Hispanic & Tsarvian characters, all of the answers here fell under the category of “things we already do that are helpful.”
Transcripts. People like ‘em! That being said, they do want transcripts to be easier to find, which I agree with - right now they’re hidden on our website’s bonus page, which is not a great home for them.
Content Notes. Helpful to include and easy to avoid! One respondent mentioned loud noises in particular, which is something I’ve tried to warn about ever since I started including content notes.
X-Card. Because the X-Card is a tool that undoes whatever just happened, it’d be easy enough to exclude entirely, but it seems like its inclusion is appreciated! While I don’t always include our X-Card moments, the reason I sometimes do is because our show, to some degree, is educational. It showcases how we play TTRPGs and, by extension, what I consider safe TTRPG play to look like.
What should we change? (??? Responses)
We had a handful of questions that boiled down to “what should we change?” (Hence the ??? number of responses). Here are some highlights.
“I'd like to see more of the gaming dynamics behind the story elements. For example, Sparky rerolls her ability scores each session; what were the results? How do those changes [affect] the character?” -Every Adventure of arc 2 now includes this 2-minute discussion. It’s easy to include and not too long, so why not? After all, especially in a game like Under the Neighborhood, any mechanic we use should be tied in some way to the story.
“When I first started listening the announcements being in the middle really threw me off and I'm still not sure if I like it.” -This is a case of “we’ve done it this way for so long, I don’t know if it’d be worth changing,” but maybe it’s worth changing when the announcement takes place.
“An active fanbase” -Me too, buddy. How to engage our fans (and what that even looks like) is a really interesting question, though! As I mentioned earlier, different groups of fans engage with the show in different ways, and we tend to have bursts of fan activity (like the great fanfiction surge of 2018). I’d really love to find one thing to rally the fanbase around, even if it’s a single-day event, but I’m not sure where to start.
“I really enjoy [Join the Party’s] AfterParty and having something similar occasionally where the players get to talk about the game would be fun for me.” -I agree! A bonus behind-the-scenes episode has been our 50-Patron goal for a while. At this point, I don’t know if we have the time to record an AfterParty for each Adventure, but I’m definitely going to keep the post-arc QUESTions and Answers. I’ll make a note to listen to some AfterParty before then!
“I would really love to see more artwork of characters. I can imagine them in one way, but having it for Flashback Future was so nice.” -I don’t have money, but I do have an Instagram.
“More holiday-ish episodes (like for Valentines or Easter you could have an in game holiday similar to the one that happened or is happening)” -God I do love those holiday-themed bonus episodes, and they make for good crossovers. I’ve come up with a few ideas and have already got the players on board for doing 1-2 extra holiday specials next year.
“Not a fan of the Mon fights. The fights themselves are fine and build up the hype very well, but the differing mechanics to the main game are confusing and odd to me.” -I believe that most TTRPG campaigns could benefit from using session-specific systems from time to time. That was my thought process for using the fight mechanics from Animon Story for the Mon fights, since they were more specialized than Under the Neighborhood’s Confrontation rules.. That being said, our Mon fights take place alongside regular Under the Neighborhood gameplay, so while I do plan on including Adventure-specific TTRPGs from time to time, I have rewritten the Mon fight rules to fit Under the Neighborhood’s Confrontation mechanics.
“The tagline includes flights to the afterlife but we've not seen it in the show yet.” -Oh, just you wait for November.
“I would like to see Kyle spend less time editing but still have quality output :)” -Thanks, Emily’s Mom.
What makes Quest Friends! Unique?
Finally, we have the feel-good section, also known as “Kyle asks for praise five different times.” Why was that? Marketing, mostly.
Most of the questions asked here are variants of “what is marketable about the show?” Specifically, we asked what caused respondents to download an episode after learning about the show, why they continued to listen, why they recommended the show to their friends, what Adventure was their favorite (and why), and what they thought Quest Friends! excels at. All similar questions, but different enough that I think it’s worth analyzing each alone and then looking at them all put together.
