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Some Memes for Oni
> 4D Maze Game
Attention in Myth
Survey of Other Games
The Secret OriginI'm surprised to see I never told the story of how the maze game came to be.
As I mentioned in Can You See It?, ever since high school I've wanted to be able to visualize four-dimensional objects. At some point—I'm not sure when, possibly a few years before I wrote the game—I had the idea of taking a four-dimensional maze and projecting it onto a three-dimensional retina. That was a good idea, and led to some nice mental images, but I couldn't figure out how to do anything with it. I could imagine writing a program to draw translucent volumes, but to actually write such a thing was beyond me.
Then, one night (September 25, 2002), inspiration struck, and I came up with two more ideas. I could draw boundary lines instead of translucent volumes, and I could avoid the difficult problem of clipping by drawing squares only to depth 1 (the current square and any adjacent squares). At that point it became possible for me to write a program.
I spent most of the next two weeks in a state of continuous inspiration. After two days I'd written what I'd set out to write: a maze game with a fixed maze, motion in discrete steps, and a simple display that represented cubes in the following way. (What do you call this representation? It's not an orthogonal projection.)
Basically, it was a four-dimensional version of the maze part of Wizardry.
The rest of the two weeks was spent adding features and exploring possibilities. Among other things …
After that, I spent two more weeks rewriting the whole thing (and adding boring but necessary features like the options screen), and then a month organizing and writing the documentation.
So, that's how it happened. Besides being a nice story, it's also an example of how much I can do in a extremely good month, and so is relevant to the essay How Much Time?.
@ September (2004)