Project Minesweeper Utopia
Project Minesweeper Utopia was an attempt to create a perfect Minesweeper program. Eduardo Cros was inspired to start the project 15 Sep 2002 after several players used UPK and discovery of Board Cycles to set illegal records. The Project died early in 2003 when several new Minesweeper clones were created elsewhere.
Eduardo explained his desire for a perfect clone 15 Sep 2002 in Minesweeper Addicts:
|Hi all. A friend of mine (one of the few ones) is working in "Proyecto Utopia", a Spanish project in which about 40 programmers are working in a new Doom-Like videogame. That gave me an idea (quite obvious one): Project Minesweeper Utopia. Some of us could work together to make the best Minesweeper ever made. I've got some ideas for it, it could be multiplayer with a kind of messenger to get players, it could save automatically videos, records and some statistics (clicks/s, 3BV, 3BV/s, effectiveness...), it could have a website with a sweepers community like this one, absolute and active best players ranking (with best times automatically sent by the game)... The idea is that everyone could do something, according to their knowledge. Some could programm the game in C++ (Dan, Sorin and me), others could work on the website programming with ActionScript, XML and PHP (me and maybe others), others in website appearence (icons, animations...), others could make the "minesweeper soundtrack" (Lanyje and others), others could just translate the website and the game to their language [...] there's work for everyone that wants to help."|
12 Oct 2002 he created a Yahoo Group for the project, abbreviated prjmswutopia. Writing in Addicts later that day he announced:
|"I've just created another yahoo group called Project Minesweeper Utopia so that we can post all the PMU related messages, make polls and share files. And that way we'll know exactly who's in the project, so anyone who wants to help should join that group [...] Hope to see quite a lot of you there :) Anything you can do will help to make the Minesweeper Utopia better. You don't need to be an expert of programming or work on it full-time, you decide what's your contribution from suggesting ideas."|
The project experienced an intital rush of activity. Sorin and Yoni exchanged progamming ideas, as they had already developed the Recorder and the Minesweeper Reader. Ante had several ideas for the seed, previously having written Minesweeper 2000. Jon and Matt submitted various suggestions for the project. The plan was to allow automatic score submission to a website with a world ranking and an Active Ranking, and to create a multiplayer version. The frenetic pace of the project continued over two months and a protoype named 'Sweeper.exe' was developed. However, it soon became clear that project members lacked time to properly develop the new version. For example, Eduardo could only program weekends while finishing his Math thesis and Yoni retired from sweeping.
In the meantime, Stefen Pettersson announced in Addicts that he had met the objectives of the group by creating Global Mines. Tex Bungalow created Minesweeper League and Curtis Bright announced the creation of Minesweeper X. By March 2003 it was clear the Project was finished.
- Sep 15: Edu mentions his idea at Minesweeper Addicts.
- Sep 18: Edu creates Addicts poll recruiting volunteers.
- Sep 26: Edu creates Addict folder for Utopia files.
- Oct 12: Edu creates a Yahoo Group for the project.
- Oct 12: Edu announces creation of Group in Addicts.
- Oct 12: Yoni Roll, Matt McGinley join.
- Oct 13: Sorin Manea, James Lange, Emmanuel Brunelliere, Jon Simonsen, Michael Jonker join.
- Oct 13: Matt states timer should be measure at least tenths of seconds.
- Oct 13: Jon agrees to test program. Asks for 3BV algorithm.
- Oct 14: Stephan Bechtel joins.
- Oct 15: Yoni programs in Delph and reads C++. Uploads graphics from his Board Reader.
- Oct 16: Stefen Pettersson announces Global Mines in the Addicts group.
- Oct 19: Yoni suggests basic program is made first. Will supply algrorithms from Reader.
- Oct 20: Sorin uses a C++ version of Yoni's suggestion.
- Oct 20: Sorin and Yoni exchange emails on algorithms.
- Oct 21: Jon asks for 3BV lower limits on Beg to eliminate 1 click boards.
- Oct 21: Manu states limits should be 2-25-90.
- Oct 22: Matt notes there is no point in upper limits.
- Oct 24: Jon suggests four options for first click.
- Oct 27: Edu notes safe first click is unfair online for multiplayer version. Suggest poll for 3BV limits.
- Oct 30: Sorin uploads first basic version, Sweeper.exe.
- Oct 31: Jon suggests polls held in addicts to derive better consensus.
- Oct 31: Jon notes problems with Sweeper.exe on edges, uploads example.
- Oct 31: Sorin notes Sweeper.exe meant to provide only basic code for project.
- Nov 1: Edu suggests a square from largest opening should automatically open on new game.
- Nov 1: Edu starts 3BV poll asking when 3BV count should be revealed.
- Nov 1: Jon claims to recognise some Beginner boards.
- Nov 1: Sorin doubts boards are identical, provides C++ formula.
- Nov 3: Ante Smolčić joins.
- Nov 3: Ante suggests timestamp seed and program to test seed quality.
- Nov 9: Edu debates merging his classes with Sorin's Sweeper.
- Nov 9: Sorin notes players will not stay online to play.
- Nov 10: Edu suggests a temporal stats file to be uploaded and deleted by site.
- Nov 13: Jon asks for project timeline.
- Nov 14: Edu now can only program during weekends.
- Nov 14: Edu starts poll on language interface.
- Nov 16: Georgi Kermekchiev joins.
- Dec 4: Roland Seibt joins.
- Jan 22: Jon suggests multiplayer version has time penalty for hitting mines.
- Jan 25: Curtis Bright releases the first full version of Minesweeper X.
- Mar 3: Edu suggests penalised Help function to avoid 50/50 situations.
- Mar 3: Sorin suggests automatic lucky guessing in 50/50 situations.
- Dec 6: Yoni asks about lack of progress.
- Dec 8: Yoni retires from playing minesweeper.
- What type of beginning do you prefer? (30 Oct 2002)
- 38% First click always safe.
- 33% First click always safe and is an opening.
- 23% Automatic opening on start.
- 4% Corners always safe.
- 0% No controls.
- When do you prefer to know the 3BV of a board? (1 Nov 2002)
- 88% After game ends.
- 11% Before game starts.
- 0% Only for records.
- Nov 14, 2002: What languages should the interface have?
- Results hidden.
You can download all minesweeper posts, pictures and files from Project Minesweeper Utopia in a ZIP file.
- Link: http://http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/prjmswutopia/