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Gaming in the 4th Dimension

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the still-haven't-solved-3d dept.

Games 303

Wolf pointed me to a video clip demonstrating this game: "Miegakure is a platform game where you explore the fourth dimension to solve puzzles. There is no trick; the game is entirely designed and programmed in 4D." Nothing to download yet.

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So Many Questions (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687116)

So I've traditionally known "the fourth dimension" to be something like time. Although you can call it space-time or the relationship that our three dimensional world has with our concept of time. And in games like Braid (which is like an interesting two dimensional scrolling platform with four dimensional control), you get to have fun manipulating this time so that you can predict where your little character is when you slide back in time. It's where you were before.

In Miegakure, it appears that the player is controlling a fourth dimension except it's not too clear what fourth dimension actually represents to me. If Miegakure's fourth dimension was time, we would see some indication of natural decay of the environment to give us visual cues that it's aging. For example, if one ring were made of steel and the other of wood, the wood one would decay as we go to the future and then we would make some action that is "special" (meaning that it is not subjected to our time control) and then move the steel ring into the wood ring and blast back to when the wood ring existed. Our special action could not be undone otherwise you wouldn't get anywhere with being able to control time.

Miegakure seemed to invent non-natural transposed states of the environment that I, for the life of me, could not understand. How did I know which blocks would appear and disappear leaving only shadows? How do I know how far to go in a fourth dimensional direction? Must the player explore the available transposed states before planning their movements along all four dimensions? So that they can construct an interleaved solution?

And what happens with a now block exists in a shadow space and you try to transposition yourself to the point when the shadow space is occupied by another block? Does the game block you from making that transposition? What if you want to transpose to a point beyond that when it is a shadow space again? Is this a blocking mechanism that will add to the difficulty of the puzzle?

As someone ravaged by the Adventures of Lolo series on the NES, I could see a potentially high level of addiction here.

Re:So Many Questions (4, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687214)

Today's XKCD [xkcd.com] might help a bit. It's a world that has four spatial dimensions, like a hypercube. [wikipedia.org]

We haven't been able to find any evidence of "real" higher spatial dimensions (though theories abound), but thinking in an extra dimension is an interesting mental exercise nonetheless.

Re:So Many Questions (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687270)

We haven't been able to find any evidence of "real" higher spatial dimensions

Though superstring theory requires 10 or 11 dimensions of space (from what little I understand), so serious physicists really believe those dimensions might exist.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687394)

Fox News is going to have a field day with that. Imagine the Glenn Beck chalkboard....

Re:So Many Questions (4, Informative)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687736)

10 dimensions. There is a pretty easy to follow explanation on Youtube:
Imagining the Tenth Dimension, Part 1 [youtube.com]
Imagining the Tenth Dimension, Part 2 [youtube.com]

Re:So Many Questions (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687952)

The video doesn't describe what the 10 dimensions in string theory really means - it simply describes what a mathematical model of 10 dimensions can probably do if we use the first 3 to model our familiar 3D world.

string theory (3, Insightful)

malp (108885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688232)

providing no unique, testable predictions for over 20 years...

Re:So Many Questions (5, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687568)

This doesn't seem so much like a "fourth dimension" as a form of "subspace" or an alternate 3D reality (then again I haven't played the game and maybe am picking things up wrong from the video).

I don't see how adding another dimension can magically allow two objects to become linked when they were unable to be linked in a lower dimension. Two circles on a piece of paper cannot physically merge with each other if you assume their boundaries are solid and cannot pass through each other. Neither can 2 rings lain on a table, or two cylinders or two spheres be overlapped without breaking them somewhere. So how would adding another dimension allow you to join two 3D objects with a hole in the middle, even if you only moved one of them into this higher dimension?

Re:So Many Questions (4, Interesting)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687696)

Here's one way to think about it: You have two concentric circles in a plane, they can't pass through each other in two dimensions. In three dimensions, the concept of "passing through each other" is no longer necessary for getting them "unlinked".

Re:So Many Questions (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688016)

Hmm... well that would similarly work for a sphere containing another sphere.. but a torus or any other object with a hole is surely a different class of object.. I'm not sure what the 2D representation of a torus would be..?

