4D Minecraft Map

2D? Too dull. 3D? Sooo done. 4D? Now we’re talking!

Ever find yourself bored of living in a world with only three dimensions? Everyone else is out there loving those sensible 3D spaces, happily stomping their feet all over them, never worrying about whether their next step will suddenly see them sucked into another dimension.  

If you need more excitement and danger in your life, then book a trip to The Hypercube. It’s a puzzle map made by FlowGD that tasks you with navigating 4D space in order to beat its seven levels.

That’s right, 4D space! Don’t worry, there are tutorials within the map that explain how it all works. Well, kind of. Hey, being confused is all part of the fun, right?

Watch the video below of The Hypercube for a taste of how 4D can work in Minecraft. You might want to hold on to your brain as you watch. My apologies if it outright explodes.

This walkthrough video is dizzying stuff – to the untrained eye, it looks like the player is constantly teleporting everywhere! In a way, they kind of are – because they’re hopping between dimensions using the brain-befuddling power of 4D. If you’re still confused about how it works, don’t worry! It only took the mapmaker one year to figure it out...

Alright, so what’s going on here? To explain that, I must take you back in time, but first, I'll explain the basic principles of time travel within a fixed reality... nah, just kidding. I'll just tell you the story of how creator FlowGD decided to make The Hypercube. Way simpler.

"You perform parkour jumps that are only possible with the fourth dimension."

FlowGD has been making puzzle maps in Minecraft since he discovered the power of command blocks. “This was around the time I discovered a map called the Code, which at the time was very advanced,” he says. “This map gave me the motivation necessary to try and build my own maps.” His level design skills improved over time as he learned to balance challenge with fun, but it wasn’t until a year ago that the concept of 4D puzzles entered his life, and it did so via a game called Miegakure.

Miegakure is the work of Marc ten Bosh, and is all about moving through and interacting with 4D landscapes. It’s tricky to explain, but imagine if you were a 2D person stuck inside the screen you’re reading these words on. You can move in two different ways: up and down the screen, and left and right across the screen. If you add a third dimension then you could step outside of the screen too. That’s basic 3D and it’s the world we live in!

But a 4D space means that you add a fourth dimension to move through. The reason we have a hard time imagining that is because we live in a 3D world. In fact, it’s impossible for us to see 4D space in its entirety. What Miegakure does, then, is give us 3D slices of its 4D world so we can make sense of it, one bit at a time.

Marc ten Bosh also made this excellent video that explains how 4D works in his game better than I ever could! Wait, I still get paid, right?

So what looks like teleportation in the Hypercube video is actually successful navigation of 4D space. Impossible? Definitely! Confusing? Also definitely! But also an exciting new approach to Minecraft map making that I, as a bored prisoner of our 3D world, can very much get behind.

FlowGD took the idea of using 3D slices of a 4D world to make the concept somewhat approachable, and managed to find a way to make it work inside Minecraft. It wasn’t easy. It took an entire year of watching videos about 4D space, as well as studying Miegakure in depth.  

But the solution he found is genius. “A level is made up of a number of 3D worlds stacked on top of each other,” FlowGD explains. “I had to manually change each one slightly so that if a 4D being were to theoretically see the whole 4D world, it would look natural to it.”

"Don’t give up. It's a hard concept to grasp, and I salute you if you manage to understand it."

A 4D being! What would that even look like? And I thought endermen were scary... Anyway, you’re able to rotate through these slices of the 4D world using a handheld device in The Hypercube. The idea is to find a floating gold brick hidden inside each level and reach it to move to the next one. Reaching the bricks requires you to solve tricky spatial puzzles and perform parkour jumps that are only possible with the fourth dimension. It’s recommended that you use the coordinate tracker at the top of the screen to make sense of your position.

If you try The Hypercube and do get stuck, FlowGD recommends that you experiment. “Look at the tutorials again if you need to, or watch other ones online. Don't give up,” he says. “It's a hard concept to grasp, and I salute you if you manage to understand it.” Stick with it and before long you’ll be ascending impossible staircases and teleporting through dimensional frost mountains!

FlowGD originally had plans for 16 levels in The Hypercube but settled on seven as it seemed like the optimal number. But he reckons he might still add more levels in the future. Right now he’s focused on making new maps, none of which are 4D, and one of them isn’t even a puzzle map.

Probably the best for our poor, three-dimensional brains though, eh?

Written by
Chris Priestman
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