Mindoku and Vint gamerooms have been connected which means that users in Vint can play with users in Mindoku and vice versa. This essentially means that Mindoku and Vint are just different web interfaces to the same database (users, games, tournaments etc). If you created your account in one portal you can now also log in to the other. However, Mindoku is international and Vint remains an Estonian site.
Like also mentioned before one downside of connecting the portals is that because of technical and other reasons all the games played and sudokus solved in Mindoku prior to the big change are gone (about 5000 duel games and 35,000 sudokus). However we think that this was worth it in the long run because now there is a lot more action in Mindoku in terms of number of users online and tournaments.
You may or may not know that Mindoku is a spin-off of an Estonian mind sports site vint.ee. Vint was launched on 2007 and currently boasts with 16,000 users and 3.4 million games played.
Anyway, a few weeks ago we talked about the near-future plans for Mindoku. Our team has since made a few adjustments to the plan. Here’s what we came up with:
In order to breath more life into Mindoku, we need to connect Mindoku’s and Vint’s game rooms, so that people currently in Vint can also play with people who are logged in to Mindoku and vice versa. That way we have more people online on both sites at all times.
After connecting the two game rooms, we’ll finish implementing the new game room client for Mindoku. This means that the opening of the new game rooms will be postponed for a few months.
There are pros and cons for Mindoku when we do this.
More players in Mindoku since all the online users in Vint (about 100 users online in the evenings) are also visible in Mindoku gamerooms. More players to play with and more tournaments. This in turn will attract more and more new users to Mindoku.
Access in Mindoku to all the 3.4 million games played in Vint which enables us to launch awesome statistical/analytical learning tools in the future. For example a move analyser when watching the replay of your chess game: was your move the best one in that situation (probability of win the greatest)?
Easier development and maintenance of the sites since there is one common database and game server instead of two separate ones.
All the boardgames, sudokus and tournaments that Mindoku users have currently played will be gone. Unfortunately, due to technical and other reasons we can’t preserve games that are already played in Mindoku. That is about 5000 boardgames and 35,000 sudokus. That means that your ratings will be defaulted back to 1400.
Even with that one big con, we think that this move will be worth it in the long run. What do you think? If you have any thoughts on our plans, let us know, we’d love to hear them!
It might seem like it has been rather quiet in terms of updates to Mindoku. It is not because our team is not working on Mindoku – quite the opposite. We are currently working on a completely new version of Mindoku game client, which is very different from our present games. Here are the main differences:
all the games and tournaments can be played on one single page (currently you have to open a separate tab for chess, gomoku, every tournament, etc)
support for tablets and smartphones by using modern web standards (HTML5) instead of archaic technologies (Java applets)
Here is a screen shot of the new client (specifically the new tournament tab) currently in development (click on the image to view in original size):
And this one below is a screen shot of a gomoku game. You’ll notice that you’ll be able to open a gameroom from the right side “Available gamerooms” menu and you’ll notice that there are already gomoku and othello gamerooms open:
As you can see all the action is now available on one page, no need to keep separate browser tabs open for different games. You can see the new client partially even now when you open the Othello game room, however the new version takes one step further and puts all the games and tournaments to one place.
We are currently planning to bring out the first version with support for Othello, Gomoku, Pente, Renju and Sudoku after which we’ll gradually add other games. Unfortunately, since the new version is a complete rewrite on both the client and the server side, then other games (beside the five mentioned before) will be unavailable until we implement them using the new technology. It should not take long however, since we already have the game logics code from the present games.
With the current development pace, we should be able to release the first version in about 1-2 months. We’ll keep you posted!
As you probably already know, Mindoku is hosting daily mind sports tournaments. We have added swap gomoku and entropy to the daily list and here’s a reminder about which game types we have daily tournaments in (all times are in UTC):
15:00 – Taraguchi renju
16:00 – Stack 4D
17:00 – Pente
17:00 – Sudoku (medium difficulty)
18:00 – Othello
18:00 – Swap gomoku
19:00 – Entropy
NB! Every user can create a tournament themselves, so you can have a challenging competition with your mates whenever you want! There is a link for creating a new tournament on the tournaments page.
A big online sudoku event is coming and the winners will be invited to the next World Sudoku Championships in Beijng. We’ll copy-paste the information about this event from the official page (http://www.worldpuzzle.org/events; registration form is on the same page):
WPF is happy to announce the 1st WPF online sudoku tournament – WPF Sudoku Grand Prix
The tournament consists of eight rounds organised by WPF members from eight countries. The hosts will be Czech Republic, Germany, India, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, UK, USA. The dates will be announced soon.
All the sudoku players can take part and compare their results with the top players without leaving their home.
In the next days the registration will be launched at our web page. Only registered players will be included in the final WPF ranking.
