Engare, a videogame about the mathematical beauty of Islamic art

Iranian game maker Mahdi Bahrami is the kind of person who answers a question with more questions. I don’t think he can stop himself. “What will happen if I add a short line to one of the tiles in a mosque?” he asks me. “If we take into account the tiling rules of the mosque, what would the whole wall look like after we add the line? What if we change the rules? What would the mosque ceiling look like?” I don’t know. But for Bahrami, that’s entirely the point—his upcoming puzzle game Engare is about exploring this unknown space and…


Digital Arabesques enhances the splendor of Islamic art with virtual reality

Pioneering digital artist Miguel Chevalier discovered within Islamic art a language similar to his own. His interest in the generative image, ornate designs, virtual cities, and especially algorithmic art has commonalities with the symmetrical geometry seen in Persian rugs, and mosques such as Jama Masjid of Herat in Afghanistan. What both Chevalier’s work with computers and Islamic art’s complex star-and-polygon patterns share is a basis in mathematics. In 2007, Paul J. Steinhardt and Peter J. Lu released research notes into medieval Islamic art, which showed a breakthrough around 1200 had led to an intuitive understanding of complicated mathematics. Writing about this in an essay for Muslim Heritage, Professor Salim…


The calming, lovely Music of the Spheres is free now

Two years ago, Hamish Todd was diligently working on a puzzle-shooter called Music of the Spheres. Inspired in equal parts by Castlevania, Everyday Shooter, and the geometric beauties of Islamic art, the game was quiet, almost still, and, according to Todd, its reception was equally quiet. “Aside from some animations and music, I developed it on my own, self-funded, over three years—it’s a pure expression of my own philosophy,” he said in a recent email. “Sadly my own philosophy didn’t sell well.” And so now that quiet, almost blissful game is free. Todd, in short, doesn’t give a shit. He hasn’t…