Re:So Many Questions (1)

cecille (583022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687734)

For rings, if you lifed one ring in the third dimension, and then moved it over then projected that back into only 2 dimensions, then they would appear linked. In the demo, they say they are shifting back into the 3rd dimension, which I'm interpreting as a projection, in which case, the links would seem linked in the third, but not necessarily in the fourth. On the other hand, what they show is more like a star-trek style phase shift. Not that I can blame them really - they're simulating a 4D world, drawn with 3D drawing techniques on a 2D screen. Can't be super easy to get absolutely right.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687940)

Yeah I was wondering about moving something into an extra dimension and combining with something from the other dimension.. I suppose the fact is that here they were combining toruses which can actually be linked in 3D.. but I'm still dubious as to whether adding a dimension makes that any easier.. seems moving them into 2D and then back to 3D would be the simple way to do it, and that moving the objects into 4D would just make it even more difficult to manipulate the two objects in such a way that they will be linked when moving back to 3D, even if you were allowed to create breaks in the surface(s?) of the 4D torus.

Re:So Many Questions (2, Informative)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688086)

I don't really understand what you meant.. but there are no 4D toruses in the video - it's totally ok to have 3D, 2D, 1D and point objects in a mathematical 4D space. The point of allowing movements in a fourth dimension is to allow the toruses to be joined without breaking them.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688312)

As for how the linking works for the torus, perhaps you can think about it from a 3D perspective.

The moment the torus is lifted in the 4th dimension, you'd see its disappear because it's 4th coordinate is different from yours. It's just like a Flatlander would see a ring disappear from their world if a 3D person lifts it along the 3rd dimension.

Then, fixed to the modified coordinate in the 4th dimension, you move the ring along 3D space such that its projection intersects the other torus. Then, you put the 3D torus down in the 4th dimension.

What you see from the original torus' 3D space would be that the other torus suddenly appears and it intersects the original torus. No breaking involved.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687874)

Neither can 2 rings lain on a table

Yes you can - you simply aren't thinking in 2D. The operation required is to make 2 2D circles intersect in 2D space, but you have access to 3D space. So what you do, is to take one 2D circle up, move it in 3D space such that it intersects the other 2D circle. And then you put that 2D circle down. Now the two circles perfectly intersect each other in 2D space.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688226)

Have been thinking about it, and I guess this analogy just isn't working because the 2D representation of a 3D object with a hole in it probably isn't even possible.. so I can't quite imagine with the 4D representation would be, apart from to think that it still would not be possible to intersect them any more than you can cause two circles to merge by changing one of them into a sphere (which would be the real 3D form of a circle, rather than a ring or a cylinder which again are both toruses..). In 2D I'd say that 2 circles can't overlap without breaking each other any more than 2 spheres can overlap each other in 3D space.

Re:So Many Questions (5, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688360)

Think about it this way:

You put a box inside a safe. That safe has no doors. How do you get the box outside the safe? You slide it through the fourth dimension - so that the walls of the safe are no longer in the way. You change its XYZ co-ordinates, slide it back through the fourth dimension so its about where it began. The box is now outside the safe.

If thats still a little tricky to understand, we'll explain it flatland style.

You draw a circle inside of a square on a piece of paper. How do you get the circle outside of the square (assuming you can't move the lines through each other). Well, if you had the ability to take the circle off the paper, move it a few inches, and place it back on the paper, you would have moved it outside of the square with no intersection taking place.

The same thing is happening here, you are taking two rings, sliding them among a dimension that they do not occupy (thus removing any chance for collision) and then putting them back. Its tough to wrap your mind around, I know.

Re:So Many Questions (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31687274)

Time is not "the fourth dimension." It is very much like a spacial dimension, speaking as a physicist; however, it is also very different. This is clear both from experience (ever try to move back and forth in time?) and mathematically (via the signature of the metric of spacetime).

In this game, the fourth dimension is simply an extra spacial dimension. Consider the analog of "linking two rings" in a 2-D world: put one circle inside another. Well, if you're stuck in a plane, it cannot be done -- simply move outside of that plane into 3-D, and it's simple. In Miegakure there is a 4th spacial dimension. You can move in this fourth dimension without moving in any of the other three.

Yeah, it's weird. I'm not entriely clear as to what the shadows represent (except, maybe, for a helpful reminder as to what is "next" to you.)

Re:So Many Questions (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31687526)

(ever try to move back and forth in time?)

I move forth in time every day, you insensitive clod!

Re:So Many Questions (4, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687594)

Yeah, it's weird. I'm not entriely clear as to what the shadows represent (except, maybe, for a helpful reminder as to what is "next" to you.)

I think that's the idea. It's hard to tell from the short video, but the blocky nature of the world implies to me that the game limits you to arbitrary "jumps" in each dimension. Just like the world could be divided into fixed-width planes in the X, Y, and Z dimensions, it looks like the W dimension is composed of distinct layers. Which would explain the shadows; they represent what would appear if you jumped to the next adjacent "slice" of 4d-space.

Re:So Many Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31688132)

So, you're speaking as "a physicist", but you can't spell spatial, but you did manage to spell physicist, mathematically, experience....

Re:So Many Questions (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688346)

I have often joked that if Time is the fourth dimension identical to space, than the fifth dimension must be the Dow Jones Industrial Average since that is very frequently plotted as perpendicular to time ;-)

Re:So Many Questions (5, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687286)

Miegakure suggests that there is a fourth spatial dimention, just like the three you are used to seeing.

Take a read through Flatland, its a short story based on a square who lives on a 2 dimentional plane. Basically how he can only see things in 1 Dimension (a line) because him and his world are on a single plane. Now, imagine his world lives within our 3d Realm. His life doesn't change much, until we choose to interfere. Imagine if you slid a ball through his 2d plane. He would at first see nothing, then a dot, then that dot grow into a line, then it shrink, into a dot, and disappear.

Basically someone took this idea, and imagined what it would be like if there were a 4th spatial dimension we were unaware of (physics has however shown us that there isn't one). If someone pushed a 4d Cube (or hypercube) through our 3d plane, what would we see? Nothing at first, then a cube show up, then it grows into its full size, then shrink back down, and disappear.

Now someone has taken that idea and put it in a game. The programming is actually simpler than it seems. Instead of testing XYZ co-ordinates you are testing WXYZ co-ordinates.

Re:So Many Questions (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31687408)

If someone pushed a 4d Cube (or hypercube) through our 3d plane, what would we see? Nothing at first, then a cube show up, then it grows into its full size, then shrink back down, and disappear.

No, if someone pushed a 4d cube through our 3d plane, we'd see nothing, then a cube for a while, then nothing (no growing or shrinking). To get what you described, the object would need to be round in the fourth dimension.

Re:So Many Questions (3, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687512)

Well it depends on its rotation as well. For example a cube entering flatland would either pop up, stay the same, disappear, or dot-grow-shrink, depending on whether you are introducing the cube with one of the sides in parallel with the plane, or whether you to so with a vertice entering first.

Re:So Many Questions (2, Informative)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687586)

You're only considering the trivial case. What if the 4d cube intersects our plane point-first?

Re:So Many Questions (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687662)

I would think it needs to be perpendicular to our 3 dimensions in the forth to get that.

I think we would get a 6 faced object without matching faces.

based on my thought experiment of a cube through a plane.

Re:So Many Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31687682)

Basically someone took this idea, and imagined what it would be like if there were a 4th spatial dimension we were unaware of (physics has however shown us that there isn't one).

No, physics has not shown that there is no 4th spatial dimension; in fact, some current theories require 4 or more (superstring theory requires as many as 11.) However none appear to be the (apparently) infinitely expansive dimensions we see in the 3 dimensions we're used to.

Re:So Many Questions (5, Informative)

ZXDunny (1376265) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687708)

Take a read through Flatland, its a short story based on a square who lives on a 2 dimentional plane. Basically how he can only see things in 1 Dimension (a line) because him and his world are on a single plane.

The XKCD alt-text contains a nice in-joke about flatland (IIRC) - all women are straight lines, and the more important a member of society, the more sides he has - a priest would be almost a circle, as he has so many sides he looks circular. The alt-text goes: "Also, I apologize for the time I climbed down into your world and everyone freaked out about the lesbian orgy overseen by a priest." Which is what the flatlanders would see when a stick-man enters their world :)

Re:So Many Questions (1)

hufman (1670590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688024)

Thank you! I didn't have a clue what he was talking about, so thank you very much for explaining it :)

Re:So Many Questions (1)

ZXDunny (1376265) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688158)

Thank you! I didn't have a clue what he was talking about, so thank you very much for explaining it :)

That's... absolutely no problem at all! Your reply just brightened up my day, so many thanks in return!

Re:So Many Questions (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688310)

Take a read through Flatland, its a short story based on a square who lives on a 2 dimentional plane. Basically how he can only see things in 1 Dimension (a line) because him and his world are on a single plane.

The XKCD alt-text contains a nice in-joke about flatland (IIRC) - all women are straight lines, and the more important a member of society, the more sides he has - a priest would be almost a circle, as he has so many sides he looks circular. The alt-text goes:

"Also, I apologize for the time I climbed down into your world and everyone freaked out about the lesbian orgy overseen by a priest."

