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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Unit 6: Critical Approaches to Creative Media Products - Assignment 1 - Task 1

Audience Research

Audience research is defined as any type of communication research that is conducted on specific audience segments in order to collect data on their interests, attitudes and preferences etc. These segments can based on a number factors, including age, race and ethnicity and family income. Audience research is important because it allows the creator or producer to get a better insight into the target audience, as it would be a waste of time to create something that is not going to appeal to the right people, and also a waste of money. Furthermore, by knowing your target audience it gives you wide variety of options for when it comes to advertising the product.

In general there are two types of audience research that can be employed; Quantitative and Qualitative. Quantitative audience research is commonly used in order to find out and assess the proportion of your target audience within a community, along with what proportion of this target audience acts in a certain way or enjoys a certain thing. This type of research is generally used when you want to find out statistics such as how many and/or how often. For example, asking someone how many hours of video games they play a week or how often do you play a certain genre of video games would be types of quantitative audience research. The benefits of quantitative research are that you are able to collect the information in large amounts due to being able to sent out lots of surveys etc to collect these answers. These surveys will generally have lots of closed ended questions in order, generally with multiple choice answers. In addition to this, when asking a lot of people and having a high enough response rate, you are able to generalise the results to extend to the entire population, giving a good overview of what the population might enjoy. The problem with this type of research is that you are unable to get detailed answers as to why people feel a certain way due to the closed nature of the questions that you are asking. They can also be very costly to do as sending out enough surveys to the amount of people needed to give a reliable sample size for your data can be quite costly.

On the other hand, qualitative audience research provides results that are much more detailed, offering ideas and concepts to help improve and give their own interpretations of the product. This type of research is very important in giving context to the findings that you may have found. An example of collecting qualitative data is to form a focus group. Focus groups are ‘group interviews’ with a twist. The researcher will ask a group of people relevant to the research a question, and the focus group then discuss it and share their opinions with each other whilst the researcher observes. This allows the researcher to collect lots of opinions on the product which are a lot more detailed than the simple questions asked in quantitative research surveys. The advantages of focus group include being able to generate extra data from the group interaction and it also allows a large sample size for qualitative data collection. However, there are negatives to qualitative audience research such as not being able to generalise your results to the broader audience due to the answers being opinionated in nature and being unable to account general public opinion.

Differences Between
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Qualitative MethodsQuantitative Methods
Methods include focus groups, in-depth interviews, and reviewsSurveys
Primarily inductive process used to formulate theoryPrimarily deductive process used to test pre-specified concepts, constructs, and hypotheses that make up a theory
More subjective: describes a problem or condition from the point of view of those experiencing itMore objective: provides observed effects (interpreted by researchers) of a program on a problem or condition
More in-depth information on a few casesLess in-depth but more breadth of information across a large number of cases
Unstructured or semi-structured response optionsFixed response options
No statistical testsStatistical tests are used for analysis
Can be valid and reliable: largely depends on skill and rigor of the researcherCan be valid and reliable: largely depends on the measurement device or instrument used
Time expenditure lighter on the planning end and heavier during the analysis phaseTime expenditure heavier on the planning phase and lighter on the analysis phase
Less generalizableMore generalizable 

Killer Klowns Film

Specifically, the game that I am creating is based off of the film "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" so I first decided to conduct some quantitative research into the release and subsequent life of the film. 


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Release date 27 May 1988

Opening Weekend
$2,657,329 (USA) (27 May 1988) (893 Screens)

$15,625,095 (USA) (22 July 1988)
$43,625,095 (Worldwide) (28 October 1988)
$28,000,001 (Non-USA) (27 October 1988)

Weekend Gross
$1,364,238 (USA) (10 June 1988) (926 Screens)
$2,240,128 (USA) (3 June 1988) (922 Screens)
$2,657,329 (USA) (27 May 1988) (893 Screens)

3,682,397 (USA) (22 July 1988)

Filming Dates
25 February 1987

When researching the film I found that it had an estimated budget of $2,000,000, and immediately recouped that amount on it's opening weekend in the US, generating $2,657,329 in revenue, which shows that the film was pretty popular on release. It went on to be a commercial success, generating a total gross worldwide of $43,625,095, which was a massive profit on the budget that the film was created on. Furthermore, in the US the total admissions by the 22nd of July had reached over 3,5 million people, showing the film to be massively popular with the public at the time. This could mean that there would be a solid audience who may be interested in more Killer Klown related material.


