I like that my players have all become such good friends. But they're all louder than me. We end up just chatting and hanging out more than gaming because I can't get them to stop having out of character conversations.
I've tried giving them time before the game starts. I figured that that would let them get it out of their system. I think this has actually made things worse because it gives the conversation time to build momentum.
I've also tried to get them to socialize more outside of game. It's obvious that they're excited to see each other since we only get together every two weeks to play. But it's a lot harder to get 6 people together just to hang out than it is for a game.
Finally, I have considered that my game may be boring. If that's the case, fine. However I'm still interested in figuring out ways to control out of character conversations, so for the sake of this question, please assume that the game sessions are not at fault.
One factor I forgot to mention at first is that one of the players smokes. This means that once an hour we take a break and other conversations start up while people are outside. Then I have to overcome the outside conversation again to get the game going. When possible I do roleplaying outside, so that the smoke breaks aren't an interruption, but the game session doesn't always cater to my friend's nicotine cravings. Would it be rude to continue the game while he's outside instead of letting it get derailed each time he needs a smoke?