(Right click these and Open in new Tab or the GIFs won't play?)
That corner digit is the date. But the time shows when you fiddle with the controls:
Lots of styles:
Game-style clock with 20 themes/background styles… and counting!
Theoretically power-efficient? (But I don’t have hardware yet to test.) It’s doing nearly nothing in between minutes—except the buttons are active.
FPS set to 10, and the update loop does nothing except refresh the 1-minute timer that awaits the next change, and check if the battery is at 35% or below.
It prevents sleep—unless it reaches 35% power, and then the default 60-second sleep is enabled.
Crank to wind the clock forward back (1 hour per revolution).
Dock crank to resume timekeeping.
D-pad up/down to change minutes manually. (Timekeeping resumes at the next minute to prevent accidentally messing up the time and not knowing!)
D-pad left/right to change hours manually.
A to cycle Hour-only, Minutes-only, or Both (this helps you learn to see the digits).
B to cycle through themes—your choice is saved and restored. (But I have bigger plans for turning this into a product for sale some day: other kinds of weird clocks, unrelated to this one—so then B would take you to a gallery of all the clock choices.)
System Menu option to cycle three different digit shapes (only 1s, 4, and 7s are affected).
The minute digits are easy to see—and so are the hour digits once you know what to look for! Depending on the chosen style, the time can be quicly readable—or a bit of a puzzle. The ENTIRE SCREEN is a big hour number:
I've thought about that (or even making it literally playable). For battery life, I'm thinking no, for now. But power use is speculative at this point, and many people will use it plugged in, so... maybe! When I have the hardware I will think more about the extras I want to add.
I definitely want to add more totally different kinds of clocks.
Devising weird timepieces is a hobby of mine—here are the 1.5 zillion Apple Watch faces I have made. (They run in the Apple Watch browser—which means they also run in any browser: I use them on an old iPad as a desk clock.)
Some of those I intend to port to Playtime. "Phi" and "Hebdomad" for starters.
Wow, that's an amazing watch collection! Very creative, I can't wait to see what else you bring over to the playdate.
It looks good the way it is, but if you do decide add the animation, it would be cool if the crank was used to power up the animation for a few minutes (based on how fast and for how long it is cranked), and after the "crank power" is exhausted the animation would stop (extra points if you make it funny).
If that's too much work, you could also just use the playdate.getPowerStatus() method to determine if animation should be used when it is plugged in.
Thanks! Actual animation is at least a possibility... although I lean towards keeping the power use lean
I find it a lot easier to see the hours if the theme keeps the screen mostly white, with black lines "carved" into it. Easier still if the minutes are rendered with a different look from the hour lines. And easiest of all if the theme is simple and uncluttered! But it's also fun to make the time a little hidden sometimes. So I have themes at both extremes.
BTW I expanded this digit guide to show minute examples, including how the "Busiest" setting (in System Menu) affects the minutes (only 1s, 4s, and 7s). It adds small extra marks to ignore, in order to make those digits occupy their full half of the screen:
Not all the clocks will be "skins" for that one clock. Playtime will be a gallery of many clocks, some analog... like this one—circles in the Golden Ratio (phi) orbiting each other:
5:45 / Quarter to Six
The big circle is simply the "face," the small inner circle is the hour "hand," and the outer circle is the minute "hand."
Because there are no hour markings, I make it easy to tell where each hand is by "snapping" it to the nearest mark. So, on a normal analog clock, that hour hour hand would be CLOSE to 6 but in between 5 and 6. This clock snaps it right to 6. No ambiguity to process.
The minute hand snaps to the nearest 5-minute mark. It will advance to "10 to 6" halfway between 5:45 and 5:50. Again, no ambiguity—you can tell the time at a glance one you're used to the style.
Plus by not updating all those in-between states, battery life is spared.
I would naturally interpret that as 6:45, not 5:45. If you're quantising the movement I'd expect it to be floored, not rounded, as that's usually how clocks work in my experience (a ticking minute hand on a clock will tick when the second hand reaches 0, not 30).
That was my first instinct too, and fear not: that will be an option! You can play with different options in the web version I made for Apple Watch:
(Under Mode, turn off "To/Past" and it will work as you describe.)
The reason this is the default though, is to follow the way MOST people read analog clocks—if they regular users of them! I have always used mostly digital clocks, and when I read an analog clock, I do it the way you describe.
But the better way to read an analog clock (especially with few/no markings) is to read the minutes first, traditionally as "to" or "past." Then look at the hour hand. Reading the hour hand first doesn't work well: is it almost 6? A little past? Whereas having read the minutes first, you know that.
So for example: at 5:55, someone used to analog clocks expects the hour hand to be near the 6, not near the 5.
I have no such habits, so I can read the time either way (as long as I know which!)—but I still want a reasonable default.
And that default is: reading the time as "to" or "past" the nearest hour. If you're just reading imaginary digits left-to-right (like my digital clock habits tell me to do!) then the other setting would be better.
First look at the clock gallery UI. Scrolls vertically.
D-pad to choose. Right side shows a preview of the highlighted clock (or About screen in this example).
(A) to select a clock—shows a screen with a longer explanation, and sometimes clock-specific options. (A) again to start the clock.
Within each clock, (A) can have unique custom functions. But (B) always goes back, and D-pad and crank always change the time in various ways (to help learn to read the weirder clocks—or just as a "fidget toy").
Details screen once you choose a clock. Most clocks will have at least one customizable option. The d-pad both selects an option and, if you keep hitting Down, scrolls the explanation text below. D-pad Left/Right to change the selected option.