71% from Rotten Tomatoes approved critics
59% rated it over 3.5 stars

Critics Consensus: Killer Klowns from Outer Space's title promises darkly goofy fun -- and more often than not, the movie delivers.

6.1/10 from 23,282 reviews on IMDb

Nominated for 2 awards: Best music and Best Costumes

It has become a cult film and will be having a sequel in 2018(estimate)

From the reviews we can see that it has a relatively high rating with 71% of approved reviewers from the website Rotten Tomatoes, with 59% of all reviews giving it a rating of over 3.5 stars. This shows that the film is seen favourably by both approved critics and the general public. The critics of the film say that the delivers "more often than not" which shows that the film usually gets things right and was successful. From the website IMDb the film receives an average of 6.1/10 from 23,282 which shows that although it it not seen as one of the greatest films of all time, there is still a positive rating for the film. Furthermore, the fact that this rating comes from a large amount of people shows that the rating comes from a good sample size and can be seen as  a fair rating for the film, instead of being affected by outlying reviews.

My research

In order to collect the research I needed to create a survey asking about the film and then asking about different game ideas that might be viable, in order to gauge the audiences interest in the game, and the genre they would prefer it to be. In general, the responses I got were quite positive and took the survey seriously, although there were some answers written that weren't suitable, so I won't be referring to them when looking at the results of my survey.

The first thing I did was researched the audience view of the film, what they liked and what they didn't like, and whether they would like to see parts of the film included within the game. In order to see what kind of audience that I was asking these surveys to, I first asked for their gender and their age and I found that my answers were predominantly from a male audience in their late teens.

When asking about the film, the majority of people said that they though the film was okay, or that they hated it. This is important as it shows that within this demographic the film was not very popular, which may affect the popular of game based off of this game. When I asked why people felt this way about the film, I found that although most of the film was terrible, they enjoyed the humour and found some parts funny, which shows that if I were to keep anything from the film, it would be the style of humour that was used in the film.

I then asked whether these people would recommend the film to other people. The responses were about 50/50, although leaning towards the fact that they would recommend the film to someone else. The main reasoning for this was that the film was a different experience to other films due to how bad it is, and that they wanted other people to see it and watch their reaction to it. This is important to know as it means that although people felt the film was bad, they still wanted other people to see it which helps market and advertise the film, and by extension, the more people that know about the film, the more people that would be interested in a game based off of the film.

The next question on the survey was to give the film a star rating out of 10, with the average coming out at around 2.5 stars, which shows that people don't rate this film very high on average.

In regards to the genre of the film, the majority of the people did not like films of this genre, which is good information when making a game as it means that I should maybe move the genre of the game away from the genre of horror/comedy, or maybe lean towards one or the other more. When asking the people who enjoy this genre why they feel this way, I found out that most of them enjoyed the comedy factor of the film, but didn't really like the way that the horror was presented, which lets me know that if I could change the way that the horror is presented, but keep the same kind of humour and comedy it could be a strong combination moving forward.

The final question in the survey was asking whether anyone would change anything in the film. I got some varied answers for this question, including better FX and better plot delivery, which is important to know as it lets me see what needs improving in the film, and I could translate that into the game design. It also lets me know what not to include in the game, and what people liked and didn't like within the film in more detail.

