Sugggestion for less time control options

Hey guys (and girls, if any :slight_smile:)

I noticed that I do get a little confused about the time control options, and also I hesitate to accept games with time controls I never use. Honestly I don’t even understand most of the options, I only ever use Byoyomi. I also now the moves per time (eg 25 moves/10min) from Pandanet, since that’s the main choice there.

So even though choice is usually a good thing, I think the many different options don’t really add much to the game experience. You either want a quick game, a long game or something in between. But personally I don’t care that much how exactly the timing is done, as long as it’s understandable and works like expected. I assume many people will feel the same.

I think that it would even add to the experience if there are less options available, the ones most people use and understand. That way it’s more easy to find a suitable game, because you immediately know how long it will probably last.

How do feel about that?

PS: Ok now that I looked over the options, I do understand all of them. Still, I would not miss “simple”, “absolute” or “Fisher” at all.

I would miss Fischer. Simple is used more than it should (it’s buggy).

Simple and absolute could be achieved as special cases of Fischer or Byo-Yomi, but I don’t think getting rid of them would change anything.

While I think absolute is dangerous (as trolls could try to timeout you), I think we would get a strong push back for removing it.

Long story short: I don’t think we have obscure or rarely used time settings.


According to these charts produced by @S_Alexander, there are a reasonable number of games played using the “simple” time setting.

Like you, I wouldn’t object to getting rid of “absolute” and “simple”, but others would probably disagree.


I think you could gather sufficient support to remove simple and absolute. Add my name to the list for a start.
I suspect a good proportion of people who select simple do so because they think it’s the simplest option… The clue is on the name right!

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Oh please no, dont take away our options! OGS is famous for having such a wide variety of options for game settings, that it would be a shame to take those away :<


The simple and easiest solution to the issue you are having would be to better understand the time settings and use them to see which works best for you. I do not personally think removing the settings would be a great way forward. Perhaps something could be done on the “OGS Introduction/Learn to play go” section to include a brief summary of what these time controls do and mean, but removing them is I think to the detriment of OGS rather than “Streamlining” the OGS experience as it were.


I stand corrected!


I don’t see any reason for this. If someone doesn’t like or understand a time setting, they can simply not use it. It would be awkward to play correspondence games without Fischer time.


Just in case someone else was wondering about all the time controls this might help:


Yes, but people might not realise that the “simple” time setting has a bug.


Simple should be fixed, not removed.


I agree. However, until then, it would be useful to warn people.


Well, I already do not use the time settings I don’t like. That’s not the issue. I was only suggesting that beause now there are sometimes games I won’t accept because of the time settings. And I can continue to do that in the future (ignoring those games I mean).

Just all in all, I have the feeling this is a bit overengineered. It would be more streamlined to have only a small set of options, and as a result there would be more game requests to choose from, because there is not so much variation.

Honestly I think if you only started out with 1-2 options hardly anyone would notice. Of course it is always difficult to “take away” something that someone already got used to. I do agree though that for correspondence people probably will want different things than for live games.

So, all I can say is that it was just a suggestion. I still think it has a valid point but I understand and accept that there will be no 100% agreement on this.

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Just as an example for this: If it was restricted to 2 options and you let me choose, Byoyomi (your favorite one) would not be supported anymore. :slight_smile:


I started learning go and using OGS in 2015 and still remember getting really confused by the game creation dialog. All the buttons look the same, same size, same color, same font. “Rules” doesn’t matter much yet the word suggests it has a major impact: My expectation is to see some entirely different go variants in there (atari go, blind go, …) instead of stupid aga/ing nitpicking of details. Absolute and Simple are just byo’yomi’s special cases and only add to the UI clutter. Except that Absolute is kinda required because byo-yomi mode doesn’t let you set 0 periods or 0 time/period and Fischer doesn’t let you set increment to 0. Why does Your Color have both Automatic and Random options!? Without handicap they should be the same. And with handicap enabled there is absolutely no reason to randomly assign the handicap. Why does my custom game ever need a unique “name”?? Nobody uses that field except as some funny message to opponent (“don’t timeout. thx”).
That having said I do use most of the settings and enjoy having all the control. I suppose this thread is really about the UI being so overwhelming for new users.


As a power user I think the slow death of choice in a growing majority of computer software is a tragedy. What is lacking here is simply education on what the different options mean. AdamR linked you above. Spending a few minutes reading it would make more games viable to you in the future.

Have you considered merely creating your own games, rather than hoping others will do the same? I do this almost exclusively and I play with unpopular settings (New Zealand rules, Blitz time settings). Yet, I am in a match within 20 seconds on average, and it is rare to wait more than one minute.

Here is an image showing the settings for a custom game on OGS. These games can be ranked, so there is no reason not to use this method. I use it exclusively to find all of my opponents :nerd:

  1. On the OGS website, at the very top, you will see a line of links that reads “Home, Play, Games, Chat, Puzzles” and so on. Click on Play. It will take you here.
  2. You will see several buttons (Blitz, Normal, Computer, Correspondence, Create). Click on “Create”.
  3. Fill it out how you want and then press “Create Challenge”. Your game will be listed among open games for other players to choose from. You shouldn’t have to wait long before an opponent joins.


You can select a color manually. Automatic will award Black to the player with the higher rank. All three possibilities are legitimate options.


Being able to choose, for whatever reason, is a good thing. There is no one true way to play Go. Even if there was, sometimes people like to play in ways which deviate from what is standard. Also a good thing :wink:

I mimic my last response.


I see the field used legitimately on a regular basis. I also enjoy putting in little instructions or a cute little game name. Is it necessary? I guess not… but is there no room for fun and playfulness in your point of view? :thinking:


@ Mulsiphix1
If handicap is off then that means whoever created the game wants an even game and therefore giving color bias to either player is not ok. So Automatic should be same as Random. Of course there might be someone who really wants to randomly assign handicap but that isn’t what 99.999% of people do so they might as well flip a coin and choose the color manually.

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… and I would be totally fine with that! Cause I still think less options would be better and it doesn’t matter much, how exactly the time is given. On Pandanet most games are 25moves/10min. And that’s fine. You know what you’ll get, and there is not much this-or-that to think about. You simply play and adjust. I can do that :slight_smile: I only choose Byoyomi cause it’s the one I learned first.

I like Fisher the least cause it’s a chess thing and very similar to byoyomi. But if there was agreement that THIS is the one to go, ok. I will learn to adjust.

Sorry Mulsphix … I am in IT a LONG time. And yes I know how to create a game and I even could program a site like this if it would pay off (and it would not be as great as this one :wink: ). I’m not voting to remove time options because I’m too stupid to understand them. I just think it would make things a little easier and shift the focus on playing instead of decision making on things that don’t matter much. Like having one operating system instead of 20, or one messenger instead of 10 and then everybody chooses a different one and all actually lose because of those choices.

I won’t press this matter any more - well I never did, just made a suggestion.

To each their own then :wink:.

Personally, I thank the Universe for OGS each and every day. It is a blessing in my life. I find the amount of options to be refreshing and reflective of the serious nature in which this platform is developed. OGS is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best online Go platform in the world. The options present are one of the many things that I am thankful for. To all who contribute to this wonderful endeavor, you have my heartfelt thanks and admiration :face_with_monocle::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::hugs: