First Session Feedback


#1

Hey team, my first session feedback. First I must say, this is productive and helpful feedback - Syrinscape is an amazing product, but I think we can make it better, especially for Improv use.

So I found a soundset that seemed to match my scene, but I had to turn on/off specific events that didn’t fit (train, rain, water, wrong creature, etc), and find others from other soundsets, and at one point, I had sounds playing from 3 or 4 different soundsets to create what I actually wanted (and that still felt short).

Doing this improv, was difficult and distracting from my game flow and acting.

I discovered during the 4 hours session, that I wished for a better way to separate music from ambience. I also found myself being able to easily lessen or increase the rate at which creatures made their noises. Battle can take a many hours, so players get to the point where they were like “can you shut up that monster, or horn, or whatever”. Yeah, I know, click the button and it stops, but not so easy when I have sounds playing from several different soundsets.

With that said, I didn’t feel like I had the right improv controls to do prover improv.

Suggestions:

  • I think I would like to have separate Music and Ambience sections and searches for each. Those searches shouldn’t cross over to each other, so if I search for music and type in jungle, I am not going to get a whole list of jungle moods and sounds (birds, snakes, etc) in the search result. Music is subjective - my Ogre battle could be in a jungle, where yours is in the North Pole or starship. I want Jungle bongo music, dammit! :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

  • I think we need to have a separate panel that displays all the events that we have playing currently, no matter what soundset they are playing from. So I could have 15 different sounds playing from 8 different soundsets, but I see them all in one place, to control and adjust as needed. I think this panel could have more of an improv interface, to do something like below:

  • I want to have a control to change the rate at which repeating an event occurs, and it should be right there in our faces. I might not want that Ogre growling every 4 seconds, during a 3 hour battle. Last night, I had so many people complaining about the repeating creatures, horns, flapping, because they were happing too frequently. It would be nice to have a little slider next to the button, to quickly change that rate of occurrence. I slide the slider a little, and now those Ogres are growling once every 5 minutes instead of every 3 seconds. Annoyed players happy again. :slight_smile:

And one last thing that I would like to suggest while I am here (off topic), is a better way for us to make our own soundsets from existing ones (yours). The process of having to copy it first to another campaign and blah blah blah, is painful. Instead, we should be able to pull up an existing soundset, adjust things, like volume and rates, and simply hit a save button, where it then asks you where we want to save this preset. Much easier than the current method which is very confusing.

Thanks for listening, and keep up the great work!


#2

That is actually precisely what the Soundset creator is for for about 90% of what you want. You can control precisely which elements turn up in a set you’re running, change how frequently, etc. It does take forethought, though, so if you’re an improv DM like me, you might want to just arrange potential soundsets for the night into a campaign (without the Creator), so at least that way you only have to handle a small number of sets at a time.


#3

Another option is to prepare a couple of custom moods for likely candidates of what you’ll be fighting, then you only have to switch from, say, “Full Zombie Fight” to “Middle Zombie Fight” to “Straggler Zombies”, so you only have to push one button instead of search through many.


#4

“we need to have a separate panel that displays all the events that we have playing currently, no matter what soundset they are playing from.”

This would be a godsent. I know I can customize my soundsets in the separate application but I don’t want to. The last 5 or so years I have been looking for ways to decrease prep time. Back in the day I was happy with 1:2 ratio (1h prep getting me 2h gaming), now I want 1:10 ratio and creating custom soundsets for all of my sessions simply does not fit to that at all.


#5

Well it was my first session, so it certainly could be a familiarity issue with me, I just found myself struggling to find the right music, the right creature, managing it all while it was playing, and players complaining about too many repeating things during a 3 hour battle.

At about the 2 hour mark, I quit on finding the right music altogether, and turned to YouTube for that task. Not something a sound making app wants to hear, I’m sure.

Well hopefully this feedback helps. Again, I still think Syrinscape is an incredible product, and certainly worthy of my subscription - I just wanted to bring to light my struggles, so that the designers can keep them in mind when moving forward with UI design.


#6

I know Ben and the rest of the crew are working on additional upgrades (some of which you’ve mentioned), but for the interim, I could recommend this thread: Some good generic campaigns to help you get organised!

