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I'm planning to use the Sleep() function to implement a countdown timer. But this freezes the input of the user at the same time. Thus I wanted to ask if it is possible to have the countdown still running in realtime, whether they're typing or not; or in other words not freeze everything.

Is it possible? If so, how?

Example : Pop Quiz with Timer

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closed as off-topic by Byte56 Jan 23 '15 at 15:14

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Programming questions that aren't specific to game development are off-topic here, but can be asked on Stack Overflow. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself "would a professional game developer give me a better/different/more specific answer to this question than other programmers?"" – Byte56
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I don't understand the question. – Ken Nov 24 '12 at 14:43
For starters, use clock instead and find the time difference between each call. – Jake Nov 24 '12 at 16:48
Please elaborate. Is your problem that the Sleep function halts the program, or that receiving input halts the program? – ktodisco Nov 25 '12 at 23:10

If I understand your question correctly, you should be able to do this by having a few variables:

float countdownDuration = 1.0f;
float cooldown = coutdownDuration;

Each frame, you subtract deltaTime, or the time that has passed since the last frame, from cooldown. When cooldown reaches 0 or below, your countdown timer has 'ticked' down, and you can reset cooldown to countdownDuration minus the value below 0 that cooldown has reached. In this particular case, by the way I initialized the variables above, each tick will be one second.

In this way, you do not have to sleep the main thread and will still check for input every frame.

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