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This Is How 4D Gaming Actually Works

Marc ten Bosch shows us how to walk through walls in this explanation/demo of his impossible 4D puzzle game.

by Beckett Mufson
Aug 29 2014, 6:45pm

Indie game developer Marc ten Bosch boggled out minds in May with his four-dimensional puzzle adventure Meigakure, which forces you to 'walk through walls' in the fourth dimension to beat the game. Now he has come to the rescue with a fresh explanation of the complex in-game physics.

First things first, it's important to remember that in the game world, the fourth dimension doesn't mean "time." Rather, it's a mathematical construct, similar to the relationship between the second and third dimensions. Where the second dimension has an x-axis and a y-axis, and the third dimension has x-, y-, and z-axes, the fourth dimension has an x-, y-, and z-axis—plus another entirely separate plane of existence.

Bosch explains this concept by alternating between 3D animated footage from Meigekure and a classic 8-bit style animation, which acts as a 2D metaphor for the process of entering the fourth dimension within the game:

First, you're on the wrong side of a wall. You can't jump over it and you can't go around it—not in the third dimension, anyway.

Then, you enter the extra dimension not normally available—in the 8-bit world that's the third dimension, but in Meigakure it's the fourth. Here's where you sidestep the wall.

Now you can easily get to the other side of the wall, but you're on a parallel plane, still separated from the damsel in distress. You can't see her because she's in the parallel, third dimension:

Time to go back into the extra dimension—you're so close!

A final jump gets you successfully to the other side of the wall. And that's how you walk through walls with the power of the fourth dimension.

As Bosch explains in the video's description, this is actually walking around walls, not walking through them, but once gamers get the technique down, it's effectually the same thing. "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," he writes.

Until Bosch released this helpful explanation, the only other piece of video literature that dealt with the subject was a 100 minute-long animated adaptation of Edwin Abbott's novella Flatland. Now that Bosch has officially explained how he mathematically constructed Meigekure, the 21st century public is ready to understand his impossible game.

While there's still no official release date, Bosch told The Creators Project, they are getting closer to completion every day. Based on what we see in this explanation/demo, as soon as the game is out, most of our free time will be spent in the fourth dimension, too.

Find out more no Marc ten Bosch's website: http://marctenbosch.com/

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