Which is what the flatlanders would see when a stick-man enters their world :)

Wonderful explanation for those of us who haven't read Flatland. Thanks!

Re:So Many Questions (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687782)

If you slid a ball through his 2d plane, they'd see nothing, then a dot, then a widening circle, then a decreasing circle, then a dot, then nothing. If you were pushing a circle through, they'd see a nothing, a dot, a line (depending on the width of the circle) perhaps curved (depending on the angle of the circle), two lines moving away from each other, two dots, then two lines moving towards each other, a line, a dot and then nothing. If the circle was completely parallel, then they would see a circle.

I was unaware that physics had shown that there wasn't a 4th dimension. I'm not sure how physics or physicists could prove this. Perhaps what you meant to say was that the math currently used by most physicists does not need a 4th dimension.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688008)

I was unaware that physics had shown that there wasn't a 4th dimension. I'm not sure how physics or physicists could prove this.

There's a lot of DoF thermodynamics calculations that prove, that at least at some scales of distance and energy, any extra dimensions must either not exist or interact a remarkably small amount with the other three. For instance, a rough definition of temperature is wiggling/flying in three dimensions, you can predict exactly how fast gas atoms should move at a certain temp, and interestingly enough when you resolve their movement into 3-d vectors the graph pretty much matches up. So either they don't exist, which is the simplest explanation, or at the very least, at the scales in the experiment they interact so minimally as to be irrelevant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_freedom_(physics_and_chemistry) [wikipedia.org]

There's also some weird cosmological stuff you can do on the extremely large scale to prove there's probably only 3 space dimensions.

So that pretty much rules a 4th space dimension out, from molecular scale up to astronomical scale. Maybe not at string theory subatomic scale. Maybe.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688256)

>>I was unaware that physics had shown that there wasn't a 4th dimension. I'm not sure how physics or physicists could prove this. Perhaps what you meant to say was that the math currently used by most physicists does not need a 4th dimension.

Actually, there's a good amount of work done trying to figure out if physics would work with more than 3+1 dimensions (i.e. 3 spatial, 1 time), and a lot of people are convinced only 3+1 would work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime#Privileged_character_of_3.2B1_spacetime [wikipedia.org]

Re:So Many Questions (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687850)

What is to say that time isn't spatial?

Re:So Many Questions (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688130)

The fact that I'm not slowly moving sideways?

Re:So Many Questions (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688164)

What is to say that time isn't spatial?

You either don't understand time or you don't understand spatial.

Suppose you are a 2 by 2 by 2 cube. One corner reaches 0,0,0 coordinates and the other corner reaches 2,2,2. I am also a cube of the same size. I could not occupy 1,1,1 simply because you are in the way.

Now, lets suppose time is another dimension. Same scenario, except you are essentially INFINITE in your last dimension (time) because you never disappear, your matter is always physically present* (One of Newtons laws I think, energy and matter remain constant?).
So 0,0,0,infinite to 2,2,2,infinite.

Under no circumstances could I occupy 1,1,1 while you are there. You could say that at 0 seconds you are there and at 2 seconds you are not there, but that would mean that your co-ordinates change depending on your time. That seperates it as a spatial dimension, since all of them are independant from each other. Movement along the X axis does not change your Y, or Z, and same for the others. Moving along t should not affect your X,Y, or Z.

However, in the real world - it does. In the real world, your X,Y,Z is derived using Time. Deeply intricate yes, but time is not spatial.

*Yes, I know you can move, you do not remain stationary forever, I'l get to that

Re:So Many Questions (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687396)

How do I know how far to go in a fourth dimensional direction?

Actually my question is if you can actually choose how far to go in the fourth dimensional direction, or if it's just a two-state affair.

Re:So Many Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31688350)

It looks like you can change which dimensions you see, so you go from a projection of 4D space onto XYZ space to a projection of 4D space onto WXZ or something similar. Then after changing the rings W coordinate, you switch back to XYZ space, and the shadowy boxes seem to be things which are adjacent to you in the W dimension. The fact that movement seems to be quantized makes everything a lot easier.

In any case, you then change the necessary XYZ coordinates so that they would correspond to the rings interlocking if they both had the same value of W, and then switch to WXZ space, push it back to its original W coordinate, and then switch back to XYZ space to "marvel".

Re:So Many Questions (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687522)

As others have said, he's dealing in 4 spatial dimensions, not Time.

If it helps, to have a real world analogy, imagine a maze. Even with bushes, it's basically a 2D problem. Now, leave the bushes there, but imagine you could float/hover and move over them. You're moving in a separate spatial dimension than the maze.

