How To Walk Around Walls Using The Fourth Dimension

The above video will not help you in real, three-dimensional life. But it should help you understand how you’d be able to move if you could sidestep your way into a fourth spatial dimension — sort of like what might happen if a character in a 2D cartoon leapt into our 3D world.

This fourth-dimension stuff will be possible in the video game Miegakure, a long-in-the-making indie for PC, Mac and Linux that I’ve been writing about since it first started bending my brain in 2010.

What you’re seeing above is a trailer for it. The game’s title is Japanese for “hidden from sight”, a fitting name, since, technically, it is displayed on a 2D screen and is showing 3D “slices” of a 4D world that is physically impossible for us to see or for a computer screen to display all at once.

You can read more about the trailer from the game’s creator over at the official Miegakure blog. There is no release date yet, but Ten Bosch is showing the game in the big indie booth at this weekend’s PAX convention in Seattle.


  • Cool concept, but I swear he’s getting his dimensions a bit wrong. If you’re only moving in the 4th dimension, you’re on a sliding time scale (we slowly slide forward in the 4th dimension). This is how games like Braid handle time manipulation. But in the video when he says 4th dimension, he seems to be moving between times like they’re tiles on the ground – this means you’re actually in the 5th dimension because you’re able to view time like its space.

    • uhhh, I would suggest you go and look up spatial dimentions, or hell, pay attention to the video.

      I would also suggest reading the short story “flatland” to get an idea about what is being talked about.

    • It depends on your definition. I tend to think of dimensions as purely spacial and time to be a separate phenomenon. I don’t think there’s any empirical way to say otherwise, since it’s purely a matter of definition.

    • The meaning of “4th dimension” is kind of vague, you’re thinking about spacetime, The game uses 4-dimensional euclidean space which is something different.

      • The fact it uses slices instead of a smooth axis on the fourth dimension doesn’t really help, it makes the visualisation somewhat harder to apply to the underlying concept.

          • I don’t mean the transition, I mean once it’s actually rotated and you’re moving on the W axis instead of the Y axis, the areas are divided up into clearly delineated slices a few metres across instead of being smooth. I realise it’s for easier implementation but it seems odd to me conceptually.

    • Semantics. Some people refer to time as the fourth dimension, but others ignore it as a separate thing and only count spatial dimensions. As is the case here.

  • I still can’t wrap my head around it. I understand it conceptually, but still can’t properly tie what I’m seeing (the 3D version, anyway) to the concept.

    Still totally cool though.

  • In that first 3D example, i thought he was manipulating time to get through. For eg: He jumps to the future where the wall has collapsed. I can’t see rhyme or reason to this.

  • I understand the maths, but what I don’t understand is why the axis of the 4th dimension seems to be discrete. Ie, Why, when viewing the transitional space, do we see two clearly delineated worlds? One would think that, as space is continuous in the three spacial and one temporal dimension we know and love, it seems odd that the 4th isn’t.

  • As a gameplay mechanic, it kind of reminds me of the PSP game Crush. Except in that game you reduced a 3D world to 2 dimensions to solve puzzles.

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