Minesweeper X

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Minesweeper X
Minesweeper X
Author: Curtis Bright (Brightsoft)
Initial release: 0.1 (2003-01-25)
Latest release: 1.14.2 (2010-09-16)
OS: Windows
Language(s): English
Genre: Minesweeper Clones
Status: Freeware
Website: Homepage

Minesweeper X was the first minesweeper clone to include video recording and is still the most accurate enhancement of Windows Minesweeper. Written by Curtis Bright, it established the use of skins and real time while inspiring all later major clones.

Contents

[edit] History

Curtis Bright (Canada) started programming MSX in January 2003. The original goal was to create an enhanced version. With this in mind many features were added that are now considered cheats. For example, boards could be replayed, you could edit and create boards, you could reveal mine locations, there was an option to keep playing after hitting a mine, and you could choose to play boards with a certain 3BV. More information can be found in the readme file of the first release.

About a year later Curtis noticed efforts such as Project Minesweeper Utopia by the community to create an official clone to solve the problem of Board Cycles. This inspired him to release version 1.00 on 13 Mar 2004 with all cheat features removed. Other features considered untrue to the original were removed as well, such as allowing numbers to be shown at the end of games, showing zeros instead of blank cells, and a stat for counting useful clicks. This release saw the addition of video recording, becoming the first ever clone to have such a feature.

Unfortunately, there were no further updates for nine months. The reason, as Curtis posted on his site 20 Dec 2004, was that "There hasn't been much interest in Minesweeper X, so I haven't bothered adding in new features". A year and only two updates later he wrote 06 Nov 2005, "Well, I got bitten by the Minesweeper Bug again and decided to make a few upgrades to Minesweeper X, even though I don't know of anyone using it seriously." A final release came on 26 Feb 2006, shortly after noticing a website linking to the program. By this time the Clone had become the de facto clone of the community and Curtis did not really see the point in continuing development.

Since then there have been occasional rumours of further updates, including at one point the idea for a Mac version. None have come to pass. On a positive note, MSX eventually started gaining popularity with new players being attracted by its simplicity, the fact no install is necessary and that it has yet to have a bug reported. It is the most popular version for Custom Level players.

After abandoning his project, Curtis took a keen interest in the development of Arbiter. In September 2009 he released an update and became active in the release of Arbiter 47.

[edit] Importance

MSX included all the best features of existing programs. Like Global Mines it included custom skins and a decimal timer starting at zero. Like the Recorder it included a Statistics Window and measured 3BV per second. Like both programs it counted 3BV, clicks, clicking speeds and allowed stats to be exported into CSV format. Like the Minesweeper Reader it saved screenshots in MBF format.

MSX then became the first clone to include video recording, using its MVR format. Highscores are automatically recorded and the user can choose whether to save individual games, all highscores, all scores under a certain time for each level or to record all games. The same choices exist for what games to record to the statistics file. You can play Custom games of any size, limited only by the size of your computer screen. Another unique feature of MSX was its optional shutdown timer to help the truly addicted take breaks. MSX was also the first champion of using real time rather than using the Microsoft convention of starting at 1 second.

[edit] Final Features

  • Accurate recreation of Winmine
  • Timer to 100ths of a second
  • Custom games can be any grid size (only limited by size of your screen)
  • Custom games can chosen from 0% to 99% density
  • Encrypted secure videos for later playback
  • Statistics Window displays number or clicks, 3BV, 3BV solved, Estimated Time and 3BV/s
  • Can save boards in BMP, MRB (Minesweeper Reader), or Minesweeper Board File
  • Can save stats to a text file for analysis in any spreadsheet program
  • Optional 'Shutdown' timer
  • Create your own Skins or play in XP or Windows 98 skins
  • Small and compact (60kb) and no installation needed

[edit] Bugs

There are no known bugs in MSX, unless you include that on rare occasions a video with a time of X.00 will show X instead of X+1 on the game integer clock. (MSX decimal clock starts at 0.00 but its game clock starts at 1 like the Windows version). On 29 Jan 2011 Curtis explained in the Guestbook, "MSX rounds the time to 2 decimal places and then displays the ceiling of the time in the LED timer. This is intended, though it arguably should show the floor of the time plus one, as Ian explained. The bug where the LED timer shows the wrong time (or part of it) should have been fixed in 1.14."

[edit] Screenshots

[edit] Releases

1.15 2011-08-24 - Player name can now be saved on the video
- Pressing "R" will replay a video, or save a game and start video replay
1.14.2 2010-09-16 - Fixed 3BV Solved error introduced by last 'fix'
1.14.1 2010-09-13 - Fixed 3BV counting error introduced by last update
1.14 2010-09-12 - MVR videos can be associated with the program
- Videos can be played by dragging on to game window
- LED bug fixed
- Game now allows 99% density (previously 95%), videos now saved to 10000 seconds
- Game now remembers Stat Window location from last use
1.13.1 2006-02-26 - Fixed bug that did not display borders correctly for small board sizes
- Updated skin elements picture to allow others to create custom skins
1.13 2006-02-25 - Some speed improvements
- Removed occasional flicker when opening cells
- Fixed algorithm for openings to match original Winmine
- Fixed middle mouse button to react true to original Winmine
1.12 2005-12-03 - Stats Window no longer forced to appear 'on top' of other windows
- Game window no longer disappears when saving files
1.11 2005-11-17 - Added 'Shutdown' feature and a few small changes
1.10 2005-11-06 - Videos smaller and play smoother
- Enabled saving of Custom boards due to increased speed
- Added options to autosaving of videos
1.04 2005-03-24 - Disabled recording Custom videos automatically
1.03 2004-12-20 - Fixed small bug (Questionmarks could be toggled while watching videos)
1.02 2004-03-22 - Changed frame rate for video saving
1.01 2004-03-18 - Videos recorded on XP now work on slower computer
- Cursor size reduced
1.00 2004-03-14 - Entire game rewritten
- Cheating options removed
- Video recording added
0.34 2004-01-31 - Last release of MSX with cheating options.
0.01 2003-01-25 - Initial release.
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