Now, if there's floating bushes too, you're kind of stuck.

What this game does, is allow you to choose which 3 spatial dimensions you see on your screen, and move around in. But at any time, you can change your reference frame.

If a path is blocked in your current reference frame (1,1,1) where (1) represents an object blocking your path, do a transform, and see what's there in the fourth dimension. (0,1,1) Oh look, now a path is opened. We can go in that direction...

Re:So Many Questions (1)

dentree4 (1424693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687632)

Think of it this way, If you pull an object up in a 2D World, where did it go? 3D World. If you pull a 3D Object "up", where does it go? 4D world. The point of the gave is to assume there's 4 spatial dimensions, not 3 and time.The reason there's transparency is when something is can be only partially represented in 3D space, as its hard enough to display a 3D world realistically on a 2D screen let alone a 4D world.. It's like trying to draw a perfectly one dimensional line on a piece of paper. not going to happen. The Best 3D analogy of that demo I can think of is this: Take a piece of paper, and draw a 1" square in it. Place a penny beside it. How do you get the penny inside the box, in a 2d world, without crossing the box? You don't. You pick it up, into a 3D world, and place it in the box. He picked the ring up, into a 4D world, and looped it with the other ring. Natural progression of dimensionality Can't wait for the game though.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688060)

Dimensions are user defined so the 4th dimension could technically be any dimension you wanted to quantify. Think of it as an attribute of the space you want to define.

If we're using time as the 4th dimension, which seems fairly standard, then games like Braid or Forza 3 (and probably mnany others) have already conquered this dimension, allowing one to "back up" in time or "move forward".

Re:So Many Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31688082)

A friend from college (we'll call him BYL) wrote some fiction about a device that could manipulate 5 dimensions (none of which was time). The idea was similar to comparing 2D to 3D, there was an additional axis. With 5D, we have 2 more axis in addition to 3D. An example was that you could rob a bank, by simply entering the closed 3D space via the gaping hole left on the 4th and 5th dimensions, but those perceiving only 3D would see this as teleportation.

Brain bending thoughts ensued, but since then I have never assumed a 4th dimension to be Time unless explicitly stated as such.

Re:So Many Questions (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688168)

A lot of what you're describing is entropy, not the passage of time. I've become convinced that what most of us perceive as time is simply entropy. Being physical beings subject to such rules, it would figure that we'd see things this way. In the end, maybe Douglas Adams was right: "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."

object occlusion in space dimension (1)

pikine (771084) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688352)

So I've traditionally known "the fourth dimension" to be something like time.

I don't consider time to be the fourth space dimension. In a space dimension, you can move back and forth, and the spatial relationship is not restricted to a relationship of cause and effect. We don't know if it's possible to move back and forth in time yet, but we do know that the time dimension has a cause and effect relationship, therefore it cannot be a space dimension.

Miegakure seemed to invent non-natural transposed states of the environment that I, for the life of me, could not understand. How did I know which blocks would appear and disappear leaving only shadows? How do I know how far to go in a fourth dimensional direction? Must the player explore the available transposed states before planning their movements along all four dimensions? So that they can construct an interleaved solution?

I'd say the puzzle is way easier in the fourth dimension because you have one more degree of freedom. Two objects that appear to juxtapose or collide in the lower three dimensions is still collision-free if you consider the fourth. Similarly, although our vision is only the projection of three dimensions to a two dimensional plane, we still understand that an object that appears to be in front of or behind another object doesn't necessary mean the two occupy the same space. If you look at it this way, you can actually play Miegakure with 2D graphics, which would probably be easier.

What might be puzzling in the Miegakure game is the direction of gravity in the fourth dimension. The preferably easiest configuration is to let the gravity to have no effect.

xkcd (1, Informative)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687128)

Wow, Randall must have some timing

http://xkcd.org/ [xkcd.org]

Re:xkcd (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687228)

lol this morning i went there and like "funny comic" as useral but now that this post here is up i get it bettter now lol

Re:xkcd (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687348)

Now I know what us 6 digit users must look like to the 5 digit users..

Re:xkcd (3, Funny)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687420)

...You insensitive clod!

Re:xkcd (1)

dhall (1252) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687864)

Could be worse, you could invoke spongebob references. Not sure if an order of magnitude is equivalent to additional dimensions.

Re:xkcd (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688326)

I actually don't think I was consciously considering the context when I wrote my post, but I did enjoy the vague analogy when I noticed it.

