Sunday, June 13, 2010

Suggestion for a small but obvious improvement

During breaks in tournaments on both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the timing messages do the same peculiar thing. Though the breaks are five minutes long, the message on the screen almost immediately reports "4 minutes." Eventually we get to "1 minute," followed by "less than 1 minute." (The actual wording varies a bit. On FTP, it's "Time left on break." On Stars. it's "Tournament will resume in ____ min." There. That clarification should satisfy even the most pedantic of my readers!)

Obviously, what is happening is that the screen messages are just reporting the number of whole minutes left, rather than the actual time. As soon as there's a little less than five minutes remaining, it announces "4 minutes," etc. When it says "2 minutes" remaining, the actual time remaining is anywhere between 2:00 and 2:59. In other words, there is nearly a full minute of uncertainty in how much time one really has.

It often doesn't matter, but sometimes knowing a little more precisely when things will be restarting makes a difference in whether you'll have enough time for a bathroom break, to run downstairs to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, to go fetch the mail, or whatever.

I think they should replace those prose messages with a static one that simply says, "Time remaining on break:" followed by a digital timer counting down the minutes and seconds left. If I recall correctly, this is how the now-defunct Bugsy's Club site.

I can't think of any reason that this is an unworkable proposal. It surely can't take much extra in the way of programming, server load, bandwidth usage, etc. Or is there something I'm missing that would make this a bad idea?


Snuffy said...

Wow that's a bit picky, even for you.

Anonymous said...

Not that picky. PokerRoom has an exact timer. With all of the software updates and advances, why can't Stars or Tilt?

rsoandrew said...

I agree with the grump on this one. I hate the way PS handles breaks. No reason not to do this.

Stefan said...

It would be slightly more costly from a development point of view to do that. Refresh the screen, keep the PC client in sync with the server. Because if the PC and server weren't in sync, it would give our host one more thing to grump about. ;)

Overall a cleaner and simpler design that satisfies the needs of 99.999% of users.

A big deal to implement? No. But it isn't free. Often in software development you ask what is the business value in doing something. How will making that change make them more money? Probably they are losing customers so better to have developers working on features that add more revenue.

THOMAS said...

if you know exactly how they both work, what's the big deal? you know, for a fact, that you have 5 mins for a break. i would assume that one would know what they can do in 5 mins. i've got no problem with how full tilt does their timer on breaks.

wxturd said...

I agree with the Grump. This takes minimal effort, bandwith, etc, in comparison the the games going on elsewhere.

The people have spoken!