How many dimensions can you have in a game?

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I was thinking about this the other day and I wondered about how many dimensions you could put in a game before it becomes too complicated. The standard three dimensions are length,width and height. This is what the user sees. So the limit is 3 to the user. What if there are more dimension actually in the game logic like: time,magic or something else. I was wondering about the affect that this would have on the game and whether anything new and innovative would come out of having something like 5 dimensions in a game and only objects of similar dimensions could affect each other. What do you think should be the limit of 'dimensions'in a computer game?

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If I remember correctly, there is a blinx game on the x-box where you can manipulate time (4th dimension?). And Prey has something similar going on with dimensions, don't know exactly.. So I have no idea how many dimensions you could put in a game, but I do know that it IS an option, and it can be a really cool/important feature of the game =]

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You could even have something visual in more than three dimensions. If you convert it to be displayed in three dimensions, it might look a bit funny though. Just grab a decent math book, and you'll find something about coordinates in the eigth dimension or so ;)

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Check this out.

Its a 4d rubix cube. There is also a link to a 5d version on the site.

//Emil

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There exist acceleration structures in Ray Tracing with >3 dimensions (e.g. a 3d-space + 1d-time kd-tree, and I've glimpsed on a 5d kd-tree some time ago, and I've heard of (afair) 6d years ago on flipcode, and in maths and thus math-programming (maybe), there are those infernal Sedenions).

sorry, you were asking on 3+ dimensions in gaming, am spamming to much :(

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What do you mean by a "dimension"? Mathematically speaking, HP, MP, XP, and skill levels are all extra dimensions.

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even the color on the screen and the game time are dimensions.

Super Mario Brothers is truely a 3-d game due to a time element. If none of the enemies moved, then it could be considered 2-d.

64

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i think they decided that the 4-d in gaming was complex shadowing .. because they have no hieght or would that be comsidered 2d... all i know is that they have a 4d

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Quote:
 Original post by cannonicusCheck this out. Its a 4d rubix cube. There is also a link to a 5d version on the site.Not so easy to get your head around though :)//Emil

That picture doesnt look right( http://www.superliminal.com/cube/cube.gif ). Shouldnt th 4D rubik have each of the 6 lobes be its own rubics cube (dif color on each face) and to solve it you have to get solid color on each face of the super cube (and probably not have a center cube....) ?????

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There are four-dimensional structures that the mathologists around here can describe far better than I can. A few years ago there were a couple sweet threads here and in the math forum about tesserae in games, and we talked a little bit about 4-D physical worlds being viewed with a 3-D presentation. Stories like Heinlein's "And he Built a Crooked House" and "The Boy Who Reversed Himself" do a good job of describing what it would be like to be a person with 3D perception in a 4D universe. Heinlein's story is about a 3D house that's folded up to be the surface of a tesseract, with rooms connected in seemingly impossible (but mathematically accurate) ways. TBWRH shows a universe of stacked realms, where our own 3D universe exists on the surface of a 4D object in the 4D universe, and somewhere in our world (a dude's basement, actually) there's an orb that is the entire 2D universe bent into a sphere.

With the fanciness that the Steam engine shows off in Portal, I'll bet you could make a Half-Life deathmatch map that's a believable approximation of the 3D surface of a 4D object.

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Quote:
 Original post by Dr. Emmet BrownYou aren't thinking 4th dimensionally

seriously, that rubiks cube thing is just multiple 3d systems interacting (not 4d)

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Quote:
 Original post by Iron Chef CarnageHeinlein

Rate++ for sourceage.

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Time is always present in games, so depending on if you consider that a dimention or not...its always present, always effecting things ;)

Anyway...how about controling multiple seperate characters at the same time in a 3D enviroment?

Two seperate characters in a 3D enviroment (plus time) means players are dealing with at minimum 6 if not 8 dimentions. Four characters at the same time would mean dealing with 16 dimentions. Certainly that would be about as difficult to play as a gameworld with 16 dimentions.

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I was recently talking to a collegue about the possibility of extra dimension in game play, one idea I had was that you'd have a 3 dimentional game displayed on the screen but by 'sliding' through dimentions you the layout and look would change.

Let me explain...imagine you had an FPS but and you have 2 maps which map to each other (these would be 2 parrallel dimentions, in theory you could map 4, 5, 6, etc. levels together but for explaination sake I'll stick to 2), so essentially the maps would probably be the same shape & have similar pathways and obsticals which would match and be in the same places in both maps. Obviously the maps should look quite different, maybe one a built up area them the other in a forrest or something

Anyway, on to the controls, the idea is that you have a control which would allow you to move between dimensions/maps, I've been thinking the mouse wheel would be ideal. However rather than just switch from one map to the other, one map would kind of warp/morph into the other so as you turn the mouse wheel texture and geometary starts to morph to the other map.

So now you have a set of controls something like WASD for movement, Mouse look and Mouse Wheel to move you through the added dimension of gameplay. Now say for example you are chasing an opponent, you could have it so that they start to fade out as the move out of the current dimension space...you could also have them fade out lighter or darker depending which way they are going, so if you are chasing them and the start going light and fading you have to scroll the mouse wheel upwards to keep following them.

Other clever ideas could also be implemented, like if you destroy matter in one dimention it appears in another or also destroys it in another...so you might his a wall in one dimension then shift to another one and destroy then go back to the original one to continue through the map.

I don't know how well I've explained it but I think my concept is sound and the controls should be manageable & fun. Anyone have any oppions or ideas on this idea?

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7? 15? Probably as many as you have memory for.

