This Is What A Four-Dimensional Video Game Looks Like

November 20, 2014 | Rhett Jones

Marc ten Bosch is a game designer that wants people to experience the fourth-dimension for the first time. He’s spent the last five years working on Miegakure, a game that attempts to visualize what it would be like to experience not only space and time, but spacetime.

The idea is that if one could experience space and time as an entwined continuum, theorists say you could “walk through walls, make blocks seem to float in the air, disappear and reappear, or interlock two seemingly impenetrable rings.” These are the abilities your character in the game takes on as he navigates a fourth-dimensional plane through a world that cannot be seen all at once. While it seems like the character is sort of teleporting between worlds he’s actually remaining stationary and manipulating objects in one space has effects on another, facilitating the basic puzzle-form of the game.

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions,” is a quote from Oliver Wendell Homes and those are the first words you see in Miegakure. It’s a fitting way to set the tone for a game that game designer Chris Hecker says you can only “understand in a way that’s not purely conscious.” While it looks like your moving around a 3-D plane, all objects and characters are programmed to have four definitions instead of three, so the 4-D world is there and while you can’t fully see it, you feel it and begin to intuitively know it by playing.

After 5 years in development ten Bosch says it’s about 75% complete. He’s showcased it at conferences and always blows minds, even winning the “amazing game” award at IndieCade, indie-gaming’s most prestigious event. To fully feel the mechanics of the game you’ll have to wait, but you can at least see how it works in the video above.

(Photo: Marc ten Bosch)