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Video: Miegakure dev offers perspective on designing 4D movement
August 28, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

August 28, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video

The development blog for designer Marc Ten Bosch's 4D puzzle game Miegakure was updated this week with a mildly mind-bending video post that seeks to explain how the game implements four-dimensional movement as a puzzle-solving mechanic.

The video (embedded above) is worth watching for the perspective it offers on how four-dimenional movement might work. Developers might also appreciate seeing how Miegakure transitions players between 2D and 3D movement, and how the engine models a 3D Polydodecahedron shape out of what the developer claims (and details extensively in an earlier blog post) is a 4D shape.

For more insight into the design and development of Miegakure, take a look back at Gamasutra's interview with Marc Ten Bosch when the game was nominated for an IGF award in 2010.

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Damien Ivan
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Holy crap, that is really cool and fantastically confusing haha.

Matthew Fairchild
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A great explanation , I had no idea what was supposed to be going on at the beginning. But a very interesting and creative idea, I'll definitely be keeping an eye on that dev bloq ^^

Ron Alpert
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interesting notion, but to me this is very confusing.

Obviously I "get" the 2D-to-3D mechanic. When a game takes place in the 2D world, we understand the constraints and the fact that the environment must be traversed in a linear fashion (prohibiting the lateral movement) - and that's why something like "a wall that blocks the path," presented in such an abstract sense, is understandable. Yes, logically we understand what it means to follow a 2D path and reach a block signified by an impassable wall, even though the presentation of the all can lead one to expect "it could be sidestepped" - it's part of the ruleset which has long since been established about how paths and walls work in 2D games, so we do not question it and therefore don't have to comprehend it as a literal wall in the 3D sense.

The switch to a 3D world, however, brings with it a switch to the ruleset that more closely relates to the real world understanding we have of walls and such - it is either impassable either going forward or alongside it. But from there, there is no further general expectation we have of what a wall can imply. In 3D, we are already perceiving a wall as we do in real life, and there's nowhere to go from there.

So this suggestion of a further dimension (4D from 3D) is where it falls apart for me. Yes I get it that 4D implies an extra layer of traversal to 3D just as 3D does to 2D - but the 2D3D one I can relate to in both abstract and real world ways, whereas "what does 4D means and how do I perceive that?" When I look at the example and it shifts to a differently presented 4D world, with little to tie it to the previous 3D world, shifting between the two and how that makes sense doesn't add up in an understandable way, in my point of view.

Scott Sheppard
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Which is the beauty that this is a game. Just like we had to learn to "think with portals" a few years back, we now have the opportunity to be introduced to 4D concepts one layer at a time. At the end of the game, we'll have been lead through so many tutorials that we can literally think in the 4th dimension.

They were able to pull off thinking in time with the game Achron, so I expect it can be done here.

So don't judge too harshly yet. Wait until you can dork around with it.

Jean-Claude Cottier
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I agree with you Ron, it is very hard to get it. If you replace 4D by time travel it would make more senses for the players and could give some more consistency to the world (and still keeping the same concept).