Archive for August, 2014

New Trailer: How to walk through walls using the 4th Dimension

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

An explanation of how walking through walls would actually look like if you could move in 4D.

This doubles as an explanation of how Miegakure works (finally! Also SPOILER ALERT) and what the fourth dimension is.

Ever since people discovered the concept of a fourth dimension of space around a century and a half ago, they have tried to come up with what would be possible if space was actually four-dimensional. Walking "though" walls would be one of the simplest consequences of being able to move in 4D space. But what would it actually look like? It's not often that watching a video-game trailer actually teaches you about real math.

Of course, if you have watched the video, you know that it is not "through," but rather "around" walls, despite what this movie poster or this comic book character, for example, would lead you to believe.

Additional Notes:

  • From the perspective of a regular 3D observer standing next to the wall the player character would suddenly disappear, and a few moments later reappear on the other side of the wall (assuming the player character is very thin along the fourth dimension).
  • There are infinitely many 3D worlds stacked on top of each other, even if in the Wall level the ground texture makes it seem like there are only two. A more complex example is the shape at the beginning of the trailer, which is a true 4D shape called the 120 Cell, as explained here.
  • Yup, the 2D/3D section is part of the game. There are more 2D levels. Not going to spoil how you get access to them.
  • The 2D/3D section has been part of the game since I first showed it at the Experimental Gameplay Workshop 2009 a couple months after making the prototype. At first I made it in order to explain the game, but it seemed like a good idea to make it part of the game itself.
    I took inspiration from Flatland (of course) and Super Paper Mario for the aesthetic. I couldn't resist having the game contain its own Demake ;)
  • Fun anecdote: the code that handles movement in 2D/3D is the same as the code that handles movement in 3D/4D, but one axis is ignored ;) The display code is of course different, but it reuses a bunch of stuff.

This trailer took a long time to make! It will be the basis for talking about the game more.
The pixel art was done by G.P. Lackey and the music by Disasterpeace & Mateo Lugo. I love how it turned out!

Big thanks to Vi Hart [Youtube Channel], Chris Hecker [SpyParty], Brady Haran and others for their suggestions on how to improve this video.

Oh I forgot to post here that we will be showing the game at PAX Prime, as part of the Indie MEGABOOTH.