Let's talk "Chess Clocks". 'Cause I'm makin' some...


Okay folks, I’m making some general purpose Chess Clocks and I wouldn’t mind some input, if anybody is wishing their module had them. Happily, Michael Kiefte had already done a bunch of the preliminary work for Twilight Struggle and shared his source with me. So now I’m getting them ready for an upcoming Paths of Glory tournament, but part of the fun is learning a bunch of the Vassal “configurer” stuff so that I can make them very generic and suitable for many modules.

What I’ve got so far:
(1) As many timers as you want – i.e. if you want 4 chess clocks for 4 players you can have them.
(2) Configurable style about whether e.g. tenths of seconds should be displayed, hours, days, etc.
(3) Configurable foreground/background colors when a timer is “running”
(4) The timers can be hidden, or both can be paused at once, from the master timer button.
(5) There’s some multiplayer handshaking of the clocks for online games, that should keep them in synch across multiple machines.

It already pretty much does the stuff I want, I’m just polishing it and making it better now.

Presently the timers “count up from 0” rather than down from some fixed amount of time. I figured this might be in some ways the easiest because it allows any amount of time to be tracked (players just agree in advance). So I could make them count down from a pre-set number … but then of course I would need to allow configuration of the amount of time since players will want to set different time limits, and there would of course the the continuing issue of when somebody wants to play a game for X/Y/Z time controls and I haven’t added that to the module or the class yet or whatever. So I could put in a whole bunch of configuration for this, or I could just say “let it count up until it reaches the amount of time you’ve agreed is the limit”.

Anyway I’d be curious to hear anyone’s thoughts, especially anyone who thinks they might want to USE chess clocks in their module at some point.


Very cool. I never get to play Vassal games in real-time though, so I can’t imagine using them.

I don’t think I even have a module made that would suit chess clocks. The closest might be Napoleon’s Triumph, but there’s probably too much back-and-forth over every attack declaration to make chess clock use practical.

My biggest concern would be desynchronisation. And the 1-second delays that some Vassal calculations cause, leading to unfair time penalties!