What made you decide to originally listen? (31 Responses)
This question broaches the topic of what about Quest Friends! is initially appealing. The idea is to look at the parts where this overlaps with why people continued listening as a way of figuring out the most appealing marketing points that are also authentic to the show. Since all of these answers were free-form, I had to do some deliberation in categorizing them. Here’s what I found:
10 answers were a variant of “sure, why not?” (The show sounded fun, I wanted a new podcast, I liked the show’s style).
8 answers specifically pointed to the roleplaying system as the reason fans listened. This is both the blessing and the curse of not using Dungeons & Dragons - by using a specific system, we target that system’s die-hard fans, but at the risk of alienating people who just want D&D.
Oh, and here are some fun specific responses:
"I liked the characters I was drawing so I decided to give it a go." Hi, Mandy!
"I love Gravity Falls and Pokémon, so i thought this would be fun to listen to."
What made you listen?
Comparison to Gravity Falls: 13%
Wanted New Podcast: 10%
Sounded Fun/Interesting: 16%
Recommendation from a Friend: 3%
Under the Neighborhood: 16%
Good Crossover Episode: 6.5%
Good Promo: 6.5%
Good Art: 6.5%
Knowing the Cast: 6.5%
Why did you continue listening? (34 Responses)
There’s a lot of overlap in these categories, and a lot of my choices on where to place things were largely arbitrary. That being said, it seems like the most important thing is “vibes.” Our story is fun while having serious moments that don’t delve into graphic violence, which admittedly is true of a lot of actual plays, but I’d say the way we do it less fits the “actual play” mold and more fits the “Gravity Falls cartoon” mold.
"Even in Turingtown and it felt a little rough, there was something about you guys, some spark, that made me come back, its hard to explain"
"I also love the music choices and how they always fit the energy of a scene, it really adds to the energy of the show."
"I enjoy a relaxed ttrpg pod where the game/characters/story are as entertaining as the players/GM/table talk"
"I enjoy that the show emphasizes narrative and humor, violence is not graphic, and is inclusive of diverse characters and players"
"I also like that it's suspenseful without being violent."
"Good natured chaos"
"THIS SHOW IS AMAZING DUDE”
Why did you continue listening?
No Graphic Violence: 3%
The Players’ Group Dynamic: 6%
Production Value/Editing: 8%
Have you recommended Quest Friends to someone else? (37 Responses)
There are many reasons respondents recommended us to others, from having good chemistry to showcasing something other than D&D to having a completed campaign. There was only one reason respondents didn’t recommend us to others: they didn’t know anyone who listened to podcasts or actual plays.
"Good group of friends playing a game just like we try too."
Why have you recommended Quest Friends! to someone else?
Interesting Setting: 3%
Cast & Cast Chemistry: 12%
Under the Neighborhood: 9%
Wanted to talk to someone about it: 6%
Alternative to Playing: 3%
Thought They’d LIke It: 12%
Completed Campaign: 6%
Not D&D: 3%
Great Show: 21%
What is your favorite episode of Hereafter? Why? (24-26 Responses)
In addition to asking what worked and what didn’t on a macro level, I wanted to dig a little deeper and figure out what makes a Quest Friends! Hereafter Adventure truly special. At the time of recording, we were partway through The State v. Irene Hawthorne. If someone marked two or more episodes as their favorite, each episode’s score increased by 0.5 instead of 1. This was the only category I did this for.
An Oasis of Ghosts: 0
Hilda’s Rival: 4.5
Bang! Bang! 2
Mr. Elmo’s Mysterious Game: 2
A Tag-Team Duel! 0
The Necromon Thief: 9
Creature from the Camp Lagoon: 0
Die Card: 4
The State v. Irene Hawthorne: 0.5
The Daemon Delivery: 1
On its own, there’s already some takeaways I can get from the list of favorite Adventures, not least of which is that they align pretty well with MY favorite episodes (for example, any Adventure related to the Quiclone saga got major points). But I also asked respondents why they liked their favorite Adventures. There were a lot of reasons provided, with three standouts:
Shenanigans & Plans falling apart. We’re a comedy podcast about friends having fun. Letting the improv take us to a fun place typically ends in far better results than the more strictly scripted episodes (like An Oasis of Ghosts), although notably the episodes without the least amount of planning (i.e. Creature from the Camp Lagoon) didn’t score very well, either.