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Quote:
 Original post by xstreme2000changing dimensions

I've also heard that a time-based shooter coming out in the next year (can't remember the name) is going to incorporate time-manipulation into a multiplayer setting. Honestly, I have no idea how that could not break the game.

On another note, the fading in-out is a good idea. I imagine they wouldn't fade so much as shrink. Sort of like how people "shrink" as they become more distant.

What I don't want to attempt, though, is to describe a level that changes in mathematical terms. At best, you could have 2 level layouts at each extreme of the fifth dimension and interpolate between them depending on where you are on that dimension. The problem is whether or not you could stop shifting in the middle. I mean, depth isn't a binary state, you can stop between point A and point B. I just don't think it's possible for humans to visualize it coherently, much less represent it in concrete terms a computer can show you.

This sort of pseudo-science really interests me; I wrote a short story about the fifth dimension being "spirit", and death is essentially just moving through that dimension but your body can't exist in that space. The simile I used was that the spirit world was like a glass sphere, and your spirit is light which can penetrate it, but your solid body cannot.

It was crappy writing. I should go back and rewrite that thing to not suck.

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Quote:
Original post by NoPancakeMix
Quote:
 Original post by Dr. Emmet BrownYou aren't thinking 4th dimensionally

seriously, that rubiks cube thing is just multiple 3d systems interacting (not 4d)

A 3D Rubik's cube is just multiple 2D systems interacting. Mathematically, however, the rotations of a 4D Rubik's cube are mathematically correct rotations in 4-space, just as the rotations of a 3D Rubik's cube are mathematically correct rotations in 3-space.

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We made a 4D game of life (the cellular automation game thing) as a project in high school.

You can model and number of spatial dimensions in a game because it's just math. The <impossible?> challenge is displaying that information in a way that's meaningful to the user.

-me

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Quote:
 Original post by xstreme2000Anyway, on to the controls, the idea is that you have a control which would allow you to move between dimensions/maps, I've been thinking the mouse wheel would be ideal. {snip}

I like this!

Ever read Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber? It's really cool stuff. There's sort-of polar opposites of reality - order & chaos (neither being good or evil) - and in between are all these realities or "dimensions", including the world we know. Certain folks can walk through these dimensions and in the book it's described as when these folks are walking, they're "willing" their motion to include movement between dimensions (ultimately in either the direction of order or chaos). The movement causes small "distortions" - for example, when you cross a barrier between realities there could suddenly be a sabretooth-riding barbarian on the otherwise identical road & vicinity...which is "normal" for the reality you've just stepped into.

All in all a poor description on my part... the books rock. But anywho your idea seemed similar and is way cool; it brought back memories of reading the Amber books [smile].

One issue on the rendering side is how to accomplish the popping and distortion - especially if areas have a huge difference (wooded vs. urbanized). But I suspect with clever shaders doing scaling, shearing, blending, blurring, and refracting it's doable [cool].

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Check out the Japanese PSX2 game Remote Control Dandy DX.

In the game players control a giant 100foot tall robot, but at the SAME time they are running around in first person view avoiding obsticals on the ground and manuvering for a better view of the robot action. Can be a very hard game, uses every button on the PSX2 controller to both control the human character and every action of the giant robot (down to each foot step).

That is more complex than changeing between worlds because players must deal not only with thier dimentional location and danger, but at the same time they are dealing with the much larger robots dimentional situation and dangers...switching worlds only requires players to deal with thier present dimention and location at one time.

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Quote:
 Original post by templewulfOn another note, the fading in-out is a good idea. I imagine they wouldn't fade so much as shrink. Sort of like how people "shrink" as they become more distant.

Interesting, that would also make targetting harder as they are getting away from you...I like it.

Quote:
 Original post by templewulfWhat I don't want to attempt, though, is to describe a level that changes in mathematical terms. At best, you could have 2 level layouts at each extreme of the fifth dimension and interpolate between them depending on where you are on that dimension. The problem is whether or not you could stop shifting in the middle. I mean, depth isn't a binary state, you can stop between point A and point B. I just don't think it's possible for humans to visualize it coherently, much less represent it in concrete terms a computer can show you.

I certainly think you could stop anywhere between (I did try to say that in my original post but I make have failed). Also I'm not entirely convinced that it would hard to visualize/control/represent...only problem for me would be actually coding the thing as I'm far too lazy.

Quote:
 Original post by spartanxI like this!

Thanks, I like it to :-P I've not read that book you mentioned, sounds interesting though.

Quote:
 Original post by spartanxOne issue on the rendering side is how to accomplish the popping and distortion - especially if areas have a huge difference (wooded vs. urbanized). But I suspect with clever shaders doing scaling, shearing, blending, blurring, and refracting it's doable [cool].

Yes, there would be some interesting problems to over come here but I think it would be very doable and could work really well...on that note if anyone wants to do it then be my guest, I'm certainly to lazy/busy to complete anything like this :(

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I don't think that four dimensional game worlds is such a good idea; not only would the math to display such a system be really hard, it would be difficult for the user to visualize it. For me, at least, there needs to be some kind of indicator to see where you are in this fourth spatial dimension such as a slider or something so you can distinguish between being in world w=1 and w=2.

Also, I think it's more about degrees of freedom than actual dimensions in the game. I'm not sure if this is exactly right, but in say an FPS you can move front/back, left/right, have a limited ability to jump, turn left/right, look up/down, etc. Human brains are well-adapted to 3D spaces, but I feel any more borders on too confusing.

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Quote:
 Original post by psykrI don't think that four dimensional game worlds is such a good idea; not only would the math to display such a system be really hard, it would be difficult for the user to visualize it.

4D visualization