Making a Countdown Timer (RPG Maker Ace, MV)

timer in RPG Maker

Timers in RPG Maker are weird. There’s nothing right on the can that explains how to make them work. So, I’m writing this up to hopefully help people get a better understanding of them and implement them successfully in their own games.

NOTE: The method is exactly the same in both Ace and MV. This article has screenshots from both.

How to make timers in RPG Maker

Let’s make a scenario where our noble hero has to leave a certain map before a bomb goes off.

Let’s whip up a quick map for our hero to escape and throw our hero on it.

timer map 1

There. Uh, that’s a bomb on there. Yeah. *imagination*

Okay, let’s make the event that controls our scene. Make a new event; you can call it Bomb Timer or something else if you want. In our case, since this is a sample map, you can set this up to autorun. If you wanted to use it as part of a cutscene, you can just use whatever event page is currently active.

Next, let’s add the right command.

event settings for control timer

So nice, it’s highlighted twice.

This lil guy is pretty straightforward. Just add in the duration of time you want. I’ll use 5 seconds.

Okay, your event page should look pretty much like this already, but here’s an update.

Updated timer event

Can’t have too many images.

Two things – there’s a second event page (more on that in a moment) and the self-switch A is set to “on.” Go ahead and put those in place.

Here’s the thing. The only thing that the control timer does is set the timer to run and stop it when you don’t need it anymore. What it doesn’t do is “watch” the timer to see when it runs out. Self-Switch A allows this event to proceed to the next page, where we’ll handle that problem.

Page 2 of bomb timer event

Set the self-switch condition to “A” and the trigger to parallel process. That will allow the game to continuously watch the timer. Now, to actually set up what happens, create a conditional branch, and set the timer as the condition.

So the game will loop over this now, and periodically check in to see if the timer equals zero. If it does, we have a Game Over in the list of things to do. You can add whatever graphics events you like before the game over, flashes and explode-y noises and whatever else fits.

So far so good, but what if the player succeeds in getting away? We need a way to stop the timer.

Let’s set up a new event at the end of the “maze.”

Stop command in bomb timer

STOP IT!

We set the event to player touch and we reuse the control timer command. This time, we set it to stop.

Bomb timer in action

He can really run fast with such short legs.

As soon as the player walks over the tile, boom!  The counter stops and the day is saved! Or…something.

If you’re only on this map once, I wouldn’t worry about the fact that the timer event is still live, but if you come back again, you can keep the timer check event from continuously running needlessly. Set up another page in your “bomb timer” event that does nothing (self-switch B), then add a line of script to the “stop timer” event as shown in this article.

Hope this helps you to understand timers in RPG Maker!

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