January – Czech Republic – Jan 25-27
February – India – Feb 9-10
March – Germany (or late Feb.) – Feb 23-24
April – Serbia – Apr 20-22
May – UK, US
June – Italy
June – Turkey – Jun 22-23
There will be 8 online tournaments starting in January 2013 and ending in July 2013
The WPF will maintain official rankings of the registered players
Registration and player rankings will be done on the WPF web page
Only 6 out of 8 tournaments will be included into the final rankings, each player will get to choose which of his or her 6 scores will count
At the end of the series, the 10 players with the highest cumulative scores will be invited to the next WSC to play off in person
For the first year there will be no registration fee, players may participate for free
Each of the top 10 players will receive a 100 EUR discount off the cost of attending the next WSC
Each tournament will be available for an entire weekend
A few event dates have been set. The schedule has been updated with relevant data.
Mindoku Team has been working on a completely new game client for the past few months and today we are releasing the first beta version of it. Beta means that it should work nicely but might still have a few bugs.
Our first game room that the new client supports is Othello:
As you can see the new client looks and behaves similarly to the old Java applet version but has a few very important differences/improvements over the old version:
It utilizes modern web standards (HTML5, Web Sockets, Canvas, etc) which are supported by modern browsers and therefore does not require any external plugins to work. It is very lightweight and starts instantly when you open up a game room. No more waiting until the browser launches the heavy Java Runtime Environment which is needed by the old game client.
Soon you’ll be able to play in Mindoku with your tablet or a smartphone. Browsers for the mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, etc) do not support Java applets but they support new web standards and that makes it possible to use the new client on regular computers and also on mobile devices.
The development is much simpler with the new client which means new features or changes can happen faster.
What are the modern browsers that support our new game client you ask? There are currently three of them:
Mozilla Firefox version 11 and up
Chromium version 16 and up (Google Chrome, SRWare Iron, etc)
Safari version 6 and up
Other major browsers that do not support these web standards yet but will add support in the future:
Opera starting from the version 12.10
Internet Explorer starting from the version 10
Currently only Othello gameroom supports the new client but we will be gradually adding support for other games too. The current game client that is built using the Java technology will be slowly phased out. You’ll still be able to use the Java applet client for some time but we won’t be adding new features to it.
We encourage you to try out the new client and let us know if you encounter any bugs. You can also tell us which game would you like implemented next with the new technology!
We added a possibility to play Gomoku and Renju and Othello against a computer. To challenge a computer, just go to the gameroom and invite a user named “Computer” to play. There are two computer users in both gamerooms.
The reasons why we created this possibility are as follows:
To create an option for beginners to try the games out without a risk of losing rating points.
Possibility for advanced players to spend time when there is nobody else in the gameroom. You can also challenge yourself to find out how many moves you need to win the computer or if you could fill the whole gametable with buttons
There are only two computer players in those gamerooms because we prefer human players to play with each other (if there are 3 or more users) rather than with computers.
In the near future we’ll add this possibility also to:
There are lots of different types of sudoku that are developed every year. It’s possible to keep the look of a regular sudoku and add some rules that will give totally new dimensions to these sudokus. As much as there are sudoku types, there are the same amount of different names to them.
The name of a sudoku has to tell you what it’s about. For example, if the name is non-consecutive sudoku, then there is an extra constraint that consecutive digits cannot be next to each other.
There is a competition at the logicmastersindia.com website this weekend until tuesday, and it’s all about killer sudokus. Killer sudoku is a sudoku that has extra areas in which the sums of all digits must match a specific number. The competition is about some new variants created by Stefan Heine from Germany who is one of the best sudoku constructors in the world (in my opinion). It’s worth to give it a try, because this competition has some style.
The name of a competition is Killer Shootout and sudokus in this competition consist of birds, fishes and compasses. One of the sudokus there has the coolest name I’ve ever seen: Non-consecutive Little Odd Fish Killer Sudoku. You can see the sudoku here:
There are some extra constraints and the name actually tells you what it’s about. It’s non-consecutive, there are some fishes where you can only write odd digits and it’s a variant of a killer Sudoku named little killer. The numbers outside the grid provide the sums of all digits in the indicated diagonal direction. Awesome!
I am participating in this event and hope to see you there!
Now that the summer is slowly coming to an end, we will start rolling out updates and new features in a faster pace. The first one after two months of leisure time is sudoku records!
Here is a little piece of the new page:
It shows Mindoku’s fastest sudoku solvers and some interesting statistics. This example above are 9×9 easy sudoku records. In addition to the above visible columns, you’ll also be able to see the average solving time, when the record was achieved, how many sudokus has the user solved and the solving percentage (solved vs started sudokus).
Go ahead and check it out: sudoku records! (you’ll see the link to the records page on the games index page and in sudoku gameroom)