Minesweeper / Windows standard games

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Robin S
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Minesweeper / Windows standard games

I wanted to create a thread for Minesweeper specifically, but thought I might as well leave it open to discussion of other games (Inkball is pretty fun).

I've recently started playing Minesweeper "seriously". Not that I devote much time to it, but when I do play I play on expert level and actually try to win. I've picked up a few basic strategies (if an tile on an edge, say the top row, and an adjacent tile on the second row, are both 1s, you can discount any tiles next to the second tile unless they are also next to the first tile - that sort of thing) and also realized that in some cases the only solution is to go through all possible combinations of mine positions on a subset of the board and find mine-free tiles common to all of them. On the other hand, I still encounter recurring patterns of numbered tiles that look as though they should have a fixed solution, or at least a very small set of possible solutions, but I haven't found it yet. For example: patterns of 2s and 1s along an edge (possibly with corners).
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

JayDee
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

I was playing minesweeper a whole bunch not long ago. Then I switched back to Linux, and aisle-riot solitaire.

I got to a stage where I was tired of expert, though, and played a custom grid of maximum size with the mine density of expert. That was fun. Except when you inevitably have to guess.

There's a fairly interesting article on the probabilities in minesweeper here for anyone interested.
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

a 1-2-1 usually means the mines are directly next to the 1's
1-2-2-1 means they are directly adjacent to the 2's
you learn simple patterns like that.
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joeframbach
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

I had my expert time in 12th grade down to 124 seconds. I haven't played in a few years though. Maybe I should get back to it.

Oh, and use both mouse buttons. Clickin both buttons at the same time on a tile does the same as clicking all adjacent tiles.

EvanED
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

joeframbach wrote:Oh, and use both mouse buttons. Clickin both buttons at the same time on a tile does the same as clicking all adjacent tiles.

Except that it reduces the chances (or at least the consequences) of being an idiot and miscounting, which has cost me many games.

Lord Bob
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Minesweeper: The Movie
Yes, it's very relevant.

Damn, I thought it was only surrounded by 14 mines...

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

I like playing Minesweeper until I remember why I stop playing: having to guess between the last two tiles.

Robin S
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

I believe there are versions which never make you guess.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

joeframbach
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Robin S wrote:I believe there are versions which never make you guess.

Is the game created dynamically? That seems incredibly difficult to implement.

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

__Kit
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Grr somebody already posted minseweeper the movie, that's what got me into it!

Whenever I'm on the computer I play my best for Expert is only 500 but I see other people play and it's like "Come on you idiot!" But yea, pretty fun I usually play while doing other things on the computer (Music, msn, youtube). Good times. I find I'm also getting a bit OCD about it, like I keep playing until I win before I go to bed, it doesn't help.

Also, was wondering if I could download a version onto an iPod?
=]

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

joeframbach wrote:
Robin S wrote:I believe there are versions which never make you guess.
Is the game created dynamically? That seems incredibly difficult to implement.
The game could be created after the first mouse click... if coded properly, the board could be designed to be solvable by logic alone. Possibly a standard library of solvable puzzles, with the program working out new ones while-u-play (so that the game increases in variety the more you play it)?
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Cheese wrote:The game could be created after the first mouse click... if coded properly, the board could be designed to be solvable by logic alone. Possibly a standard library of solvable puzzles, with the program working out new ones while-u-play (so that the game increases in variety the more you play it)?
I'm pretty sure regular windows minesweeper already generates the minefield after your first click. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to hit a mine first go.
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Mathmagic
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

JayDee wrote:
Cheese wrote:The game could be created after the first mouse click... if coded properly, the board could be designed to be solvable by logic alone. Possibly a standard library of solvable puzzles, with the program working out new ones while-u-play (so that the game increases in variety the more you play it)?
I'm pretty sure regular windows minesweeper already generates the minefield after your first click. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to hit a mine first go.

I've done it.
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JayDee
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

mathmagic wrote:
JayDee wrote:I'm pretty sure it's impossible to hit a mine first go.

I've done it.

