Miegakure Update September 2021

Hi, here is the update since last time! Among other things:

– We polished the main characters with improvements to the 3D models, inverse kinematics for the feet, cloth simulation, better collision detection, etc.. That kind of polish seemed very important since the player is looking at the main character all the time. We also fixed issues with the character rig we were using.

– I cleaned up and improved the way shaders are implemented in the game, so that it is very easy to create new textures (ex: as grass, sand, rocks…). I improved and added new types of procedural textures. One example is Gabor noise, which is great for anisotropic patterns.

During development I often programmed specific systems because I had no idea that it was possible to do much better. For example, I had specific systems for drawing specific types of object (cubic-shaped rocks, buildings, vegetation…) which all got replaced by only two or three systems (ex: tetrahedral meshes). So now I worked everything around them, and simplified the code, which allowed complexity to be put elsewhere where it is more needed.

– Similarly, I finalized the sound code, since at this point it is clear what we actually needed. For example: all sounds now change in a similar way based on what should be heard across the 4th dimension.

– We finished all the large building scenes except one, and put them in the game with the final (PBR) lighting and they really look super great!

The game looks much more refined and polished compared to what we have shown so far. Some changes also make it much more immersive. I love our concept art by Kellan Jett; it is really original and gives the world a truly unique feel. We worked hard to bring it to life in 3D (well, actually 4D ahah) and do it justice. The fact that the game gives the sense of a world, and not just a series a puzzles in an abstract place is very exciting to me.

– For a fun few days break I also quickly cleaned up a mechanic that I wasn’t sure was going to be in the game, and made the few puzzles for it. The game is going to be very rich and dense!

– We also did the final polish on many “one-off things” in the game (I shall remain vague about this for now ahah).

Generally I have now done a final polish pass on almost every part of the game, and now basically the only thing left, for realsies, is we need to go through most levels and give them a final look, by placing (and sometimes making) props, and creating specific types of 4D objects/textures! (As I said before, all the puzzle design has been done for a long time). So this is a pretty exciting time!

As always, thank you for your patience and enthusiasm.

60 Responses to “Miegakure Update September 2021”

  1. Spencer says:

    Great to see all the progress! Reading your blog & paper inspired me to learn geometric algebra. I’m not sure if it will help with the puzzles though.

  2. VcSaJen says:

    Thanks for the update!
    About sound: do you mean now it gets quieter the father in the invisible axis you are from a sound-emitting object?

    • marc says:

      Yeah, not just that but yeah.

      • Sam says:

        Does it also pitch shift!?

        I can’t think of the term for that, basically how you can tell something sounds like it’s moving towards you or away from you

        • m93a says:

          The term is Doppler shift and I don’t think adding it would make much sense 😉

          • ObiWanPez says:

            They did this in Mass Effect 2, when probe-mining planets. It wasn’t a true Doppler Shift, since it dealt with static distances, rather than moving objects. Within the context, your probe was scanning through more atmosphere to get to the target, altering the pitch. Probably nonsense, but the mechanic worked.

  3. Lars says:

    Thanks for the update. Very much!
    I was just thinking about Miegakure, reading old news articles about it, wondering if it was dead, and thinking about buying 4D Toys. 🙂 (I probably will — supporting your efforts is worthwhile!)
    So hearing about progress on the game is very encouraging. Keep up the good work!

    What made me think of Miegakure recently was the idea of developing a game where effects of special relativity (specifically time dilation and length contraction) are made concrete, by getting to play with them, much the way Miegakure does with 4D space. I thought you would do an awesome job with that … but it might take 10+ years. 🙂 (It turns out there are already a couple of games like that. But it’s definitely a fun idea!)

    • Sid says:

      Developing a game where effects of special relativity (specifically time dilation and length contraction) are made concrete… Have you played “A Slower Speed of Light” ? It advertises the OpenRelativity toolkit for Unity with its example.

    • Ethan says:

      You should try out Velocity Raptor by TestTubeGames!

    • Godeffroy says:

      I have thought of doing just that.
      I know space-time geometric algebra very well, so if marc wants to do it at some point, I would be glad to take part in it.