Re:xkcd (5, Insightful)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687232)

Actually i think the poster stole it from him.

Re:xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31688012)

Due to xkcd Miegakure was this morning on the first position in Google Hot Trends, I guess slashdot is whoring on this.

Re:xkcd (2, Interesting)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687620)

If there's nothing to download, how did he play it?

Re:xkcd (4, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688186)

You want to know how a character in a fictional cartoon universe played a game that doesn't exist yet?

W-axis (5, Funny)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688252)

Actually, there is a demo to download. You just have to move your mouse along the w-axis to reach the link.

Re:xkcd (1)

witch-doktor (1592325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688180)

Funnily enough, when I read the comic early in the morning the reference to the game was absent (The 2nd panel was not there) though the theme was the same.

Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

EriktheGreen (660160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687158)

Or is there more to this game than the video shows? I always thought Time was the 4th dimension...

Re:Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687220)

It looks like this game has 4 dimensions of space.

If time is the 4th dimension, then older games like Pac Man are 3D, conventional modern games are 4D, and this game is 5D.

Re:Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687288)

Seems to me like it's 2 worlds with 3 dimensions. Like Legacy of Kain.

Re:Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687410)

Yeah, same here. "Light world/dark world" with some stuff that can be manipulated in either.

Re:Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688330)

No, because everything in a lower dimension exists potentially in a higher dimension already.

Rather, 2D/3D/4D refers to the dimensions that one can control and manipulate.

For example, we exist in a 3D world because, while there is time, we can only move forward through it in this dimension and cannot move freely through it.

In the same way, someone stuck in a 2D world (like pac-man) could be spinning through a 3D world and never have control over that motion.

In a 4D (3 spatial+spacetime), we would expect to be able to see or experience all time points in our lives from the time we were born until we die simultaneously and perhaps have some amount of control in manipulating which point of time we are experiencing, just as we can experience all 2D planes that make up our body simultaneously and have some amount of control which 2D planes our body parts are in.

In short, just because we experience time (or just because a videogame experiences time) doesn't mean that it's in spatial dimensions+1.

Re:Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687278)

I always thought Time was the 4th dimension...

I always thought the 4th dimension was ROCK!

But I guess time is ok too.

Or PASTA!

Ok, ok. Time's fine.

Re:Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688240)

I always thought the 4th dimension was ROCK!

Nope, Reggae [4thdimension.org] .

Re:Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

Hozza (1073224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687612)

Yes, Lagacy of Kain's shifts between the real and 'spectral' worlds does seem to be pretty much identical, although the developers never gave it such a high concept PR treatment.

Re:Reminds me of Legacy of Kain (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688042)

It seems quite a bit more complex (at least potentially; might be limited in practise by level design)

In Legacy of Kain you had only two states and nice looking, fluid, but unstoppable, shift between them. Here you can have another (fourth) set of coordinates except XYZ; a spectrum on which you can be anywhere you want.

I guess it looks similar to Legacy of Kain because there's really no other way to project it onto 3D space...and then project it onto 2D monitor.

Flatland (4, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687182)

This article was written by the most hideous of triangles.

Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64) (-1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687224)

The first 3D Zelda game did that same 4D deal, where you had to do a task in the Garoudo desert, travel backwards in time, and then finish the task. (Sorry I can't be more specific but it's been a while since I last played.)

Re:Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64) (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687244)

The first 3D Zelda game did that same 4D deal, where you had to do a task in the Garoudo desert, travel backwards in time, and then finish the task. (Sorry I can't be more specific but it's been a while since I last played.)

Yes, But it's nothing like chronotrigger!

Re:Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64) (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687458)

The 4th dimension in this game isn't time, it's a 4th spacial dimension. Like going from a circle to a sphere. In the video we see the the player moving one loop inside another loop, so that they're intertwined, something that is impossible to do in 3-D space. The equivalent in 2-D space would be to move a small circle inside a large circle without the two ever touching. This can be accomplished only by taking the small circle off the page (into the 3-rd dimension) and dropping it back onto the page inside the other circle.

Thank you though, until I thought about how to explain it I don't think I really understood what was going on myself.

Re:Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64) (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688000)

The 4th dimension in this game isn't time, it's a 4th spacial dimension.

Okay, explain the functional difference between the travelling through time in OoT, and the travelling through the extra spacial dimension in this. Apart from being more difficult in OoT, it seems the same. You need to manipulate an object in one frame of reference, or move to the other to find an open path, etc. Getting prissy, saying "It's not time, it's a 4th spacial dimension" is irrelevant. It's the same mechanic with a different name. It is, however, different than Braid's time manipulation, yes.