Really? With standard Windows minesweeper? I used to go with the maximum size maximum allowed density (which would leave about eight squares without a mine) and play over and over, and never hit a mine first go. I assumed it couldn't happen.
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Dongorath
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

On older version where you had the "xyzzy shift enter" cheat code, I desperately tried to hit a mine (black pixel in the upper left corner of your screen), but never managed to... Don't know on newer versions.

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Dongorath wrote:On older version where you had the "xyzzy shift enter" cheat code, I desperately tried to hit a mine (black pixel in the upper left corner of your screen), but never managed to... Don't know on newer versions.
That's a good point. If you do the cheat (which is in all versions, isn't it? I didn't even know microsoft had put out newer versions) to show if there is a mine or not, all squares show up no mine until you've selected at least once, right? This PC doesn't seem to have mineweeper, so I can't check.

Hey, the wikipedia article mentions how some non-guessing variants work:
wikipedia wrote:A few variants specifically focus on getting this aspect out of the game. At the simplest level, some programs give the solution away any time a guess is needed. Another one furthered the design and demands that the player decides if he or she has to guess or not. The resulting problem is always decidable (within an extended mathematical space). Yet another simply lets any guess the user makes (when a guess is necessary) automatically be the correct one.
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Dongorath
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

JayDee wrote:That's a good point. If you do the cheat (which is in all versions, isn't it? I didn't even know microsoft had put out newer versions) to show if there is a mine or not, all squares show up no mine until you've selected at least once, right?

No, it shows a valid grid with mines (you can actually mark all the mines before the counter starts and try to clean the empty tiles as fast as possible).
About the "newer" versions I speak of, I just guess the code has been modified for the new architectures (16 bits -> 32/64 bits) and at least the "look and feel" as evolved since the first versions of Windows. I know that today, I can't see the black/white pixel in the upper left corner, wallpaper or not. Or I don't enter properly the cheat code... Who knows ?

zed0
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Well this was my first experiment with OllyDbg:

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

JayDee wrote:I'm pretty sure regular windows minesweeper already generates the minefield after your first click. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to hit a mine first go.

yes. anyone who says different is lying.

*stares at mathmagic*

im out of practice and my mouse wasnt fine-tuned, so the time is nowhere near my best. the area circled is the guessing spot. i had to decide if the 4 or the one to the left was a mine. i chose wisely.
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SecondTalon
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

I'm thinking that somewhere between 95 and XP, they changed it from "Make a random field, allow person to play" to "Let them click first, THEN Generate a damn game"...simply because I remember hitting a mine on the first go when playing with custom fields (9 by 9 with 99 mines! Woo!) and after some quick experimentation just now.. I cannot replicate that.

Though, I am relying on my memory, which I already know is about as reliable as a Yugo.
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Up until reading this thread I seriously had no idea to play Minesweeper, and avoided it at all costs. However, Solitaire was starting to grow repetitive on this work PC.

The 'xyyzy' cheat doesn't rank as high as the MSExcel 2000 racing game credits easter egg though.

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Dongorath wrote:On older version where you had the "xyzzy shift enter" cheat code, I desperately tried to hit a mine (black pixel in the upper left corner of your screen), but never managed to... Don't know on newer versions.

the board is initially randomized, and if you try clicking on a mine with your first click, the board will re-randomize. if you manage to hit a mine on your first turn, theres some mysterious forces at play.
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EvanED
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

SecondTalon wrote:I'm thinking that somewhere between 95 and XP, they changed it from "Make a random field, allow person to play" to "Let them click first, THEN Generate a damn game"...simply because I remember hitting a mine on the first go when playing with custom fields (9 by 9 with 99 mines! Woo!) and after some quick experimentation just now.. I cannot replicate that.

This is my impression too. I know I've hit a mine first click in the past.

I've got Windows 95 discs somewhere and VMWare... I'll post evidence at a later time.

In Windows XP, the Minesweeper board is generated randomly before the player clicks any squares. If the player happens to click a mine square on their very first click, the mine at this square is removed and a new mine is placed in the upper left corner. If there is already a mine in the upper left corner, a new mine is placed in the first (starting in the upper left corner then proceeding left->right, top->bottom) available empty spot of the board. Once this change is made, the game proceeds as if the initial clicked square was empty. This is done to ensure that the player will not lose on their very first click.

