Ability to play 2+ moods simultaneously


#1

Problem
Please correct my ignorance if I’m wrong on this - but I don’t believe one can simultaneously play 2 moods using the player or editor - in any scenario.

Also, my apologies for this being long-winded, but it’s because I want to make a strong case for why this is so important.

My case for why this is necessary
Modular design: For my D&D games that I run, it’s crucial that I can make generic moods that can be played simultaneously. I’ll make 2 arguments why:

Argument 1:
“You could just make a combined version of each of your soundsets, such as a windy forest, or a rainy forest”.

Yes, and I’m confident I know how - but let me paint the picture on why this option is not feasible for me:

Let’s say I have 3 soundsets :

  • “Travel”, which contains a dozen moods such as on-foot, wagon, and horseback.
  • “Biome” which contains a dozen types such as forest, desert, and swamp
  • “Weather” which contains a dozen types such as rain, storm, and snow

If I wanted to prepare a version of each on-foot scenario with only these 3 soundsets, it would look something like this:

  • On-foot/forest/rain,
  • on-foot/forest/storm,
  • on-foot/forest/snow,
  • wagon/forest/rain…

You get the idea. It’s 12 x 12 x 12. Over a thousand custom moods, and I will be developing way more than 3 soundsets. Not feasible.

Argument 2:
“Okay - but do you know that you can develop custom moods on the fly by copying them over to another soundset, moving to the soundset, and turning on that mood while turning on elements (not the mood) of the other desired mood?”

Yes - and perhaps this even works for most people. The issue I take here is that this workaround kills the immersion for my D&D game - which is huge, considering that I’m attempting to use this software to enhance immersion. I’ll explain why:

As a D&D DM, I’m managing a dozen things other than Syrinscape. I need to minimize time spent on audio setup. Let’s say my players travel by wagon across a map, from a rainy forest, then by foot through a sand-stormy desert. My ideal use-case for this change in scenery is that I’ll do the following:

  • Click travel soundset-> wagon mood
  • Click weather soundset -> rain mood
  • Click biome soundset -> forest mood
  • SCENE CHANGE
  • Click ‘stop all’ button
  • Click travel soundset-> on-foot (desert) mood
  • Click weather soundset -> sandstorm mood
  • Click biome soundset -> desert mood

With the current build, I’m forced to tell my players to take a 1-2 minute break (at best) in order to mix moods on the fly. Longer if its actually 3 moods I want to mix. This pulls them out of the game’s immersion immediately, and so it can be hard to justify the use of the app, let alone the SuperSyrin subscription I’m paying.

Thank you
For reading this lengthy post, please let me know what you think. Are there any plans for allowing users to play multiple moods at once in the future?


#2

You are correct, two moods can’t be played simultaneously. I see your problem here, but as versatile as Syrinscape is, i am not sure if this problem could be solved technically.

Let’s say for a minute, that you could play two moods at once - this still wouldn’t solve the problem, that you would have to be switching from one soundset to another to trigger different moods. Given a fantasy scenario, you could easily break down the means by which your characters travel into the three you mentioned. So i wonder, what 12 moods you have. Different environments are definitely more possible, as are weather related moods. The resulting permutations would be far lower nonetheless.

Anyway, i am totally with you that, as a DM, your focus should be on the players and not being a DJ. With Syrinscape you have the tool, that doesn’t unbind you from a little preparation though. Maybe try it like this - you probably have a rough plan on how the PCs will travel. Prepare the different environments as moods (like desert, rain forest, plains…) - if you want to keep it real, in Fantasy, the average group doesn’t cross lots of different climate zones during one session - so you can cut down there. Plus they won’t have every means of transportation available, so you can cut down even more. So - let’s say you have three environments and three means of travel. This equals nine different moods which can be easily kept in one soundset. As they travel, the most likely thing to change is weather, so either: go to a weather soundset, where you keep all the weather you want and start elements there, or include those elements in the above mentioned travel soundset. So you have different means of travel and every weather you need in one set.

Maybe give it a try and see if this could work for you. :slight_smile:


#3

You could always make custom elements to approximate the moods you want. Other than that you should know the broad strokes of whats happening in your game before it happen, which allows planning for something like this easy. Just decide beforehand whether or not it’s going to be raining, mix a few different travel/Rain moods and you should be good. I will say it would be nice to be able to turn more than a single mood on at a time and I don’t see why that would be an issue given you can already have multiple sounds from different scapes running at the same time.


