Hello. I noticed today that the version known as Cave Game Tech Test was in fact not the first version, proven by the LWJGL logs. I will post them if anyone wants to see the logs. Some are from the tigIRC logs.
So, here is the updated pre-classic list:
Intial Test: Notch said that the game development started on 10.5.2009. All dates are in GMT except the Rd dates, that are in the Swedish time.
Pre-CGTT 20090512: On 13.5.2009 at 1pm , notch says he tried to narrow down a performance issue yesterday.
Pre-CGTT 20090513-13:51 could have existed, when notch tried to make the fps work.
Pre-CGTT 20090513 18:41: Notch says: "I made it only update two chunks per frame maximum, and it's very slow"
This clearly is a new version. Later it's told it runs 2fps, has somewhat broken fps and has "blank chunks".
Cave Game Tech Test was released 18:51. It was showcased in a video recorded around 19:00 and the video was released 19:50.
Rd-132151 was released on 19:51. This version was the first one available for testing.
Rd-132211 was released 20:11 and is available in the launcher.
Rd-132328 was released 21:28 and is available in the launcher. It added steves.
Rd-20090514 was the only version released on 14.5.2009. It was released 14:23.
Rd-150000 (aka. 20090515) was released 22:00 on 14.5.2009, 00:00 in Swedish time.
Rd-160025 was released on 15.5.2009. It was the only version released on 15.5.2009, making it rd-20090515.
Rd-161348 was released on 16.5.2009, 11:48.
Mc-161607 was released on 16.5.2009 at 16:07, after Minecraft was finally named Minecraft. It was the first private test.
Mc-161616 (released 16.5.2009)
Mc-161648/0.0.1a was possibly the first numbered version.
0.0.2a was the first numbered version, as we don't know if Mc-161648/0.0.1a was numbered.
0.0.3a added caves.
0.0.4a, 0.0.5a, 0.0.6a, 0.0.7a and 0.0.8a are unconfirmed. After pre-classic came Classic, that started with 0.0.9a.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Unpopular opinion: Minecraft was at its best during Alphas, and 0.0.14a gravel was the best gravel.
If I understand what you are saying, it's that "Cave game tech test" was itself a result if iterative development with successive pieces of software. But that is inherent to software design. The reason that "Cave Game Tech Test" is considered the "first version" is because it was the first public showing of the game that would eventually become Minecraft. Any "previous" version only existed on Notch's development system and possibly only for short periods of time during internal testing.
Any software project is going to go through countless iterations before the developer decides to make it available. You could argue that the "first version" was merely the blank source file when the project was first created. Every change, removal, addition after that could additionally be argued to be yet another version, too.
thus the "and possibly only for short periods of time during internal testing.". Though I don't see what evidence you've presented to suggest any of those versions were "played by one or more people" (presumably, other than Notch himself).