This makes it sound like this is a new change in XP.

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

so would assuming a mine is in the upper left corner help you in any way?
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rrwoods
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Bleg, I love the aforementioned Mines-Perfect. Even if you move the mine first clicked on, there's still a chance you have to guess on the very next click.
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

I like setting times on other people's computers, and leaving the user who set them as "Anonymous".

A friend of mine was doing some computer vision work in his undergrad, and decided to write a program that would play minesweeper using the visual display of the computer. It would take a screenshot, analyze it, find the game, figure out which was the best move, then move the mouse and click. Repeat until you lose or win.
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EvanED
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Yakk wrote:I like setting times on other people's computers, and leaving the user who set them as "Anonymous".

A friend of mine was doing some computer vision work in his undergrad, and decided to write a program that would play minesweeper using the visual display of the computer. It would take a screenshot, analyze it, find the game, figure out which was the best move, then move the mouse and click. Repeat until you lose or win.

Hey, one of my friends did the same thing! I'm assuming it's a different friend though.

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Ayep, different friend. Do you know if your friend used vision, or just grabbed the windows?
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Mathmagic
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

EvanED wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:I'm thinking that somewhere between 95 and XP, they changed it from "Make a random field, allow person to play" to "Let them click first, THEN Generate a damn game"...simply because I remember hitting a mine on the first go when playing with custom fields (9 by 9 with 99 mines! Woo!) and after some quick experimentation just now.. I cannot replicate that.

This is my impression too. I know I've hit a mine first click in the past.

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

JayDee wrote:
mathmagic wrote:
JayDee wrote:I'm pretty sure it's impossible to hit a mine first go.

I've done it.

Really? With standard Windows minesweeper? I used to go with the maximum size maximum allowed density (which would leave about eight squares without a mine) and play over and over, and never hit a mine first go. I assumed it couldn't happen.

I have done it several times. Even in Beginner Mode. I usually start with the corners, and once in a while there's a mine buried in the corners.
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

ive played many games of minesweeper and never hit a mine first, then again i dont start in the corners. you can clear a bigger area by starting in the middle.
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Yakk
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

It was probably your second click.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Yakk wrote:I like setting times on other people's computers, and leaving the user who set them as "Anonymous".
I loved minesweeper for W98, as all the scores were kept in a file called winmine.ini or something... and it allowed you to use negative scores! In XP, the scores are kept in the registry, so are still editable, but you need to find the keys first...

^ This would be an example of 'different versions' of minesweeper, by the way.
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Yakk
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Bah, that's cheating.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Well I generally set my scores to my best yet (as in 6, 39 and 120 seconds for Beginner, Intermediate and Expert, respectively), so that I'm notified if I improve. But it's fun to mess up other peoples' scores, even if they're unlikely to ever play minesweeper in their lives.
hermaj wrote:No-one. Will. Be. Taking. Cheese's. Spot.
Spoiler:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:Cheese is utterly correct on all fronts.
SecondTalon wrote:That thing that Cheese just said. Do that.
Meaux_Pas wrote:I hereby disagree and declare Cheese to be brilliant.

Yakk
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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

Over 100 seconds on expert? Novice!

But yes, setting the scores to your previous record is cheating! If you can't reproduce it on a new machine, you don't deserve it!
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

...it gives me reasonable targets, does it not?
Where's the fun in beating a time of 999 seconds?
hermaj wrote:No-one. Will. Be. Taking. Cheese's. Spot.
Spoiler:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:Cheese is utterly correct on all fronts.
SecondTalon wrote:That thing that Cheese just said. Do that.
Meaux_Pas wrote:I hereby disagree and declare Cheese to be brilliant.

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Re: Minesweeper / Windows standard games

I've recently started playing minesweeper at work. Intermediate is too easy and expert is just long enough that I can get interrupted, which throws off my time.

My question is, does anyone use the question marks?

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