While the allure of Noir is an assumption I hold about the target audience; it is just as important that the audience is interested in role-playing, interacting with other participants and within the context of their local town. I made assumptions about attitudes towards a product which is tailored to a person’s home town as well as the concept of leaving one’s mark withing the fictional world of the experience. In order to test and respond further to these assumptions I carried out some primary research which I have detailed below.

Although I only polled one hundred people; I used an initial qualifier filter to exclude people who answered no to the question “Could you be interested in a themed digital interactive experience?”.  83% of the initially filtered participants said they would participate in the digital interactive experience if it was to be Film Noir themed. I then tested the perceptions, knowledge and preferences that the poll participants held about both Film Noir and the nature of the type of app I am building. Among the finding were that a majority (61%) would prefer to download the app via an app store and print out any physical assets rather than purchase a boxed product. This is not to say that a boxed product is unpopular; 39% would prefer a boxed edition. However, the survey did not give details of pricing differences. While my original assumption early on in the product development cycle has been to ship the app as a hybrid  boxed app. I have come up against logistical and cost problems with a supplier as well.  Therefore it is very likely, with the data from the research, that the app will initially be distributed primarily via the app stores.

Demograhics Summary

Several other assumptions were validated within the research. 59% of participants prefer an open narrative as opposed to a prewritten one. Although a greater majority (77%) prefer a narrative with an ending. This latter finding suggests that an episodic approach could satisfy a large majority; whereby the participants have control over much of the narrative experience while encountering closure through periodic narrative endings to sub-plots. A staggering 82% of those surveyed agreed to some degree that it is better when a digital interactive experience is tailored to a participant’s local town or city. 62% of participants said they would be either moderately or extremely likely to engage with interactive digital content within their local town as part of the experience; a further 22% said they would slightly likely. Leaving one’s mark within an interactive experience, such as by leaving hidden messages at locations for other participants to discover, was deemed between moderately and extremely important to 82% of people. Those surveyed agreed overwhelmingly (87%) that digital interactive experiences through mobile devices could encourage people to engage with their local towns more if tailored to included familiar content such as well know local buildings and places.

Using the demographical data obtained from the survey I was able to determine certain trends which helps to better identify more specific target audience cross sections.

92% 18 – 24
81% 25 -34
84% 35 – 44
69% 45 – 54
71% >54

While the idea of a digital interactive Film Noir experience is popular in all age ranges; it is most popular with younger participants.When asked about the likelihood of engaging with digital content in their local town; the results where consistent among age groups.

67%  18 – 24
53%  25 – 34
68%  35 – 44
67%  45 – 54

Generally, across the results there was a suggestion of some scepticism in the 25 – 34 age group and the greatest level of interest in the 18 – 24 while over 35s were generally in between these other two groups in terms of levels of interest.There was no disparity in the results in terms of whether the person was using iPhone or Android. Some other demographic filters produced some variations when answering yes to the question whether they would want to participate in a Film Noir experience.

93% Uni
93% PostGrad
76% High School
81% Single
96% Married
96% Male
80% Female

Overall the ideal target candiate, based on this data would be:

Male, Married, University educated and over 35.

Although all demographics in the 18 – 24 age groups responded positively across the survey, the quantity of participants polled is limited; but it serves as a litmus test for the general take up of the idea. Finally, there was one further result which I found to be noteworthy. I asked participants which other themes would be of interest to them other than Noir and the most popular response out of ten choices was Comedy (64%) and Romantic (43%). These are elements which could and perhaps should be included within the ongoing development of the gameplay of Noirscape. Noir film was certainly not without a sense of humour, albeit a dark one.

I always cry at weddings. Especially my own.

Humphrey Bogart, Film Noir Actor

Raw Data: Survey Results from March 2021

The first question seeks to get an idea about the general public’s perception of what people think Film Noir is. The keywords
‘love’, ‘detective’ and ‘crime’ came out on top along with ‘black & white’. This was more of an intro question to serve as a guide and a reminder as to what
is meant by Noir for the survey the participant is about to engage with.

I was interested to understand about perception of Noir in terms of suitability for younger audiences. My assumption is that the app would be for over sixteens.
But, it’s also true that at the time of the height of Noir cinema there was tight rules and regulations regarding content and language. Writers and directors made creative use of language and lighting, scenes and so on to evoke the ‘forbidden’ aspects of the content, without breaking the rules.

I wanted to learn about what an audience would do when given the power to drive the narrative themselves; to understand which Noiresque scenarios could be most popular.

The 100 participants who took part were pre-filtered. They all had previously agreed that they would be open to participating in a digitial interactive experience.
However, they were not told of the theme. So, question four is a good test to see whether the Noir theme is alluring or not. Those who answered no, were then taken straight to question 6.

Question 5 expands further on seekings to understand audience perception and preferences. This time in relation to role playing.

Question 6 was answered exclusively by those who said they would not wish to participate in a Noir themed digital interactive experience.
Six of the initially pre-filtered 100 participants seemingly changed their minds about openess to such experiences. Just 9 out of the initial 100 stated they didn’t like the theme.

Participants who stated that they didn’t like digital interactive experiences in question 6 were not asked any further questions. The remaining
94 participants were then asked about other themes they would be interested in either as well as Noir, or in the case of the 9 people who don’t like Noir, instead of it.
This question provides a good indicator of where Noir theme stands in relation to other more or less [assumed] popular themes.

The remaining questions were theme neutral and sought to find out more about what the audience’s perception of the nature of digital interactive experiences;
and some specific questions about assumptions carried by my proposed app.

Interactivity between participants would be a popular feature. 73% would prefer this. But, 27% is a significant enough proportion to warrant further analysis.
What are the reasons why, for example? Can those reasons be overcome by reassurances? Should the app offer a solo mode? This piece of research does not answer those questions.

The following question is troublesome is some ways, to the premise and assumption that the Noirscope experience can be ongoing and expanding.
Interestingly, it’s a very similar distribution to the previous question and further analysis could be done to look at any correlation between the datas from these two questions.

Question 12 validates an important assumption and premise of Noirscape – which of course is designed to be tailored to a participants locality.

Question 13 re-enforces my locality hypothesis further [along with Q 12].

Leaving one’s mark in a digital interactive experience is import to a large majority of people questioned.

Finally, along with the Q12 and Q13 the user response confirmed the assumption that an experience with elements tailored to ther local town could encourage people to engage more with real local places.

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