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miegakure

Miegakure: Exploring a 4D World on PS4

miegakure

Marc ten Bosch's Avatar Posted by on Dec 04, 2014 // President, mtb design works, Inc.

Miegakure is a 4D game. It lets players explore a detailed 4D world and use their ability to move in 4D to perform miraculous feats. 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!

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 very difficult for us to picture what a four-dimensional world would look like. But a computer (or a PS4, as the case may be), 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. We are excited to bring the game to PlayStation 4, because we think its great computing power will help us deliver a truly innovative, visually stunning game.

Miegakure on PS4

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 (think of a drawing of a square on a piece of paper). 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 super hero from the actual fourth dimension.

Miegakure on PS4

Miegakure is still very much a work in progress, but we hope to release the game next year. In the meantime, you can play a demo of the game at the PlayStation Experience event on December 6th and 7th.

//Add Your Own

17 Comments

1

+ yowzagabowza on December 4th, 2014 at 7:23 am said:

Reminds me of fez right now. Seems interesting. Im not sure how intuitive the gameplay will be, since there arent really four dimensions we can see. I really hope you put out a demo. A game like this would really benefit from one.


2

+ stalepie on December 4th, 2014 at 7:27 am said:

looks nice. the ps4 is in definite need of puzzle games.


3

+ Zepherj on December 4th, 2014 at 8:49 am said:

This game looks so cool. I love watching new gameplay mechanics as they are developed, especially for puzzle games. I’m really excited for this one. Keep up the good work!


4

+ zeroMAKS on December 4th, 2014 at 9:13 am said:

0.0 WHAT?!?


5

+ Bellalara on December 4th, 2014 at 9:33 am said:

Reminds me of Fez :D This looks amazing!


6

+ gold_og_roger on December 4th, 2014 at 10:19 am said:

This looks interesting. I’ve been meaning to play Fez since it was free on plus, but I hear the main dev is a jerk. I suppose the work should speak for itself. But in this age, stigma is attached to all things. I’d rather support a dev that loves their output and it’s audience.


7

+ MakoSoul on December 4th, 2014 at 10:29 am said:

This game has been in development so long that it’s hard to believe it’s actually going to come out next year. Either way, I am excited to play it when it does.


8

+ cold_spirit on December 4th, 2014 at 11:08 am said:

I see a lot of people bringing up Fez among the comments. I think that’s a fair comparison for sure, but there is one key difference I find interesting and want to point out. In Fez, you are navigating a 3D world in 2D slices, so every slice of that 3D world is a 2D object. I think this can be obviously seen in second video posted in the article when you consider how the gameplay in Fez worked. However, in Miegakure you are taking it one step further. You are now traversing a 4D world in 3D slices, meaning every slice of that 4D world will be a 3D object. This can be a bit more difficult to understand because our brains cannot easily comprehend 4D objects, unlike 2D and 3D objects.

Anywho, game looks great. I’m really looking forward to it!


9

+ death_nation100 on December 4th, 2014 at 11:37 am said:

I want to play it better a free game for plus users !


10

+ JMG24BAD on December 4th, 2014 at 12:41 pm said:

I really like the look of this. just thought I would log in and say that. back to the shadows I go.


11

+ firehahahahahaha on December 4th, 2014 at 2:20 pm said:

My brain just can’t comprehend it.


12

+ Tomoprime on December 4th, 2014 at 2:24 pm said:

Fez in 3D very cool! Reminds me of a nintendo game too. The name escapes me.

However I don’t understand the example. Why would a wall with some trees turn into a desert with some rumble in it? Objects in one space should correlate to the landscape of another right? Otherwise the remainder of that landscape should remain a flat desert. A random teleport only seems to complicate the mechanics I would think. Is that why we only see a tiny square of terrain at a time? Would it look broken to expand the grid in a more complete picture?

Nice work though. I don’t want to sound too negative. Maybe you should get a beta going with feedback from users.


13

+ juggalorider on December 4th, 2014 at 3:37 pm said:

This looks fun an the grapics are what fez should be, i refuse to play fez because grapics are garbage


14

+ thegodofgreen on December 4th, 2014 at 4:30 pm said:

3D fez… looks fun


15

+ plaztiksyke on December 4th, 2014 at 4:58 pm said:

Played this at Day of the Devs and it is really, really cool. I love game experiences that are so unique they are difficult to verbalize.

I really hope this game supports stereoscopic 3D on PS4 — it would be even more brain-melting!


16

+ TheFunkyPhantom on December 5th, 2014 at 7:42 am said:

What is the name of that multi-celled geometric form in that looks like playground equipment? I can’t remember it at all. I know I know it, too.


17

+ Gumbydunzeeto on December 5th, 2014 at 9:37 am said:

No physical version, no sale.


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