Re:Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64) (1)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687466)

We could probably even argue that Eversion [youtube.com] is a 4D game (even though it's a 2D platformer). Technically you're "everting", but you're ending up in the same exact place with the entire world looking significantly different as if time passed.

There's a bunch of games that have used time control already, so what's the big deal now? (I know that Eversion probably isn't a great example, but OP's is). Time's always been a fun addition to a game, especially when you manipulate it. Would Sonic Adventure 2: Battle count, considering that they use Chaos Emeralds to slow down time?

Re:Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31688146)

Absolutely ! What's new ?

Ok, so “Zelda III A Link To The Past” is in 3D: two parallel worlds in 2D.
To make a impossible displacement in one world, you must make this displacement in the second world and come back in the first world .

Applying this in 3D world, ...

I see what he did there... (1)

bynary (827120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687230)

There's nothing here but some fancy 3D design.

Re:I see what he did there... (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687670)

it's 4 dimensional objects projected into a 3 dimensional space projected onto a 2 dimensional plane.

it's like a 3d analog of the orthogonal front side and top views in a CAD or 3D Modeling program. You can view the world in any 3 of the 4 dimensions at any given time.

i think the ring example is a bit complicated. It's not very intuitive so i think people's instincts are to dismiss it as video game trickery. I've seen better, simpler demos where the player sidesteps a seemingly insurmountable obstacle (say a wall that extends really far in x,y, and z) by moving around it on the w axis.

i've seen this game in person a couple times. it confuses the hell out of me and makes my head hurt.

Re:I see what he did there... (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688014)

Doesn't look that confusing from the video.

It seems the "4th dimension" is like a shadow world type place that you can move objects (and yourself) into, manipulate them free from interaction with objects still in "normal" space, then move them back.

If there's more to it, this video doesn't illustrate it very well.
=Smidge=

Re:I see what he did there... (1)

bynary (827120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688258)

After doing some research on the matter, I'm beginning to understand what you're getting at.

it's 4 dimensional objects projected into a 3 dimensional space projected onto a 2 dimensional plane.

It's very difficult to grasp the concept. As you stated, it's a 4 dimension concept presented in 3 dimensions which are just a visual manipulation of coordinates on a 2 dimensional plane. It's like trying to draw an n-dimensional array.

Fascinating...

Soooo.... (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687358)

The 4th dimension, in this case, enables 3D model clipping?

Re:Soooo.... (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687564)

The 4th dimension, in this case, enables 3D model clipping?

lol..I thought the exact same thing. So by this logic, Doom II is a "4D" game by typing in 'idclip'...I guess id was way ahead of its time.

The Fourth Dimension? (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687428)

Didn't they get to number six with "Baby I Want your Love Thing"?

Cool, But true 4D? (0)

MuChild (656741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687478)

As someone pointed out in the YouTube comments, and in the above reply, this doesn't really offer freedom in the 4th dimension, or even an accurate way of looking at the 4th dimension. It's analogous to two 2D mazes stacked on top of each other with the ability to jump between the two. The overall puzzle exists in the third dimension, but not in a "life-like" way.

Another problem with this type of representation of the 4th dimension is scale. If the 4th Dimension is time, and you want to move in the 4th Dimension to a point at which the object you're trying to circumvent, say a wall, doesn't exist, you have to go back to before it was made or forward to when it decays away. In a lot of places, any wall you're likely to encounter is older than you are which, you might suppose, would mean its size in the 4th dimension would be bigger than you. I suppose if a wall were new, you would be at one edge of it 4th dimensionally-speaking.

Anyway, I know that this game is just using the 4th dimension as a way of spicing up a puzzle game, for which I applaud them, but I would love to see a real mind-warper out there sometime. There used to be a 4D rubiks cube program, for instance that used to really tweak me out.

Re:Cool, But true 4D? (1)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687746)

Seems cool, and it is 4 dimensional... The only thing is the creators rendition of a 4th dimension is not an Orthogonal dimension. Finding a way to try and represent a 4 dimensional object using 4 orthogonal dimensions has been a bit of a curiosity of mine.

Really exchanging dimensions? (1)

Hythlodaeus (411441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687520)

The description sounds as if you choose which of the four dimensions to project onto your three, but in the video it looks like you keep the standard 3 and represent the fourth by phasing objects a fixed distance into the 4th, represented by translucency. Haven't had a chance to get hands on this yet, though.