  4. Fleechin says:

    Excited to hear about the update! I couldn’t help but notice that some of the artworks looks a lot like some of the artwork in 4D Toys. I wonder if that makes them in the same cinematic universe

  5. Sid says:

    Thank you for your uncompromising dedication to this project, Marc. I’ve been following the news since that xkcd#721 ad, and I’m certain the work you release will be great, considering the long-standing effort you’ve put into it.

  6. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the update Marc. I can’t wait to explain these concepts to my 8 yr old.

  7. m93a says:

    This is awesome, I can’t wait for the release! I guess I’ll pass the time playing Hyperbolica (when it comes out later this year) and studying geometric algebra 🙂

  8. Monty Wild says:

    It’s great to hear that progress is being made. Is VR going to be supported like 4D toys?

    • marc says:

      Yes, that’s the plan. It’s mostly implemented already. It might not be available right at launch but a little bit later.

      • Rezmason says:

        Did VR support pose any unprecedented technical challenges that non-4D game developers don’t usually encounter?

        Looking forward to the inevitable GDC talk 😉

        • marc says:

          Nah, actually the game lends itself to VR very well. You just move your head around the diorama and play with the controller as usual.

  9. Gabe says:

    Awesome work! Thanks for the update! I’m looking forward to your launch.

  10. Ryan says:

    I can’t even remember how long I’ve been following this project and waiting for it to come out. So happy to hear you’re getting so close! Can’t wait to give you my money!

  11. Nathan says:

    Wow, sounds like this is actually getting close to releasing!

    Mind if I ask, what platforms are you thinking here? I’ve been unfortunately locked out of 4D toys, with an Android phone and a Mac laptop, so you can understand my concern!

    And also, are you thinking of any console releases? Since this is played entirely with a controller, I’d love to get it on Xbox, for example. Hell, game pass might even be a cool way to introduce loads of people to the concept.

    Anyway, no pressure, just keep working on making the game the best it can be, but maybe a good suggestion for post-launch?

    • marc says:

      I would like to do a console in addition to Steam, yes. I guess it’s not very clear which, maybe PS4?
      Also eventually I will manage a Mac Port (of both), it’s not a lot of work, but very boring.

      • Alon says:

        I’ll represent the Nintendo Switch gang and say – my preferred console is the Nintendo Switch 🙂
        It is versatile and relatively cheap, making it more accessible.
        About porting, if the game graphics are not too compute intensive then porting should go pretty smoothly.

      • Hamish says:

        A Mac port would be very much appreciated 🙂

  12. Orange Drink says:

    Still super excited! Really looking forward to the sound/music in the game.

  13. Nathan Frost says:

    Looks great, Marc! My wife and I are very much looking forward to playing the finished experience; I’m sure there will be nothing else like it. 🙂

  14. Michael Roberts says:

    Wow, things have really jumped towards the finish line. Long time lurker and must admit the anticipation is real.

  15. Jasper says:

    Very exciting! Thank you for the update, I’m looking forward to seeing the final product take shape!

  16. BW says:

    Great to hear progress has been made!
    Wishing you and your team the best of luck and health in this final stretch.

  17. Stephen says:

    Are we looking at a 2021 release date??

  18. Jack says:

    If you do a console release be sure to get it on the Nintendo switch!

  19. Matias says:

    Just checked my email and the first update I got was for:

    So I’ve been following this game for over 10 years! It’s been a wild, fun, and super informative ride. The amount of passion poured into the game is insane; can’t wait to someday rack my brain trying to solve the puzzles!

  20. Devlin says:

    I enjoy the fact you’ve completely given up on announcing planned release dates haha

  21. Jake Brownson says:

    So can’t wait to play this

  22. Dzentsetsu says:

    I am sure you are not realizing it. But your work inspired me to learn 3D graphics programming.

  23. Dennie says:

    So stoked for this. Great to see the commitment to quality. The wait might be long, but the reward will be better. Good luck and your fans will be here when it’s done. 🙂

  24. Matteo says:

    Exciting news! Especially the bit about sound “across the 4th dimension”. I wonder if this involves some sort of “directionality” that you implemented in the game.

