Gaming areas too loud

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by brendar, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Cloak n' Dagger

    Cloak n' Dagger Level 0 Character

    If there is any way to partition off the ballrooms, I think this would help. I didn't see anything when I was in those rooms, but I know some hotels have ballrooms that have at least one partition that slides down the middle to separate into two small areas. Something like this could help mute the overall noise in the large rooms.
  2. jonsnod

    jonsnod Level 0 Character

    Our local con does very well keeping noise levels down with simple curtain partitions- they make a huge difference.
  3. brendar

    brendar Staff Member Staff Member

    Similar to the curtains in our dealer hall?
  4. jonsnod

    jonsnod Level 0 Character

    Yes; exactly. I've run games at those tables with curtains on either side & have had no trouble hearing players. They dampen noise surprisingly well.
  5. brendar

    brendar Staff Member Staff Member

    I do consistently see this offered as a possibility to mitigate the noise. It is unfortunately an extremely expensive solution at the Grand, but I'll take a note to look into this a little deeper this year.
  6. Jarlaxle

    Jarlaxle Troubadour

    That's the problem, at least in Evergreen: the room WAS partitioned. Being a rigid, un-padded divider, I suspect it might have made things worse.
  7. Khasimir

    Khasimir Footpad

    Would it be possible for the Con to get their own rather than needing to use ones provided by the Grand? I would imagine there are some crowd sourced options available or various sewing clubs might be willing to do it for a nominal fee plus material.
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  8. brendar

    brendar Staff Member Staff Member

    Yes, but then you are talking storage, setup and takedown labor, maintenance and transportation. All not simple- there is a reason this stuff gets outsourced. Not meant to shoot down your idea, I'm truly brainstorming here.
  9. spaartuk

    spaartuk Level 0 Character

    I just did some Googling for noise reduction techniques for restaurants to see if there were any off-the-shelf solutions. Unfortunately they all look expensive and would likely require some kind of installation.

    The solution is louder game masters!
    Melf likes this.
  10. Navar

    Navar Level 0 Character

    EG1 was so loud on Saturday, I left a game early. EG1 had 12 tables. The only feasible solutions are less tables in the rooms & self-policing. It is ridiculous how loud some tables were.
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  11. glamcrist

    glamcrist Footpad

    Just spent some time googling, and came across a few...(adapting from suggestions for Hospitals, Offices, etc.)

    1. Use psychological warfare on us! ...we're conditioned to be quiet in the dark, so dimming the lights a few lumens will encourage lower speech volume.
    2. Rate events by expected noise level, avoid scheduling games that should be quiet in rooms with games likely to get loud(I'd make it another field in event submission). This would prevent the quieter games from having to get louder just to compete.
    "3. Mask the sound by increasing background noise. It seems counter-intuitive, but adding more sound to an environment can actually make it seem quieter. Research suggests that noise itself isn’t distracting, but unwanted speech noise is. However, words that are incomprehensible are less likely to be distracting. By adding a continuous, low-level ambient sound to an environment (such as white noise, which sounds similar to the sound of airflow), sound masking can help make conversations for listeners that aren’t intended to hear them unintelligible, and therefore much easier to ignore." So back to that competitive noise level. If I'm hearing words from the next table, I have to speak louder to make sure my intended recipient is understanding my meaning. that same speech from the next table will be incomprehensible if buried under some white noise, so I won't feel the need to increase volume to make sure I'm understood. Another way of stating it: we subconsciously worry about people missing our speech because they're paying attention to the next guy, so if we remove that possibility, we won't feel threatened.
    4. Cubicle Partitioning(literally 4 foot high carpeted walls). This would probably require a cost-benefits analysis.

    Look to the people who's bottom lines have required solutions to the same problems. Money talks(or in this case, whispers)! ;)
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  12. Eddie

    Eddie Level 0 Character

    Adding an expected noise level question to event submission could be useful, but the problem is self-policing won't work if people need to raise their voice just to be heard. It's on the GM's. They need to ask anyone at their table who is shouting to quiet down out of courtesy to others. If a game actually features shouting, then it should be played in an isolated section. But in a typical game, why would anyone be really talking loudly unless they can't be heard? The quieter the room, the less loudly everyone will have to speak. Unnecessary talking in the room (such as when you're waiting your turn) should also be reduced to help achieve this.

    I sometimes try to do complex dialogue with the NPC's in my adventures, and that can be impossible if it's too loud. There just isn't enough room to elaborate, or to be subtle. And it reduces my ability to make the adventure frightening, and immersive.
  13. Khasimir

    Khasimir Footpad

    The games I ran at my first Gary Con featured dialogue and flavor text. Never again at Gary Con.

    Also, some of the GM's themselves are the issue. I've played in some of their games and while it's cool when you are playing in their game, not so much when you are playing at the table next to them.
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  14. Khasimir

    Khasimir Footpad

    I feel you. Those are all things beyond my scope of understanding for what the Con has available or can provide.
  15. makerofthings

    makerofthings Chevalier

    Sorry about the opening "Under Pressure" sing along number. The speaker was set a little loud. If I come back to GC next year I will certainly be more aware of it.

    Melf likes this.
  16. JediSoth

    JediSoth Troubadour

    I think GM awareness of noise levels at their table is about the only sure fire solution that is reasonable. More barriers is expensive and can create an impediment to travel for attendees in wheelchairs. Putting each game in a private room is impractical and virtually impossible. White noise devices are also expensive and probably wouldn't be effective in such large open spaces.

    Noise is just one of those things GMs and players have to deal with at a convention. As I said earlier, at least there's carpet and fairly low non-metallic ceilings.
    mwisconsin likes this.
  17. mwisconsin

    mwisconsin Administrator Staff Member

    I think this is the appropriate response. While there are some edge cases, I've never come back from a convention where I'm DMing without some loss of vocal capacity. Hell, last November I spent a month after GHC practically whispering everything (open room, 15 tables, everyone speaking at the top of their voices).
  18. Jarlaxle

    Jarlaxle Troubadour

    Not so much that...but I honestly think I have damaged my ears from the din.
    mwisconsin likes this.
  19. rickwins

    rickwins Level 0 Character

    One thing I noticed in the evergreen rooms was that most DMs. Set up along the wall and spoke out over the whole room. If you could have the DMs. Back to back you may get less cross noise. Maybe a special DM chair with extra cushion so you could have more control of where they sit.
    Melf, Reidzilla and Jarlaxle like this.
  20. brendar

    brendar Staff Member Staff Member

    Now this is smart.
    Jarlaxle likes this.

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