Relationships Between Characters. Special shout-out to Quique, whose relationship with every other PC was name-dropped at least once.
Favorite NPC introduced. I love my NPCs, and I’m so sorry to the Lucas Bang fans out there. Less sorry for the Eddie fans. You knew what you were getting into with him.
It also seems that at least a few fans like it when we do a pointed parody (e.g. noir mysteries, Die Hard)
“The scene where the necromon team interrogates the quiclones was great. The necromon team sequence gave the necromon the opportunity to really show their personalities.” -You’ll be glad to know that we’re doubling-down on giving the players NPCs to play.
"Emily’s deadpan makes the delivery so good CONSTANTLY "
"I love when Quique is the fun shenanigans uncle to any of the kids on the show"
Why is it your favorite episode?
Relationship between A & B plot: 2
Irene Hawthorne: 2
Slice of Life Complication: 2 Favorite NPC introduced: 4
Story Progression: 1
Relationships Between Characters: 6
Shenanigans & Plans falling apart: 8
Necromon Freedom! 1
What is one thing you feel Quest Friends excels at? (33 responses)
Not much to say here, since a lot of answers in this section overlap with previous answers. Overall though, there seem to be three core components: character, story, and friendly vibes.
"Mixing storylines with improv gameplay- lots of other TTRPG podcasts stumble a bit on that."
“I really like the structure of serialised self contained adventures.:
“It has a great balance of gameplay and player interaction. Feels like I am part of the gang that is playing while I watch (listen)”
“You're all clearly having a lot of fun together and that positivity comes through in the audio”
“Combining genuine friendship, good roleplay, and good GMing. A lot of podcasts (and RPG groups) are good RP but were not friends beforehand. Some are friends that are acceptable at RP and tell a good story. You are both friends and good at RP. That's enough by itself to make you one of the best actual play podcasts out there. Add in your individual awesomeness and you've become one of my favorites.”
What does Quest Friends excel at?
Under the Neighborhood: 2%
Episodic Adventure Structure: 2%
Friendly, Inviting Atmosphere: 22%
Consistent Quality: 2%
Cast Chemistry: 4%
Inclusivity & Representation: 6%
Improvisation & Roleplay: 12%
The big question: why do people like Quest Friends?
Hey, have you watched Star Trek: Lower Decks? It’s an adult animated show that stars the lower deck employees of a bottom-tier exploration spaceship. And while it has the crude hallmarks of most adult animated shows, one key thing makes Lower Decks unique: while many other adult animated shows have a lot of mean-spirited humor with the occasional heartfelt moment, Lower Decks is brimming with Star Trek’s signature optimism. The core cast of four characters are all variants of “nerd” whose relationships to each other forms the emotional core of a fairly heartfelt show.
Which is to say, it’s Quest Friends! in space. Although a little more violent.
What makes Quest Friends! the show that it is? Based on the survey responses, I would say the core things that define our show are relatively similar to shows like Gravity Falls and Star Trek: Lower Decks. Specifically, they’re:
Approachable and welcoming vibes
Character-focused stories that build tension without cheap tricks
The relationship between us as players and the fictional story we’re telling
Chemistry between both the fictional characters and the real players
A willingness to be silly
In short, the Quest is the Friends we made along the way.
I honestly don’t have much to put here - all my thoughts are included in the many, many words above. Besides those insights, I have three main takeaways:
I should probably shorten the survey.
I should probably shorten future analyses.
If you took the survey or read this analysis, thank you!!!