Tetrical is a 3D Tetris game in Flash that you can play in your browser. I had a roommate who was obsessed with making a 4D Tetris once -- he got as far as Pong, which made my mind melt.
Link
(via Wonderland)

I’m no slouch when it comes to spatial perception but this is a tough cookie. Me thinks primarily because of the angle and losing sight and orientation of whatever is beyond the first few rows.

4-D pong? So the ball would be able to go back in time and forward? There is no reason to try and wrap your mind around something like this, as it is not something your mind has evolved to do. Probably because it’s not practicle.

#10, a fourth dimension doesn’t have to be anything in particular… certainly not time. If I were inclined to do 4D pon, I’d be inclined to use the alpha channel as the fourth dimension. The player could adjust the paddle’s transparency and the more it diverged from the ball’s transparency (which would vary), the less effect it would have on the ball (or something like that).

I’ve always been kind of obsessed with the idea of a 3-d virtual reality tetris were the bricks fall on you so you have the extra challenge of not killing yourself by dropping the bricks on you.

“a fourth dimension doesn’t have to be anything in particular.”

Well. if you’re talking about 3d and then move right along to 4d, it should be taken that you’re talking about a 4th spatial dimension (not time). In which case it would be kind of hard to program a game in it.

Alrighty… but Cory appears to claim the roommate actually MADE a 4-D Pong, or at least that’s how I’m reading it. If that’s true, I’m wanting to know why it was called “4-D” and this version of Tetris is “3-D”…

its possible to make representations of 4d objects on a computer screen.

Just like you can have a 3d cube on this 2d screen. You just squish the angles when you draw it, but you know in real 3d space all the angles are right angles.

A 4d cube can be represented as a cube inside a cube, with the corners on the inner cube having lines drawn to the corners on the outer cube.
Of course if you model this in 3d space you have to “squish” the lines drawn from the corners to fit into 3d space. In real 4d space all of these lines would be right angles.

On a monitor its squished even further. So its possible, but not easy, to make a game in a 2d representation of 4d space.

Not just can you project 4D onto a 2D screen just as well as 3D (well you lose some more information and all intuition, but mathematically speaking….), you can equally well do this with any dimension.

If you want to truly fry your brain I’d recommend trying to solve the 5 dimensional Rubik’s cube:

I suspect the easiest way of having 4d pong would be to have two squares shown on-screen; given axes (w,x,y,z), have one square show the (w,x) positions of the bats and ball, and the other show the (y,z) positions.

You could also do something with the classic representation of a hypercube (as #18 suggested), but i think your users’ heads would explode.

As for pong, just make the ball alternate between red and blue, your paddle is a red 3d box in 3d space represented in the intuitive way, and the enemy paddle is a blue 3d box in 3d space.

The red-blue axis would be the 4th dimension, so just as in 2D pong you need to make sure that your 1D object, which is part of your 1 dimensional boundary of the playing field is at the location of the 0 dimensional ball when it hits your 1 dimensional boundary of the 2 dimensional playing field, 4d pong would require that your 3d paddle is at the location of the 0 dimensional ball when it hits your 3 dimensional boundary of the 4d playing field.

Now tetris… you’d need rotations and be able to represent 4d objects rather then just 0d and 3d objects in 4d space… that’d be a whole different ball park of mindfuck.

Welltris was a great game. Sure, wasn’t quite fully 3D but it made for some interesting block manipulations. I’d definitely find this one more playable if the blocks were partially translucent, like in tetrisphere (nother cool game).

That looks a lot like Blockout. An amazing 3d version of Tetris, made originally in 1989.

OMG, this will cause my brain to seize up!

it is super cool, I am not talented enuf

Guaranteed to fend off Alzheimer’s!

I’m no slouch when it comes to spatial perception but this is a tough cookie. Me thinks primarily because of the angle and losing sight and orientation of whatever is beyond the first few rows.

I screwed up with the link, here is the wiki page of Blockout:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockout

you need to be able to rotate this in real time

There’s an open source version of Blockout available also (although there are no Mac OSX binaries handy offhand):

http://www.blockout.net/blockout2/

anyone remember welltris? played from looking down a well point of view

You’re throwing 3-D and 4-D around a bit… what made your roomie’s Pong 4-D, when this Tetris is 3-D?

4-D pong? So the ball would be able to go back in time and forward? There is no reason to try and wrap your mind around something like this, as it is not something your mind has evolved to do. Probably because it’s not practicle.

Jeff

http://3dtris.de is better.

#10, a fourth dimension doesn’t have to be anything in particular… certainly not time. If I were inclined to do 4D pon, I’d be inclined to use the alpha channel as the fourth dimension. The player could adjust the paddle’s transparency and the more it diverged from the ball’s transparency (which would vary), the less effect it would have on the ball (or something like that).

I’ve always been kind of obsessed with the idea of a 3-d virtual reality tetris were the bricks fall on you so you have the extra challenge of not killing yourself by dropping the bricks on you.

reminds me of my SOMA cube…

“a fourth dimension doesn’t have to be anything in particular.”

Well. if you’re talking about 3d and then move right along to 4d, it should be taken that you’re talking about a 4th spatial dimension (not time). In which case it would be kind of hard to program a game in it.

RE #11:

http://3dtris.de actually IS better. More playable.

Alrighty… but Cory appears to claim the roommate actually MADE a 4-D Pong, or at least that’s how I’m reading it. If that’s true, I’m wanting to know why it was called “4-D” and this version of Tetris is “3-D”…

its possible to make representations of 4d objects on a computer screen.

Just like you can have a 3d cube on this 2d screen. You just squish the angles when you draw it, but you know in real 3d space all the angles are right angles.

A 4d cube can be represented as a cube inside a cube, with the corners on the inner cube having lines drawn to the corners on the outer cube.

Of course if you model this in 3d space you have to “squish” the lines drawn from the corners to fit into 3d space. In real 4d space all of these lines would be right angles.

On a monitor its squished even further. So its possible, but not easy, to make a game in a 2d representation of 4d space.

Holy crap, I think I just creamed myself!

Not just can you project 4D onto a 2D screen just as well as 3D (well you lose some more information and all intuition, but mathematically speaking….), you can equally well do this with any dimension.

If you want to truly fry your brain I’d recommend trying to solve the 5 dimensional Rubik’s cube:

http://www.gravitation3d.com/magiccube5d/

if you get stuck, don’t despair, there is an algorithm for arbitrary dimensions:

http://www.plunk.org/~hatch/MagicCubeNdSolve/

(Really, dimensions aren’t as weird as people make them out to be…)

I suspect the easiest way of having 4d pong would be to have two squares shown on-screen; given axes (w,x,y,z), have one square show the (w,x) positions of the bats and ball, and the other show the (y,z) positions.

You could also do something with the classic representation of a hypercube (as #18 suggested), but i think your users’ heads would explode.

As for pong, just make the ball alternate between red and blue, your paddle is a red 3d box in 3d space represented in the intuitive way, and the enemy paddle is a blue 3d box in 3d space.

The red-blue axis would be the 4th dimension, so just as in 2D pong you need to make sure that your 1D object, which is part of your 1 dimensional boundary of the playing field is at the location of the 0 dimensional ball when it hits your 1 dimensional boundary of the 2 dimensional playing field, 4d pong would require that your 3d paddle is at the location of the 0 dimensional ball when it hits your 3 dimensional boundary of the 4d playing field.

Now tetris… you’d need rotations and be able to represent 4d objects rather then just 0d and 3d objects in 4d space… that’d be a whole different ball park of mindfuck.

Welltris was a great game. Sure, wasn’t quite fully 3D but it made for some interesting block manipulations. I’d definitely find this one more playable if the blocks were partially translucent, like in tetrisphere (nother cool game).