Implement a countdown after game pausing as an OS feature?

A question for you Playdate devs:

It's often nice in a fast-action game to display a 3-2-1 countdown to the player when returning from a pause, to give them a chance to put their hands back on the controls and assess the game situation.

Would having this functionality baked into Playdate OS be useful for developers? (Games would likely have to opt-in to this functionality.)

(It isn't necessarily hard to implement this, though what I think might be a pretty good solution — swapping out playdate.update with a routine that uses playdate.wait() calls to implement the countdown — might not be obvious to a lot of developers. We could probably save the devs some headaches, and maybe some frustration for the players as well.)


I would probably use this! As long as it's also possible to specify when to show the 3-2-1 countdown after pausing/opening the system menu.

For example, only show the countdown when the user unpauses during gameplay, and not if they paused from the game's title screen.


Seconded that it would be useful! It might also be helpful to control whether the countdown is transparent or not (i.e. whether the paused action is visible behind the numbers). There are probably some games that won't want you getting extra time to think during the pause screen, but still want to give time for a breather.


I would probably code this myself if I needed it, with the added flexibility of creating such a screen in the game's style

1 Like

I think that if this were implemented, there should also be a function in the SDK to toggle it on or off.

I love this idea.

In some crank-position-sensitive games, it would be cool to have a crank-to-unpause / calibrate step. You know you're right there, at least in position.