I have organized all of the soundsets into various generic campaigns - all locations, all monsters, etc. Also I put several campaigns together of various themes, like various locations/monsters for a Town, a Dungeon, Forest, Jungle, etc. I also organized all of the various official adventure path sets into their own campaigns. For the time being, that would at least help cut down on the number of places to search! I hope it helps. :slight_smile:


#7

Thanks for the info!

So I have been thinking about this ever since I created this thread. Here is another suggestion:

To better understand and put yourself into my mindset, queue up Kobold Lair - Kobold Battle, play it for 10 minutes, and then read on.

Ok, as you can quickly conclude, if you hear just one more Yark Yark, Laugh, scream, or any other Kobold sound, you will probably launch yourself out of a window, while making sure the glass digs in deep on the way out. Lol :wink:

While a first time listening to a mood has WOW factor and excitement, many of the moods get terribly annoying in a relatively short period of time compared to the time it takes to complete a battle.

Nobody in their right minds could listen to that Kobold mood for an hour, no way no how, but how can the end user quickly fix this currently? Well, by scrolling through what sometimes can be several different sounds, and individually turn them off, one at a time.

That is slow, cumbersome, and distracts from storytelling. This process can be improved.

What I propose:
I propose that there are groups, all with their own controls.

So I could have a Kobold Group, a Combat Group, an Ambient Group, and when I play the mood, I can simply click off Kobold Group, and all of the Kobold sounds within stop, this way I can enjoy the rest of the mood, without the annoying Kobolds.

Then maybe during the kobolds turn, I can click on that group for a minute, and then turn it off again. This way, the annoyance factor becomes non existent, because stuff isn’t repeating over and over again.

Honestly, D&D battles can take hours, and many/most of Syrinscape moods don’t keep that in mind. We need a way to control groups.

Now to pull these groups off in Syrinscape currently, I would have to create a mood, like No Sound, No Kobolds, No screams, but is creating more Moods the solution to this? That would create a long list of moods at the end of the day, but with grouping and their own controls, we could easily turn on/off groups of things, while keeping mood lists low.


#8

Right at the moment multiple moods is the way to do it, though asking for more controls is certainly something you should and have done. The more people that ask for a feature, the more likely it will gain the attention to attempt to be implemented.

Many battles do already have a preset mood of a particular ambiance, then the battle within the ambiance is the next mood. The only shift you might want to make is adding different music to your moods (as you said you wanted more variety).

For my battles in my own game, I generally set a combat mood (possibly with modifications, I oftentimes eliminate the constant weapons sounds), then I hop over to a campaign of my own devising which is a variety of soundsets I use for my players’ individual attacks (it’s a combination of the various fighter/wizard/cleric/rogue sets along with a few more to represent special attacks, shapeshifting, and spellcasting of the particular party I’m DMing). Then I only have to control the sounds for individual attacks of my PCs (which 90% of the time also double for my monsters). I have also experimented with giving one of my players a tablet with the PC soundsets up on it and letting them DJ the players’ sounds while I handle ambiance and monsters. Some of them have found that rather fun!


#9

All great advice! Thanks!

Regarding your PC controlling sound: Yeah, I’m trying to prioritize storytelling, vs being a sound man. Being an ex musician and having my own recording studio, I do all I can to keep sound control to a minimal during game. I all too often want to turn to the “mixing board” instead of narrating. Lol


#10

@dorpond Thanks for providing this detailed feedback. You have identified a few issues. I’ll try to briefly reiterate what I think you want, and what we’re doing about each issue.

  1. You want a better way to search the sample and element library. E.g. filtering by type. Improving search in the library and in general is already on our radar.

  2. You want to see all playing elements in one place, regardless of which soundset they belong to. Again, we already have some plans to address this.

  3. You want more dynamic controls to tweak some element parameters (e.g. time between samples) in realtime (e.g. during a game). This will require more consideration and planning on our part. We’ve started internal discussions.

  4. You want to be able to edit any soundset and then save it as a new soundset, instead of first having to duplicate and then edit. Unfortunately, this is not feasible with the way our system works. You can only make changes to your private soundsets, and so you must duplicate a soundset before making changes.

  5. All of the above (or at least 1-3) are intended to make improv play easier, so you can focus on story telling and less on sound design during a game.

As always, I can’t promise when any particular features might be implemented. But thanks for your feedback. I’ve created and updated tickets in our task list to track these issues.


#11

Thank you for taking the time to read, as well as bringing it up during your meetings. You guys rock!