(by Jonathan Blow)
I am happy to announce that Indie Fund, continuing our tradition of backing interesting and innovative games, is funding Miegakure by Marc ten Bosch.
“Miegakure” is a Japanese term meaning “hide-and-reveal”, and refers to an art of garden design that creates an illusion of a larger garden within a smaller space.
Miegakure, the game itself, is a puzzle adventure that takes place in four spatial dimensions. Our everyday world has only three spatial dimensions, but there’s no limit to the number of dimensions we can simulate on a computer. Miegakure simulates a higher-dimensional space and invites you to solve puzzles inside that space. The hiding-and-revealing happens because, though Miegakure’s world is 4D, we can only see three dimensions at once; as we play the game, we are finding different vantage points from which to see the four-dimensional world, revealing something new each time.
This makes for very interesting puzzles. But it’s also just mind-expanding and trippy.
Here’s a video showing the way the game handles movement and visibility:
This video goes deeper into the technical foundations:
I am deeply interested in games that help us see the world in new ways, and that make new mental states available to us. Miegakure is the best example I know of such a game. By the time you finish playing, you may feel your mind has changed, and that you now understand 4D in a new way, a way that is intimate but difficult to fully grasp.
Also, the puzzles are very cool. They are fun to play.
I first saw Miegakure years ago when Marc demoed it at the Experimental Gameplay Workshop in 2009. Back then, the game was very new; though only a few months of work had been done so far, Marc had already put together the basic gameplay. He could have released the game then, but instead he’s worked on it for years, making it as beautiful and as interesting as possible. You’ll feel all this effort when you play the game.
Ron Carmel, one of the chief instigators of Indie Fund, has also played Miegakure. He says, “When i play the game I feel like my mind is at the cusp of understanding something profound about the 4th spatial dimension, even though it never quite gets there.” It’s a very interesting feeling!
For more information about Miegakure, you can visit the game’s site.