Actually I'm thinking Metroid Prime 2, sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31687588)

I had the idea for a 4D variant of something like Metroid Prime 2 (the one where you switch between a "light" and "dark" world). Rather than there being two discrete "worlds", there would be a whole continuum of "slices" between those worlds, and instead of using specific gates to switch between the worlds, you (as the playable character) would be able to shift yourself continuously along the continuum of slices (using the left and right shoulder buttons or something). So, you're in a 3D world much like that of MP:2, but since you can also move in the "left/right shoulder button" direction you suddenly need 4 points to describe your location in the game world and bam, 4D. Naturally using the 4th spatial dimension would be a gameplay element, perhaps you need to hit a switch that is enclosed (in 3D terms) by a hollow cube or sphere, so you move along the 4th dimension until you get to a spot where the wall of the sphere is nonexistant, move in using the normal 3D directions and shift back along the 4th so you wind up inside the cube.

I figure playing such a game would be an excellent way of getting an intuitive feel for moving about in 4 dimensions, and if I had any skill in 3d game programing I'd've made the game myself and given it a Japanese name I picked out and have a slashdot article written about me. Ah well... :)

Interesting... (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687678)

I was going to make a comment about how if the 4th dimension is time then every board game ever conceived is a 4D game. I was reminded of how 3D ultrasounds are called 4D.

However, this actually looks quite creative, although I'm having a bit of trouble determining the goal of the game. The immediate problem I see is being able to make things out with so many objects obstructing the view. In some ways this reminds me of Echochrome which I think plays with the notion of multiple dimensions in an even more dramatic and mind-bending fashion.

Super Paper Mario (1)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687680)

So... is this just Super Paper Mario but with an additional dimension?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31687760)

haven't played the game but from watching the video....this isn't 4 dimensions at all, it's simply 2 sets of 3 dimensions that you can travel between.

4...3...2... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687770)

So we're inferring a 4th spatial dimension in a game which uses our perception of a 3 dimensional construct on a 2 dimensional screen.

I'm still waiting for the "wow" moment, and I suspect it's not going to happen here.

Re:4...3...2...1...0... (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688020)

So we're inferring a 4th spatial dimension in a game,
which uses our perception of a 3 dimensional construct,
displayed on a 2 dimensional screen,
stored on a 1 dimensional memory space,
played by people with 0 life.

Spatial dimensions and geometric projections (2, Insightful)

valderost (668593) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687778)

I haven't wtfv (watched the video), but 4-D can be represented in 3- and 2-D using projections, just like we regularly watch 3-D images projected into 2 dimensions (TV, video games).

Think of a cone, a 3 dimension shape. In the 3-to-2 dimension projection, that cone can look like a triangle, a circle, an ellipse, or an ellipse with a point, all depending on how you rotate it.

Now imagine that there's a 4-D shape whose projection changes appearance as the shape is rotated about its fourth-dimensional axis. There's no reason you can't have one projection of it that shows a cube, and another of the same object that shows a sphere.

It's tough to conceive of what this shape looks like since we can't see or experience it in four dimensions. But it's still possible to develop enough of a concept of the shape to recognize its various projections, learn how they're connected, and eventually be able to navigate it.

Projecting a shape from 4 to the 2 dimensions of a screen will lose an awful lot of information, but we seem to be good at developing a 3-D concept based on motion and visual cues.

Interesting stuff.

Temporary graphics? (1)

Martze (1545505) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687834)

The main character's sprite looks suspiciously like Claus from Mother 3.

Kind of simple 4th dimension. (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31687906)

It looks like this is treating the fourth dimension as more of a quick transport (can't watch the video here at work, just looked at the still shots). It would be interesting to see a game wher you could actually move through the fourth dimension incrementally and continually instead of jumping.

mod Down (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31688058)

notori0us OpenBSD

Not a new thing ... (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688102)

There have been a lot of games written over the last 15-20 years, certainly, that attempted to make a usable game doing 4D-2D projections.

Some were fun, most I played with just gave me headaches. I remember one (can't recall its name) that ran on one of SGI's high end imaging systems using active shutter LCDs so it was 4D->2.5D. That one *really* gave me headaches.

On an unrelated note, Quake ran really nicely on that box :)

Been following this since IGF (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688248)

I've been following this thing since it was listed as an entrant in the 2010 Independent Gaming Festival.

WHEN THE HELL IS IT COMING OUT!

Oooo! XKCD has jumped on it. (0, Redundant)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688356)

http://xkcd.com/721/ [xkcd.com]

He LIES! There is no demo.

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