Could the OGS game clock be isolated as a tool?

I have seen someone request before the ability just to have a go clock on OGS.

I have wondered how hard wired the go clocks are or could they be (or are they) a component that could be extracted to a page on their own where say you just click the black/white player card to stop the clock/start the opponents.


In a perfect world with unlimited dev time and server resources, I’d like something built on the excellent and snappy user interface and clocks with lag compensation of lichess, but with more time control options (fischer, byo-yomi, optional audio countdown, setting player 1 and player 2 as different time controls, at a minimum, but more options would be preferred), which is just a clock, not a game in and of itself.

Close on the list of things which would make it much better, easy access to a button to pause the clock, ability to edit the time remaining for each player arbitrarily (presumably with some safety measure like the opponent needing to agree to the proposed time edit), ability to define time controls with a fidelity of 1 second instead of being limited to a slider or drop-down, Hourglass time control, option to disable losing on time or reduce the threshold when you lose on time to an arbitrary negative amount (allows the clock to go negative for games which allow this with a penalty), Bronstein Delay, Simple Delay

Harder things to add, but which would make it more flexible, support for 3+ players (possibly with a reduced set of available time controls), ability to combine time controls arbitrarily (for example, 30s Simple Delay plus 10x1m byo-yomi to recreate the NHK cup time control)

Right now the closest I’ve found is just using an unranked OGS game. Streamlining this use case by cutting out the irrelevant gameplay would already by a massive QoL improvement. I’m not sure how many people would use it, but if someone besides me did want something like that, I don’t know of anything else competing

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I guess I was more thinking of a stand-alone thing with no “opponent”. More of a tool like the rating calculator or something of that sort.

Usually another website you’re playing on, if not on OGS, where there is an opponent in the game, I would imagine could better support time controls, pausing and so on more generally for a clock.

In that respect (not so much on say a mini clock app) sites like BGA have the ability to let the time go negative and one player claim a win. Alternatively lichess and the forks have a button to add time to the opponent. I know you probably know that but just thinking of how that works elsewhere.

I guess I was thinking of it being an alternative to like an app or something where you didn’t need to login even, but I don’t know if that can even be accommodated or not :slight_smile: The downside might be if you lose internet connection and that causes something to stop working for some reason and an app wouldn’t care.

I’m confused. If there’s no opponent, why can’t you just use a basic timer app, why do you need a game clock? Offline functionality would be a nice feature, but there are already good apps for that, but they don’t allow playing online afaik

I’m not sure what this sentence means. Are you saying that in a perfect world, a lichess fork dedicated to being a clock would be optimal, and adapting OGS to it isn’t likely to be as good?

Yeah, lichess’s “add 15 seconds” would be nice, especially if it could be customized to how much it added, and for byo-yomi could add a period back

I don’t so much see the point of BGA’s implementation, that’s just a bug, default behavior should be loss on 0, but some games like Scrabble run tournaments where you’re allowed to go a certain amount of time over in exchange for a point penalty, so an option would be good

As I mentioned, there are already great apps for otb play, but just like lichess allows you to play hotseat, a similar functionality for an online game clock would be nice. I’m not sure there’s any avoiding the fact that if you lose Internet connection in a short time control game, and your opponent doesn’t pause the clock for you, tough luck. But on a site that will only really get used by players agreeing to use it in order to play something, I doubt that would be an issue in practice

@ mod maybe split the timer discussion to a thread? Or not, either way

I would suggest posts 8, 9, 10, 11

No I mean if you’re play the game on govariants, they might just be able to support the clock you want. If you’re playing on playstrategy they might be able to support the clock you want and so on.

Is the point of BGA’s implementation not exactly what you want? It’s a soft timer rather than a hard timer, and if the person is not longer playing or just taking way too much liberty with overtime you end it.

I’m really sure where the miscommunication is, I was just tangentially describing the idea that maybe the ogs clock could be repurposed for a timer tool.

I mean maybe you could have opponents optional, but it feels like there’s not need to log the opponents the same way the backend logs games, so if it managed to all be frontend it’d be convenient.

But yeah I don’t know that it could do everything you want but surely just getting the site you’re playing on to support what you want makes sense - or if you already have an app, ask the app developer.

In the absence of those or the fact that asking every app developer to add every timing, it might be interesting to explore the idea of just using OGS clock as a timer since it already has lots of time settings built in.

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Oh, absolutely. The whole point of a dedicated game clock tool is to allow (optimally flexible) timing of games on sites which don’t have appropriate time controls. The time I used OGS as a clock, I was playing Adere on Abstract Play, a correspondence site which is not intended for live play. Any site which has Fischer time or something similarly flexible, I wouldn’t bother using such a tool, but this would be the second time in recent history where such a tool would be helpful

BGA still counts going below 0 as a timeout: it puts a mark on your profile for a while, it just doesn’t make you lose the game. It’s also not optional, and you can’t set a custom negative value at which it times out for real. In any case, it’s the completely wrong default, and BGA has plenty of other problems which make them in my opinion a poor model to imitate

I totally agree, sorry if that’s not coming through. I’ve been focusing mostly on all the things which I would want if time and money were no object, just to get them out there; if making a way to leverage the existing OGS clock controls (which already have many of the features which I’ve listed above: more than enough to satisfy) to get an online game clock (perhaps select “Game Clock” from the “Rules” dropdown, and force it unrated if that’s selected? Perhaps “Game Clock” rules force a 1x1 board with no Superko or Ko or suicide rules?) is feasible, that would be absolutely awesome and would likely be a far greater benefit:cost ratio than any more ambitious project.

Advantages of logging games

  • Leverages existing (and future) clock infrastructure (if OGS adds a new Timing Type, or more fidelity in the options, or the ability to set different times for each player (for time handicap), this would automatically benefit the standalone clock if it were simply a “Ruleset”)
    • Conversely, the way to extend the Game Clock in this model, would be to simply extend the Timing Options for all games, which would benefit OGS as a whole
  • Leverages existing (and future) game amenities (can chat with opponent, use malko log and notes, and anything else which still seems useful now or in the future, without it having to be ported over to a dedicated page)
    • Provides a record of said chat/notes/malko-log tied to the game in question (which can be linked in the chat by the players, if they desire), instead of likely being lost to history in some Discord pm or Skype call
  • Provides a record that a game took place (just because it won’t have a lot of information we’d like it to have (like what game was played and who won (in most cases it will show winner correctly, but the winner may resign to end the game, which should not be reportable because everything will be unranked and arranged with opponents beforehand anyway, so you’re not dealing with randos, and you’re dealing with a game external to OGS, so quite frankly no need to bother mods with reports from “Game Clock” games)), seems to me no reason to not preserve the information it would have (time/date, OGS names of players, who played first, the time control, &c.))