Introduction to Time / Timer functions

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Tutorial written by Dan72Originally published on 15th, October 2013 - 2 revisions


Although there are some timer tutorials here, we'll explore different things you can do with timers.

The time variable is a built-in variable that begins whenever the game starts. With this variable, you can

1. take the time of how long the game is running. In some games, players get points when they are able to survive or continue playing as long as they can
2. save the current time into a global variable for later purpose, for example to do something for x seconds. One example is the hyperspace speed time I used in one of my other tutorials. Another idea would be to use the variable for countdown purposes.


Create a new project, leave window/layout size as they are.
Insert a text object and give it a name "Timer_txt"

In the Event sheet, we'll tell Construct 2 to show us the time.
Condition: System -> On Every tick
Action: Timer_txt -> Set text to time
Run the game by pressing F5.
Note: if you're not seeing anything, check if your text object's length is not too narrow.

You'll see a floating number showing the seconds and the milliseconds. No minutes, nor hours, etc..

Change the time term to (int(time)) and the text object will show the seconds.
Change the term again to zeropad(int(time),2) and now we'll see leading zeros due to the zeropad function, which is set at 2, which means to fill with leading zeros, until the number is composed of two digits.

To display minutes and hours, we need some math, because after 59 seconds, time will continue with 60, 61, etc..

We'd like to see something like 1:30 or even 01:30 (with leading zeros, of course).
Here, the modulo (%) operand will help us. In a mathematical term, it will return the rest of a division calculation. Examples:
5%2 = 1 (5 divided by 2 is 2, resting 1)
10%6 = 4 (10 divided by 6 is 1, resting 4)

For calculating with time we need to modulo 60:
5%60 = 5 (5 divided by 60 is 0 minutes, resting 5 seconds)
59%60 = 59
60%60=0 (60 divided by 60 is 1 minute, resting 0 seconds)
61%60=1 (1 minute, 1 second)
and so on..

formula for seconds
time % 60

formula for minutes
time/60 % 60

For the text object, we'll set the term
zeropad(int(time/60% 60), 2) & ":" & zeropad(int(time%60), 2)

Note: in other tutorials or forums, some use floor instead of int. You can use any of these

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Lordshiva1948 44.3k rep

I wanted to know about timer. This is gr8 thank you so much for sharing

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 10:26:00 PM
fishbottle 2,824 rep

Thanks for a great tutorial! Infinitely useful.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 7:19:28 AM
rozpustelnik 6,174 rep

Everything is very well explained. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 9:02:57 AM
dthomasdigital 2,843 rep

Perfect! I will be using the ideas in this tutorial. Thanks!

Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 5:18:38 PM
Nutmeg0703 510 rep

This is so helpful, thank you! However, I'm looking for a way for my timer to reach a minute and then stop and possibly play some sort of sound. I couldn't find this in a tutorial anywhere. Is anyone able to help or point me toward something that will?

Friday, December 09, 2016 at 3:21:54 AM

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