Infinite Inspiration

So Jovoc, the guy behind Planet Minesweeper, left a comment on my last post, and I ended up typing a somewhat lengthy reply in which I discussed some of where I’d like to go with Minesweeper Infinity.  I’ve decided to copy what I said into a new post here, so it isn’t just buried in a comment thread.

I’ve spent several hours playing Planet Minesweeper and it’s by far one of my favorite diversions on the iPad. It was my primary inspiration for the Minesweeper Infinity prototype.  It’s one of those things that, as I was playing it, I kept asking myself a lot of “what if” questions. I finally decided to start a prototype, and try to answer some of those questions.

I like the infinite minefield idea, and I want to stick with that, but the game does need some kind of direction or goals. One idea is to do something based on literal goals: waypoint hexes that the player has to work their way to and uncover. I’ve also been bouncing around some ideas about a map that the player is uncovering, with areas of some kind of resources and objectives. I just want to make sure that the game remains very accessible; something that a player can jump into and start playing without having to read or learn much of anything first. And I don’t want to ruin the simplicity of the core gameplay.

I think I may have the flagged hexes and surrounding numbers removed from the board altogether once the neighbors are done (instead of just dimming them), since they’re no longer relevant to the player. It would be like clearing the minefield. This would also work better for uncovering a map (or whatever).

One thing I really want to do is have the randomized minefield generated in such a way that there is a guaranteed solution to revealing all of the hexes without ever having to guess. It would be a matter of placing random mines, having the computer play test the area, and modifying anyplace the computer got stuck. It’s just made much more complicated by the fact that the minefield needs to be generated progressively as the player reveals area. But I have a general idea of how to go about it, and I intend to make it happen.

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One Response to Infinite Inspiration

  1. Jovoc says:

    Thanks! Glad to hear you like Planet Minesweeper. Interesting idea about making a board that didn’t require guessing. I’m not sure what that would do to the gameplay, one of the reasons that I like minesweeper is that sometimes it does just all boil down to a guess. No matter how good you are sometimes you just get screwed. But I know a lot of players would like that a lot, so it’s worth pursuing. Also it would be a very interesting algorithmic challenge, even without the added wrinkle of the infinite board.

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