Developer Pro-Tip: Show the Clock!!

soapboxIf any casual game iPhone developers are listening I gotta rant a sec. Hey, guys! Show the clock! I play casual quick games when I have a few minutes to spare but don’t want to dig into anything too complex. If you hide the clock (the Status Bar if you want the technical name) it means I have to exit the application to see if my few minutes are up.

The Status Bar really doesn’t take up that much screen real estate, and it isn’t going to detract from your really sweet graphics. And don’t worry about whether this will limit how immersed in the game I get – I don’t play casual games for immersion – I play them for a quick bit of entertainment when I’ve got 5 minutes to kill.

And if for some reason you really, really, really can’t show the Status Bar, at the VERY least, save my state when I hop out to check the time. Besides being one of the HIG guidelines, it’s just good development. Trust me. If I lose my progress too many times because of a phone call or checking the time, the game isn’t going to have much of a lifespan on my device.

OK – my rant is complete. You can return to your casual gaming.

2 thoughts on “Developer Pro-Tip: Show the Clock!!

  1. Ellen

    YES, please! I do exactly what Marc says – play a game for a short break, or when I’m waiting for something, and almost always need to know the time. If you really don’t want the status bar on your screen, do what the Kindle app does – give me a way to tap and bring it up. I’ve kept a few games that don’t show a clock, but in general, if I have the choice (and I almost always do) of buying similar games where one shows the clock and one doesn’t, I’ll always go with the one that shows the clock.

  2. Lou Zucaro

    If you’re a developer and you don’t want to show the status bar for aesthetic reasons, be creative! Integrate the time into your app somehow in a way that fits in…part of the background (stars in the sky…a formation of rocks on the ground…on a sign next to a tree etc.) or even on a play element. Stuff like that is not only useful, but it’ll make people be even more of a fan of your work.

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