Lee Borkman
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Hello,

The recent article in defense of Analysis Paralysis got me wishing for a multi-player game clock for my kids and me. So here is my first attempt:
http://bjork.net/clock.html

This clock works for any number of players. Each player has configurable name, color and time. There are large links for NextPlayer/Pause/Resume, and 95% of the time during a game, players will only need to hit the ENTER key to end their turn and start the next player's clock.

At the moment there are no features for saving/restoring game configurations, but I'm working on it.

The complete program is contained in a single HTML file, which you can use online, or save to your computer to use offline.

I would be very happy if anyone cared to try it out, and let me know if this is worthwhile pursuing. Perhaps this has been done a thousand times before, a thousand times better.

Thanks heaps,
Lee Bjork Borkman
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Stephen Waits
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Cool idea Lee!

A few things, first, it doesn't format properly in Opera (v 9.5). Second, the timing is inaccurate. To demonstrate this, quickly click pause/resume repeatedly. Finally, it'd be cool if you added some of the common modes found on commercial game timers.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
Is it supposed to count down past zero into negative seconds?

Also, as the previous poster said, if you pause and unpause the timer goes wonky.
 
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Lee Borkman
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
Hi guys,

Thanks for looking and responding so quickly!

Timing fix... no worries... just a minor change to the logic.

I'll have a peek in Opera too, when I get the chance. As for modes and features found in commercial clocks, is there somewhere you could point me where I could see such a beast? I'm just making this up as I go, based on what I know about chess clocks.

And yes, at the moment, I have deliberately made th clock count down below zero, although you do get a big red "EXPIRED" message as well. I figured that showing the time deficit might be more useful depending on what rules you want to play by.

THanks again for all your thoughts,
LeeBB
 
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Andreas Pelikan
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
I greatly appreciate your effort, although I cannot imagine taking a laptop to our boardgame nights to run the timer (our timing problems usually are resolved by Bernhard saying "Es gilt die 3-Stunden-Regel" (The 3 hours rule applies) to remind players not to tarry overlong). Such a timer would be a cool application to run on a cellulare phone, though.

The display is well organized and convenient. Only the setup is clumsy. Following suggestions:

Skip color-selection during setup, assign default-colors that can be changed later on with a color picker (e.g http://www.mattkruse.com/javascript/colorpicker/). You may also wish to use a color picker initially instead of assigning default colors. Typing the color - without error checks - is a bad idea. Both zellow (a typical german keyboard typo for yellow) and crimson (a non-standard color) get rendered as 'no color' (default background).

Ask for playing time only once (same for all players). If you want to allow different times (handicaps for experts), at least initialize the answer with the previous player's time (so you only need to press RETURN to confirm).
Check that playing time is numeric, and ask again when it is not.

Once the game is created, still have a link "Return to Setup", possibly guarded by a confirmation popup. Of course you can restart the browser, but it is good practice to have a link to start over (if you made mistakes during setup).

Clicking "Cancel" during setup should abort the setup and return to the "Create a game" screen (I made the stupid test to enter 99 players, and had to kill the browser from command line - or click cancel 297 times).

After creating, but before starting a game, the 'Create a game' link remains visible. Make sure everything is reset when you select a new number of players. Currently, players get appended (added), but then only the specified "number of players" actually get timed.

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Lee Borkman
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
Thanks Andreas,

Yes, the set-up is awkward and unforgiving. I'm going to replace the whole set-up interface with a form/matrix. 8 rows for up to 8 players. Each row has dropdowns for name, color, handicap. A single field for time. Populate the dropdowns from a save-able config, so you can set the whole thing up with the names of your gaming group, without having to re-type every time. Should be much more usable. I'll post the new version some tim ein the next day.

As for carrying around a laptop, well there's always one where I play, but as it's a browser-based app, it should work on amy palm or pocket-PC, and possibly even cell phones. I'll look into that sometme down the track.

Thanks again for the feedback,
LBB
 
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Lee Borkman
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
Oh, I believe that that timing oddity is now fixed:
http://bjork.net/clock.html

Thanks again for your help, everyone. I appreciate it,
LBB
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
Great idea. It'd be nice if it'd be possible to have short, one turn clocks (like sand timers) to limit the time for each turn.

-Jorge
 
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
Indeed. You're off to a good start.
What I have been wanting, and indeed was thinking about just yesterday before I saw your post, is an online stopwatch sort of timer.

I have been wanting to make a VASSAL module for Das Motorsportspiel but the game is heavily dependent on timing each players turn (usually 20 seconds or so). An online timer that the players could run alongside the VASSAL engine would be perfect, since VASSAL has no timer feature.

Something where you could set the number of seconds, hit start for that player and then reset when his turn is done if that makes any sense?
Ideally with an annoying buzzer

Keep up the good work, folks may not want to take their laptop to the game shop but those of us that play on line will certainly find uses for it.
 
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John Paul Sodusta
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
This looks great!!!!

I was wondering is there a way you can add an option to add turn time instead of subtracting it from a set amount? Can we keep track of how much time people had to wait on him?
 
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Lee Borkman
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
Hi everyone,

I have completely re-worked the set-up process now using dynamic forms, etc, to make every quick and easy. It's still just a prototype, still got many rough edges, but am I heading in the right direction?

Still to do: apart from smoothing edges, I plan to implement save/restore of initial config info (ie, list of names) and also of the complete current game state (so you can re-commence the same game next week).

http://bjork.net/clock.html

Thanks guys,
Lee.
 
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R. L. Lloyd
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Re: Free, online/offline multiplayer game clock - pls try it
A suggestion would be a button to go back to the previous player's turn. I can see this becoming an issue if Player 3 decides his turn is finished but then changes his mind just as the next player's timer is started. Granted, most times when your turn is done, your turn is done, but I can see this being a helpful addition.
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Thomas P. Felder
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I simply love this tool.
 
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Nice, smooth tool Definitely useful if a laptop or other html/javascript-capable device is around.

Just in case someone needs a simple yet useful tool for a pda: timing isn't as slick as some others but does the trick for me without a hassle (free version: max 11 counters)
 
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I have a single timer that I use on my Palm Tungsten T3 for when a timer was needed for Scattergories (?). Comes in handy. Otherwise, use the microwave or oven timer
 
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Some Guy
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This is a great idea. We were just talking about doing this in our group.

I have bookmarked in my adroid's browser, but would be ideal if there was a native android app. Any hope of this?
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