#4

New_vision:
“Let’s say for a minute, that you could play two moods at once - this still wouldn’t solve the problem, that you would have to be switching from one soundset to another to trigger different moods.”

My proposed use-case was to demonstrate that it would - only 6 clicks for the 1st scenario and 7 after even a vastly different one. This is opposed to far more when attempting to mix moods together on the fly.

“Given a fantasy scenario, you could easily break down the means by which your characters travel into the three you mentioned. So i wonder, what 12 moods you have”.

I don’t understand the intent of this statement. At first I thought you were implying that was not being truthful or bluffing about my numbers, but I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt and assume a genuine curiosity. I only listed those 2 scenarios because I didn’t want to turn my post into an essay - it was for readers’ courtesy, not lack of content. Frankly I was conservative about those numbers - I already have 9 generic categories with about 10 moods in each, and I’m not done. Even partially mixing them would be far more than someone would want to make individually. No, I’m not going to list approx 10 moods for 9+ categories to satisfy you, you can take me at my word or not.

Also, I’m running an Eberron campaign - so the original assumption of a fantasy scenario doesn’t work here - it involves lightning rails (trains), ‘gyrocopter’ like vehicles, warforged (android-like men), and more. Not only that, but I’m running 2 separate campaigns.

This is besides the point anyways. All I was attempting to demonstrate was that it’d be an incredible time-saver, both in-game and during preparation, if we could create generic moods and then play them together. I still firmly believe this is the best way to prepare for a game, and to be prepared for unexpected scenarios.

“if you want to keep it real, in Fantasy, the average group doesn’t cross lots of different climate zones during one session - so you can cut down there. Plus they won’t have every means of transportation available, so you can cut down even more.”

The Eberron and Dark Sun campaigns are not typical fantasy environments, so this doesn’t really apply. There are trains, flying vehicles, silt ‘pirates’, kank(insect) riders, and way more between them.


#5

That certainly works for raining - but they can still decide to go to (bolding the moods):

  • Go to a tavern while it’s raining.
  • Decide to cast ‘clear weather’ as a spell, stop the raining, then go into a bar
  • Go to stables to investigate a murder while it’s raining
  • Leave the town on a carriage to go find those kobolds that were causing trouble while it’s raining
  • Go to the market by horse while it’s raining
  • Visit the blacksmith while it’s raining

I could keep going on. Without “railroading” my players choices, there is still a near-infinite number of mixable moods that could either make it either too hard to anticipate, or too time-consuming to set up beforehand. Do I start putting in ‘rain’ to every other mood? Indoor rain for indoors? Lightning too? What about snowy winds? Sandstorms?

But wouldn’t it be amazing if we could just make the different generic moods (in bold) and then just turn them off and on as we please? It’d be an incredible time-saver both in-game and out.


#6

Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt. There was no ill intend there, just pure curiosity. I totally forgot D&D can more more than just fantasy, that’s why i was curious - i didn’t think of the other universes. So, this is my bad. :wink:

Yes, if you have vastly more variables, the mentioned solutions is not at all viable, agreed. Nonetheless, it leaves me wondering, that players can act so unpredictable and deviate so much from the path the DM intends to follow, that such heavy jury-rigging is necessary. Well, one never stops to learn. :slight_smile:

Edit: Crossposting ftw… :smiley: Yeah, if you totally play sandboxy style, this will be hard. Well, as you are stating yourself, there’s a near-infinite number of possibilities, so probably the possibility to start two moods simultaneously won’t help. Striving for perfection often shows all kinds of flaws on the way. We’re trying our best, but we aren’t perfect. Sadly! :joy:

At this point i can only offer some :cookie::cookie::cookie:


#7

Heh - I’m internally a hot-head, so I have to remind myself that most people are good intentioned :slight_smile:

The unpredictability is a feature of the campaign - it’s ‘sandbox’ style. This means there is no true ‘path’ that I intend them to follow - maybe only certain things I expect them to react to from time to time. I let them do what they want - then build a story around what I see their interests are. It’s hard work but I find they love it, because the story is built around them as a result.

EDIT - Got your edit! Too fast indeed! Yep I’m definitely a perfectionist - I feel those kind of users often help push software to their potential limits, at least.

I still think playing 2+ moods could really improve my situation (assuming I create a library of generics) - I imagine far less interruptions an clicking as a result - which is my ultimate goal when in-game. We could agree to disagree here. I do appreciate the input!


