Miegakure is the first game that lets you explore and interact with a 4D world. In this game, the fourth dimension is not time! It is an actual fourth dimension of space, that works just like the first three dimensions we are familiar with. If you count time, this game is 5D.
How to walk through walls using the 4th Dimension [And an explanation of how Miegakure works]
For a while games used to be 2D, taking place solely along two directions. For example, a game character could only move forwards and backwards, or jump up and down. Then came computers powerful enough to render 3D graphics, which allowed for full 3D movement: up / down, backwards / forwards and left / right. (Of course, the graphics we see, while they are computed in 3D, are displayed on a 2D screen. They are projected down from 3D to 2D, in a way that mimics how our eyes perceive the third dimension.)
But it doesn’t stop there. If in a 2D game every object’s position is represented in the computer using two numbers, and if in a 3D game every object’s position is represented using three numbers, what if each position was represented using four numbers? In other words, what if there was another direction you could move along in addition to the first three? Trying to answer this question is what that led us to develop this game.
As far as we know, our universe has exactly three spatial dimensions — so it’s difficult for us to picture what a four-dimensional world would look like. But a computer, on the other hand, does not care; it’s just working with numbers as usual (it’s just slightly more numbers in this case!). So we had to come up with a way to display this calculated 4D world so that our three-dimensional brains could comprehend it.
The way we chose is a method that has been popularized in the novella Flatland. This novella talks about a 2D square that can only see a 2D cross section of a 3D world. For the square, the third dimension is invisible and mysterious; the square has no concept of it because it is stuck seeing a 2D world. If a 3D object visits the 2D plane it appears to be deforming, in a way that looks like an M.R.I. scan (of a brain, for example). In an M.R.I. what we see while moving the slice through the object appears to be deforming, but we know that we are just taking a different cross-section of the same 3D object.
In Miegakure, a similar thing happens, but in one higher dimension: instead of taking a 2D slice of a 3D object, we are taking a 3D slice of 4D objects. It’s hard to imagine, but luckily we don’t have to — computers can display it for us! If you take a look at the trailer above you can see examples of what these “deformations” look like as we move and turn the 3D slice around within the 4D world.
The gameplay focuses on exploring a 4D world and the consequences of being able to move in 4D. For example, for a 2D being, houses only need four walls. If the doors are locked, there is no way to enter the house. But us 3D beings can see inside the house by just looking at it from above, and we can reach in and grab whatever is inside and move it outside the house, without opening any doors, to the bemusement of the poor 2D beings!
Similarly, a 4D being can perform miraculous feats such as remove objects from a locked safe without opening it, bind together two rings without breaking them, or spy on 3D beings without them knowing. We have carefully designed each level in Miegakure to be about performing one of these feats, letting players become a sort of superhero from the actual fourth dimension.
"I find it easy to think of Miegakure as one of the great puzzle games of all time."
- Jonathan Blow (Braid, The Witness)
"Miegakure is a 4-dimensional puzzle game. What this means is that I am going to struggle to convey exactly what playing it entails. That’s not to say that the game’s designer, Marc ten Bosch, has made something alienating or overly intellectual. It’s a warm, funny, deeply intelligent game"
"[I messed] about with this strange toy until I quickly understood most of the problems that I faced.
- Jim Rossignol (Rock Paper Shotgun)
F.A.Q.
Is the game actually 4D?
Yes.
When will the game be out and on what platforms?
The game is currently in development and the goal is to release it in downloadable form for Windows/Mac/Linux. It will be available on Steam and Playstation 4. There is no announced date yet.
Is there a demo?
There is no publicly released demo at this point. There will be one when the game is released though, so please be patient :) Thanks.
Will you release a public alpha/beta?
Public alphas/betas don't really make sense for single-player puzzle games with a story.
Will I understand how to play this game?
Selected Press
Miegakure preview — playing a four-dimensional puzzle game [PC Gamer]
Videogame architecture allows us to visualize the impossible [Kill Screen]
This Man Is Using Math To Create An Impossible 4D Video Game [The Creators Project]
Hands On: Miegakure [Rock Paper Shotgun]
Mind Game [Wired (Dec. 2014 issue)]
Interview with Miegakure’s Marc ten Bosch [N4G]
To The Inhabitants of SPACE IN GENERAL
And H. C. IN PARTICULAR
This Work is Dedicated
By a Humble Native of Flatland
In the Hope that
Even as he was Initiated into the Mysteries
Of THREE Dimensions
Having been previously conversant
With ONLY TWO
So the Citizens of that Celestial Region
May aspire yet higher and higher
To the Secrets of FOUR FIVE OR EVEN SIX Dimensions
Thereby contributing
To the Enlargement of THE IMAGINATION
And the possible Development
Of that most rare and excellent Gift of MODESTY
Among the Superior Races
Of SOLID HUMANITY
- Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions