What Happened to 'Miegakure,' the Game That Promised the 4th Dimension?


#1

We’ve all played lots of games in 2D and 3D, but 4D? That’s genuinely new, and it’s been the lingering promise of Miegakure, a wild puzzle game from designer Marc ten Bosch that’s been in development since 2009. Nearly a decade later, Miegakure is almost done. Maybe?


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/9kmknd/what-happened-to-miegakure-the-game-that-promised-the-4th-dimension

#2

Good to hear progress is smooth and steady. No need to rush it, imo, as I honestly would happily wait another 10 years for this game if that’s what it took (you know, as long as the developer is supported). It’s one of those games that, even if the gameplay is so-so, the fact that it is made at all will delight the gameplay programmer side of my brain to no end.


#3

I’m really excited that Miegakure is still progressing - I once tried writing a 4D flying game, just with wireframe graphics, and all the extra stuff which needs developing almost from scratch stopped me. It’s great to see someone with more skill and willpower getting so close to release on something more complex.


#4

one thing I’m kind of curious about on the math side of things; you need four-dimensional objects called quaternions to handle rotations in three dimensions; I wonder if that means you need eight-dimensional octonions to handle 4D rotations?


#5

Quaternions are not quite “needed” to handle rotations in 3D space. Any possible 3D rotation can be represented with 3 numbers (rotation around the X, Y, and Z axes), and you can build a full 3D game engine without ever having to use a quaternion. Quaternions are a useful tool for animating rotations, particularly for avoiding gimbal lock.

In 3D, you have 3 axes of rotation, according to the 3 possible combinations of XY, XZ, and YZ. In 2D, you have only 1 possible point of rotation: XY. In 4D, you have 6 possible planes of rotation: XY, XZ, YZ, XW, YW, and ZW. So, to represent a rotation in 4D space, you only should need 6 numbers.

Getting to your question, the developer of Meigakure actually wrote a blogpost (nine years ago!) about the problem of the 4D equivalent of Quaternions. Basically: you use a Rotor, which is similar to a Quaternion, but a more generalized version that works in any number of dimensions. For most operations, you only need the 6 plane terms, plus 1 scalar term (so, 7 numbers). But wait, that’s not quite true, because for some multiplications you might end up with an eighth product: the XYZW term. So, in the end you do end up using an 8-dimensional vector, but no it is not an octonion, and the math is different from an octonion. EuclideanSpace.com has a pretty good explanation of how this works, and what you can do with it.

But octonions aren’t totally useless. Let’s not forget that the best character in Splatoon 2 is an octonion.


#6

Thanks so much for all the info!


#7

As the person who requested you look into this game, thanks for the update, and on my birthday as well! I eagerly await the day I can play this game again.