#8

See the edit - :smiley: you’re just too fast! :cloud_with_lightning:


#9

There are lots of good points raised here and certainly something that we can consider for the future. The current build of the app however is designed so that activating one mood ends the first and triggers the cross fading. Playing two moods simultaneously would require a major change to the way that the app is currently designed to work. Syrinscape functions like a multi channel mixer, playing multiple elements within each mood. In the background each mood is also loaded with data which tells Syrinscape how to play those elements. So when we change moods we are effectively triggering a new state within the app.

Currently custom moods or soundsets created using the Creator are the best way to go about what you are requesting. Yes there are many variables and yes games can often go of in a direction different that what was first planned or at a high rate of change, that’s why we have added in the search bar and tried to make it easier to pull up the sounds needed quickly. Playing two moods would still require “in-flight” changes because of the ambiant sounds within them, such as birds chirping.

We build content for as many varied locations and situations as we can and the community has also put together some amazing Community Content. But obviously we can’t cover every situation and at times flexibility is needed in the sounds you can quickly provide for you game


#10

Very much appreciate you telling me the detailed reasoning. Completely understand as a software dev myself, I can appreciate the complexity of what that would entail.

For now, I’ll finish setting up my library of generic/modular moods. I think what I’ll do is use those generics as a base, to be able to quickly set up custom moods that are designed for the next D&D game. It’s not exactly how I’d like to do things, but I still want to say that Syrinscape is the best out there for setting up this level of audial immersion.

Thanks for the quick response, and I’m glad to see the team is listening.


#11

There’s a difference between railroading your players and “knowing where they’re going.”


#12

Sure, the difference is being a storyteller and being a DM. The only exception is if you’re running a dungeon module or something. Maybe that’s what you’re doing, and that’s fine since some players love that, but it’s not what I’m doing.

If you threw my party into a city to explore, I know with 100% certainty that you’d be unprepared for every place they’d like to explore, thing they’d want to do, or other potentially mood-changing scenario that would be a result of their agency. And no, you’re not meant to take that personally. They’re people with extremely complex thoughts and a mind of their own. You’re telling me I should know where they’re going, and I’m telling you that I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about if you think that. Part of the job as a DM is to improvise when, not if, that happens.

And that’s the crux of the argument. If I have a generic layout of moods prepared, I essentially don’t have to improvise by making custom ones, which causes pausing and immersion breaks. I would simply combine each mood that applies. I want to spend my energy improvising the story, not the audio.


#13

I play my campaigns incredibly open ended, but I still know 80-90% of where my players are going. Maybe I communicate with my players more or maybe my players are easier to read, but for the most part I know where they are going, and I know how they’re gonna get there. Different DMing styles though…

I’d also like to just point out that having 75% of all eventualities covered really should be enough. Going for 100% is just gonna make you go crazy.

Still like the idea of 2 moods at once though.


#14

Good discussion… All noted by me.

Nice to see our forums are a place where frank and robust discussion stays controlled and people keep being nice to each other, too! :slight_smile:

:pizza::beers::cookie: for everyone!


#15

Aaron,
As someone who’s normally a sandbox-style GM with a lot of improvising, I share your pain. Syrinscape seems to be work best for games with pre-planned, set piece encounters. In a game where PC’s can go anywhere, and a scene might crop up virtually anywhere, it’s often a challenge to try to find the right sounds on the fly.
After spending a ton of prep time trying to set campaigns and Soundsets up to cover every situation I’m likely to need, I’ve fallen back on mainly using Syrinscape for music playlists that are more universally applicable.
It’s not using Syrinscape to anywhere near its full potential, but it works best for my games.

Ironically though, Syrinscape Online playing two moods simultaneously was a bug that hit my game last night. Took a bit of stopping & restarting, but worked OK after that.


#16

This is perfect! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#17

@AaronBenjamin87 - I feel your pain. I frequently DM by the seat of my pants; I have a general thrust of where the players might be going, and maybe a combat counter or two ready (some of my players live for at least one fight a session), but so much is up for debate, derailment, and detours that I just roll with the punches.

I mostly compensate by having patient players, organized Syrinscape campaigns, and being quick with the search bar. It’s not seamless, but considering the alternative is me making sword sounds and monster growls with my mouth and relying on my sleep machine for rain sounds, I’ll deal with the minor delays. I’m also likely going to be having one of my players take over DJing the PC sounds (spells, bows, sword clashes) by having them using my tablet and offering a little bonus XP or other in-game reward for it, while I continue the monsters/atmosphere from my laptop.