Miegakure

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Miegakure
Developer(s)Marc ten Bosch
Platform(s)Linux
Mac OS X
Windows (Steam[1])
Genre(s)Puzzle-platform
Mode(s)Single-player

Miegakure (Japanese: 見え隠れ, Hepburn: Miegakure, "in and out of sight") is an in-development puzzle-platform video game by Marc ten Bosch set in a world with four spatial dimensions. Because rendering true four-dimensional (4D) space to a screen is impossible, the game renders two-dimensional images (the screen) of three-dimensional (3D) slices of its world. Players can change the dimensions used to create the slice and move within the slice, thereby enabling them to move throughout the 4D world. The game has many puzzles that are impossible to solve in a 3D world, but are solvable in the game's 4D world.

In contrast to traditional 2D or 3D game development, virtually all of the technology behind Miegakure had to be created from scratch because the equations describing physics in a world with four spatial dimensions differ from those in spacetime (which has only three spatial dimensions). The technology underlying the game was used to create the 2017 simulation game 4D Toys, and some of the research underlying the game was published at SIGGRAPH in 2020. The game has been in development since 2009 and, as of July 2023, does not have a release date.

Gameplay[edit]

Ten Bosch wrote in 2014 that the gameplay of Miegakure "focuses on exploring a 4D world and the consequences of being able to move in 4D."[2] In 2014, the game also had characters and a story.[3]

Development[edit]

In 2009, Bosch worked on prototype for the Experimental Gameplay Workshop at GDC 2009 which would be the basis for Miegakure. In 2010 the game's engine was written in C++, and the levels were scripted in Lua.[4] The game was popularized in March 2010 by an xkcd webcomic, which compared the game to Edwin Abbott Abbott's book Flatland.[5] On December 4, 2014, ahead of the PlayStation Experience event, the game was announced to be released on PlayStation 4 via the PlayStation Blog.[2] The game was playable for attendees of the PlayStation Experience event in Las Vegas at the following weekend.[2]

In 2015, Bosch said the game had around 140 levels, and each contains a unique idea.[6] Indie Fund backed the game in April 2016.[7] In 2017, Bosch released the simulation game 4D Toys for iOS and Steam VR. The game engine underlying 4D Toys was based on the technology developed for Miegakure, and borne out of tests to add a robust physics system to the game.[8][9] Bosch said that working on 4D Toys influenced the design of Miegakure, noting "I also came up with many ideas for Miegakure levels and scenes while playing with 4D Toys."[10]

Creating the game's physics engine involved generalizing Newton's laws of motion to an arbitrary number of dimensions, which required Bosch's team to come up with new mathematics.[8] Part of the research was used to create the technical paper "N-Dimensional Rigid Body Dynamics", which Bosch presented at SIGGRAPH 2020 and published later that year.[11][12]

The name of the game comes from a Japanese garden term, which Bosch chose because "the game's philosophy is connected to ideas Japanese gardens have developed."[13] Bosch said that the simplicity of the color-switch mechanic in Ikaruga influenced the design of the dimension-orientation switching button in the game.[14] Bosch went to Kyoto to study ancient temples for inspiration.[15] Some of the concept art of the game was created by Kellan Jett.[10]

The tremendous technical challenges of creating a 4D game engine mean that as of February 2023, the game is still in development with no announced release date. Bosch writes updates concerning the game in a dedicated development blog and on Patreon.[16] In an Wired profile in 2014, Bosch described his daily schedule as "wake up, work on the game, go get lunch somewhere, work on the game, go to sleep."[15]

Awards[edit]

Miegakure won the Amazing award at IndieCade (the International Festival of Independent Games) in 2010.[17]

See also[edit]

Notes and References[edit]

  1. ^ "Miegakure is coming to Steam". Marc ten Bosch. 21 April 2015. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Miegakure: Exploring a 4D World on PS4". Marc ten Bosch. Sony Interactive Entertainment. 2014-12-04. Archived from the original on 2014-12-09. Retrieved 2014-12-04.
  3. ^ Tyler, Wilde (2014-08-29). "Miegakure preview — playing a four-dimensional puzzle game". PC Gamer. Future plc.
  4. ^ "News - Road To The IGF: Miegakure's Marc Ten Bosch". Gamasutra. 2010-02-11. Archived from the original on 2020-07-30. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
  5. ^ "xkcd Makes 4D Miegakure the Most-Sought Indie Game: What You Need to Know". The Mary Sue. 2010-03-31. Archived from the original on 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  6. ^ Marc ten Bosch (May 20, 2015). "Almost done with puzzles! Counting Levels of each type/main mechanic". mtbdesignworks.
  7. ^ Jonathan Blow (Apr 7, 2016). "Indie Fund backs Miegakure". Archived from the original on April 10, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Sam Machkovech (2017-06-02). "Crazy VR game lets you explore a world made from 4D mathematical models". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2020-11-25. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  9. ^ Alice O'Connor (2017-06-15). "4D Toys is a toybox with four-dimensional toys". Rock Paper Shotgun. Archived from the original on 2020-09-28. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  10. ^ a b Marc ten Bosch (Jun 2, 2017). "4D Toys: a box of four-dimensional toys". mtbdesignworks.
  11. ^ Ten Bosch, Marc (2021-01-05). "SIGGRAPH 2020 talk for my technical paper: N-Dimensional Rigid Body Dynamics".
  12. ^ Ten Bosch, Marc (August 2020). "N-dimensional rigid body dynamics". ACM Transactions on Graphics. 39 (4): 55:1–55:6. doi:10.1145/3386569.3392483. S2CID 221104833.
  13. ^ Johnson, Erik (Oct 31, 2011). "A Trip to Miegakure's 4th Dimension with Marc Ten Bosch". DIYGamer. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011.
  14. ^ Mufson, Beckett (May 9, 2014). "This Man Is Using Math To Create An Impossible 4D Video Game". Vice News.
  15. ^ a b Suellentrop, Chris (Dec 2014). "One Man's Quest to Build a Mind-Warping 4-D Videogame". Wired. Retrieved Dec 3, 2022.
  16. ^ Patrick Klepek (2018-07-24). "What Happened to 'Miegakure,' the Game That Promised the 4th Dimension?". Vice. Archived from the original on 2020-08-05. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  17. ^ "IndieCade 2010..." indiegamereviewer.com. October 2010. Archived from the original on 2020-11-09. Retrieved 2013-03-08.

External links[edit]