After finding out how people felt about the Killer Klowns film I then decided to find out how people felt about a Killer Klowns game. The first thing I wanted to know was whether people would prefer the emphasis to be on the story of the game, or more on the gameplay. The general consensus was that due to how terrible the story was of the film, it would be better to focus on the gameplay with the story taking a back seat in this game. This is important to know as it means that when designing the game I know what to spend more time on, as that is what research shows that people want. In relation to this, I asked whether the audience would like the game to stick to what happened in the film, or try something completely different, with the overwhelming response being that the game should try something different in regards to the plot of the game. As to why, I believe this was answered in the previous question where the majority of the answers thought the story was poor, and that it could have been done better, hence why the all the answers think that the plot should be different.

The next section of the game I focused on was the actual gameplay, and who the player would actually play. When given the choice between playing as the human to defeat the Killer Klowns, or as the Killer Klowns to attack the humans, 2/3 of the audience preferred to play as the humans, which is important to know as it means that this is the gameplay that I can include in the game as it was the most popular option.

Finally in terms of questions about gameplay I asked whether the audience would prefer to have combat that was more melee based or more based around gun combat. The responses were about equal, with a slight edge towards gun based combat, but the equality of the votes shows that it would be okay to include either due to their similar popularity.

In addition to this, regarding the style and genre of the game I asked whether they would prefer the game to be a stealth game, a 3rd person shooter, a first person shooter and an open world survival game. The majority answered with FPS, with the reasoning being that it was a good genre for this type of game and helps to add more immersion to the game. This is helpful to know as it gives me an idea of what my audience wants from the game in terms the way the game plays and how they want the game to be presented.

Furthermore, carrying on from my questioning in the film survey, I asked whether they would prefer the game to be a horror game or a comedy, or a mix between the two. In contrast to the film survey in which most people felt that the comedy factor was the saving grace of the film, most people chose the option for horror. I believe this to be because horror translates much better to an audience when they are in control and immersed in the situation, where as comedy can translate much better to an audience in a film where they can sit back and enjoy it instead of actively having to think about what is going on as well as playing the game in order for the comedy to have an impact.

When asking about what the audience would like to see return from the Klowns film and make it into a game, I found out that some key scenes that people seemed to enjoy from the film included the car chase between the Klowns and the main characters and the fight at the end with the boss clown. This is helpful to know as it gives me some ideas to work with when designing the game that I already know are supported by the audience.

For marketing purposes I asked the audience what platform they would like to see the game on with most people preferred to have the game on PC, and what they would pay for the game, with the majority wanting to pay around £5-10 for the game. This gives important information with regards to creating the game as I can just focus on the platform that most people would want to see, and it also gives a good indication of pricing when I know that the price of the game would see most sales at £5-10, therefore that should be what it would sell for.


To conclude my research into how the audience feels about a game based on the film Killer Klowns from Outer Space, I have found out some very important facts from the audience that I asked that will help to shape the design of my game. I have found out that the majority of people want a horror game of the FPS genre in which the character that the player controls is a human that is trying to defeat the Klowns. From a design aspect this gives me a good concept to work for when creating my game as I know what the audience wants, and therefore I can cater to that in order to make my game more popular and as a result have better sales. If I had to do these surveys again I would try and ask a more diverse range of people from different backgrounds, as well as a lot more people in general due to the small sample size that I had to work with. in order to get a more generalised view of opinions, rather than just having my classmates to ask. Furthermore, I would try to get answers from both genders as these survey answers were dominated by male answers, and having a balanced view of the film and game ideas from both genders can open up a larger share of the audience to market the game to. Finally, I would ask people who would give me serious answers as in a group of predominantly male teens, there are some answers that are not appropriate and do not contribute to the answers that I needed.

When looking at the types of research I used, it was clear that the quantitative research gave me a lot of useful statistics and information for the game I needed, being very helpful in shaping a concept for the game that I would like to make. Furthermore, they were more likely to get answered due to the simplistic nature of the questions meaning that there wasn't much thinking and effort involved when answering the questions. However, these questions were limited in the fact that I didn't get to understand the answers in regards to why they were answered, which is why the qualitative research that I did was so important as it gave me a deeper understanding into why people felt the way they did, and all that information can be taken on board in the design process for the game. The problem with more open ended questions is that they can lead to unhelpful or stupid answers, which can be a problem when serious information is needed from a survey.

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