Tutorial:how to make counters/timers without textures.

Hi everyone,

I have a nice way to add a timer,score, and player lives counter, without any memory/cpu sucking alpha masked textures.


I did the hardest one as the example the second counter. Score and other counters are explained in the .blend file.

It is really quite simple, noobies should be able to follow this demonstration.
If you get lost, feel free to just copy everything into your game.

If someone needs a verbose tutorial on the scoring , just let me know and I will make another blender file for you.

The tutorial is included with the blend file in the text editor.
I included 3 other wheels… 2 lower poly, and one super hi-poly…

using this method has its good and bad points.
no textures.

Can use 100% n00b pwnage logic blocks, for the coding impaired.

Neat ambient look, adds lots of character to a game.

depending on the font, your counter wheels poly-count can get quite huge.(lowest I got was 175 quad-polys, doing block numbers extruded from a sheet/plane)

Adds +1 more IPO per digit to your game.

doing the scoring logic can be a pain in the @$$ because you are limited to +1 and -1 per decimal position . (see the workaround in the .blend file)

Please give feedback :slight_smile:
Have a nice day everyone!
here is the file:

this is very cool and the Clock wheel design is pretty cool too
(i took apart a clock like that once)

Looks great. It’s exactly what I would’ve done.

EDIT: I used your method to make a clock:



The only thing I couldn’t do is make it sync with the real time.

Also, I noticed that your signature is 4 lines, when it can only be 3.

p00f do you need same textures ? ^^
this is sacand one without textures ^

Very nice, a great Logic Brick only way to get a timer/counter up and running.

The only thing that bothers me is the amount of polys on the numbers, it’s a little high. Also the whole thing looks far too overbuilt for someone who just wants a simple timer/counter in some corner of their play screen.

Don’t get me wrong, I think “analog” in a digital environment is very interesting, but you should try to simplify the environment just as much as the logic. Not everybody is looking for counter “wheels”, most people just want a regular screen counter. I could be wrong of course, but thats just my $0.02.

Either way great work. I’m sure it will help many.

Arr Matey!!>


I noticed my clock demo was deeply flawed (hour hand moved 60 times to complete a revoloution, instead of 12). Here is a fixed version:


EDIT: Fixed it again. The minute hand wasn’t reset when a full hour went by.

Right on Arrr matey! that is the spirit!

@ waynefox3,
Glad you like it… hope you can use the concept in the future :slight_smile:

Hi Social :slight_smile: thanks again for your coding tutorial… it has really changed my games :slight_smile:

The only thing that bothers me is the amount of polys on the numbers, it’s a little high. Also the whole thing looks far too overbuilt for someone who just wants a simple timer/counter in some corner of their play screen.

indeed! :slight_smile: that is why I included low-poly ones as well. and gave warnings about the fonts.
I totaly agree, for most games that clock example is overkill on the polys.
you can make a minimal one as well (check out my digital one below).
I think I am going to add to my .blend text to stress this point more to the newbie/n00bie
Thanks for the feedback man :slight_smile:

@ everyone
Here is a lower poly solution,
A fake digital display :slight_smile:
and the file here:

I really think they add a nice ambiance.
the thing that really is nice about this method is that if you have a Huge monitor, and do a full screen you don’t get a grainy over zoomed rasterized font. It scales up nicely and the graphics cards with AA capability’s will correct the jaggies and make nice smooth edges…(somewhat teh same argument as .SVG vs alpha masked .pngs as far as scalability)
the rasterized texture on the other hand will look like over zoomed pixelated garbage, that the AA cant correct (but the big blocky pixels will have very nice smooth edges :stuck_out_tongue: ).
Plus the file size is much smaller than packaging a high resolution rasterized texture with the game… (depending on the poly-count).

you can use multiple fonts in your game, and ONLY use the numbers/letters and symbols that you need, rather than packing a bunch of diffrent raster fonts.
This is IDEAL for the web plug-in, to have fast load times. (depending on polycount)

You can compress files to make them even smaller. It is in File -> Compress File.

thanks Arr Matey!!
I forgot all about that feature!!
if I am not mistaken it gzips the blend? or is it a tarball?
anyways thanks!
I hope the web plugin alows compressed .blends :slight_smile:

Compressed .blends appear to be the same size as a .zip’d .blend. I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence or not.

are These avilable to use in a game?

i can use it as a widget in a room

@Arr matey!!
were you talking about my sig or someone elses

are These avilable to use in a game?

sure! use them any way you want…

I was talking about p00f’s sig.

I did a combo idea similar to this. I used plain small jpgs for the numerals and low poly wheels, But ipos only to move the wheels(no python). You can see it action on my tape machine mp3 player at


I love the way everyone has different approaches and ideas with the game engine. Keep it Up!!

Dr S