    The usual experience with ambient sounds in games is that of proximity, i.e. a sound coming from the “right” signals the presence of something being “there”. So how is this going to work with an extra dimension, like: how do I figure a sound is coming from “there”, if “there” is beyond the current 3d slice I am seeing?

    I imagine some sort of cue, e.g. sounds coming from beyond are muffled as if being underwater… am I even close? 🙂

  25. f says:

    Have you considered allowing an option of first-person perspective?

    I think this game is going to be by far the best 4D visualisation tool out there once it’s out, and the videos you uploaded to youtube are absolutely amazing. But the fact you look at the objects from a distance makes it harder to visualise the whole thing.

    Ideally, if this could be done with VR, it would have been the best option. But I think even a first-person perspective, where you see all the objects from extremely nearby, will make the game that much more immersive.

    I’d be very happy to hear your thoughts on this.

    • f says:

      Perhaps I wasn’t clear – when I said VR would be ideal I meant VR + first-person perspective. It wouldn’t make much of a difference if it’s VR using the third-person perspective.

      What I am thinking about is how to best feel like you really are in a 4D world yourself. And what I was trying to explain is that first-person perspective would greatly help with that.

      • marc says:

        I tried to see what first person looked like a while ago, here are some issues I found:
        – It is very difficult to tell what is going on when the world shifts around you. I don’t find it pleasant to have to look around to see the world changing.
        – The levels are small because the amount of stuff you need to put in grows faster with size than in a 3D game, and small levels don’t look very immersive from a first-person perspective.

        • Sam says:

          — I could see the 2nd being a problem in first person on screen. I’m not a big fan of first person games, the only one I’ve really liked to play is Portal. But I find that actual 3D VR experiences add an element of emersion that is undeniable whether or not the world is big or small.
          — For the 1st problem I couldn’t say for certain that the depth perception would assist you in knowing what is happening when the world shifts around you… but would I want to see it anyway? You bet! I think about watching the reality bend inside movies like Inception or Doctor Strange and wanting to experience something like that, it would be cool!

          • marc says:

            Yes it’s cool to see a few times. I think just playing the game in VR will give enough of that feeling, that’s all I will do at this time.

  26. Leo says:

    It seems like the game will be released soon. Maybe not this year. I don’t care as far as it’s not aborted. I have wait this for many years.

  27. Anne says:

    Thank you very much for the update!
    Will the game eventually have a physical release or will it stay digital?

  28. Sam says:

    Anticipation intensifies

  29. Dexter says:

    Awesome! Glad to see that progress is still being made after all these years

  30. Lewis says:

    I honestly thought this game was dead at this point.

    Good luck in your final stages dude.

    Make sure you put a HEAVTY price on it lol, you deserve it.

  31. Nukri says:

    Super glad you’re pushing the project to its final phaze!!!
    Been following years, congratulations man!

  32. Pete says:

    Oh wow, glad you’re working on the game and that there’s progress. I haven’t heard about the game for half a decade at least, so I thought the project is dead. Glad to see I was wrong 🙂

  33. Mark says:

    The art looks great!

  34. Teragon says:

    Developing this game seems to be a bottomless pit, but it’s so cool that the knowhow is being generated for developping 4D games.

    Since you mentioned having sounds change as they do in four dimensions – does that just mean, their amplitude is decaying with the 3rd power of the distance rather than the 2nd?

    It would also be an interesting project to simulate 4D instruments. For example, a 4D drum would have spherical heads instead of circular ones, which would generate a different distribution of overtones than a drum in 3D. Moreover, 2D membranes sounding like drums could be played like strings, which would allow for drum-like sound to have an attack-sustain-decay behavor like guitars, violins or pianos.

  35. Evgenia says:

    Yay! Let’s pray for a 2022 release date! <3 Cannot believe I'll actually get to play it. 😀

  36. Autumn says:

    When I first learned about this game I was in middle school, and now I’m out of college and working a full time job. So excited to see it’s still progressing and I may get to play it soon.

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