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Minimum Math Req

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Hey ya''ll I was wondering what would be the minimum level of math required to effectivly make games of the 2D (tile/iso) type, and of the 3D type. I''m a Junior in highschool, and im in advanced algebra 2/Trig. But I''m not taking physics and people are talking about physics alot soooo... Yeah should I give up the dream of making a game until I learn some harder math? (BTW any freshmen that might be looking at this... Don''t screw around in highschool... I slacked pretty hard frosh year, and I''m kind of kicking myself for it now lol) Thanks, much appreciated as always.

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You need at least a PHD and a thorough understanding of Brownian motion.

No. What you have is a fine start, and there is no reason you can''t learn along the way. Higher understanding of math helps, particularly in optimising some algorithms, but some things are just so damn easy to do that what math you have should get you far.

The most important thing you should learn, I think, is how to figure out math problems for yourself. Don''t just memorise formulae but understand how things are derived, and you will have all you need.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Just my couple cents but...

high school algebra should serve you just fine for the the basic end.

I personally found high school Calculus to be a joke, however, appled calc in university proved very beneficial.

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i''m a junior too,
and believe me even AP Calc BC isn''t enough

alg2/trig, sure, but physics and linear algebra are also musts

linear algebra is vector/matrix math that goes into things you
can''t imagine

physics you need in order to make the physics of a game, duh!!!

and calc provides you with the knowledge of why some formulae are the way they are, so you can optimize them and make your game run with killer FPS

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I am a junior too. Trigo is one of the most importment things to know, cause it helps you rotate objects, determine the new location of an object based on angle and distance, and stuff like that.

Everyboddy need someboddy!

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yeah you''re right, the power sincostan is amazing,

took trig my fresman year, we did matricies
but never anything like vector transformations

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in 2D, trig, basic algebra.

for physics, vector operations help A LOT. And 2D vectors and simple phsyics is a good launch platform to move on to 3D.

simple 2D matrices transformations helps too, but you can get away with basic trig for a 2D game.

in 3D, you can''t really get away without a good grip on vectors and matrices.

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The math requierment is overrated, sure for writing the advance stuff you need to know the math to suport it, but for basic 2D and some 3D you''ll managed with next to no math knoweledg (especialy if you''re using somone elses game lib/engine).
For writing say a 2D side scroler from scratch using OpenGL as the API you don''t really have to know any math (well perhaps some depending on why you want to deal with collision detection), you''ll of course have to be able to think logicaly but that''s not the same as math.


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Guest Anonymous Poster
You need to know your matrices to understand the idea behind transformation. You also need to know the properties of cross Product and dot product to do fundamental stuff like collision detections.. For more advanced animation techniques such as inverse kinematics, it''ll require a certain knowledge of SLERP, Jacobian.. etc.. The trend is the more you are into animation especialy physical-based animation, the more math is involved for you to learn..

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Trig is probably the most important. Linear Algebra (or at least the basics - matrix multiplication, cross/dot product) is useful when you get to 3D stuff (or even 2D) as matrix concatenation is a powerful tool. One thing that I think is undervalued is Discrete math. While you may not need it for programming so much, it helps in understanding programming from a more mathematical point of view.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
IMO, Discrete Math and things like shortest path algorithm is pretty important for AI programming.. But for graphics most of the time you are working with floating point number. Even though floating point numbers are technially discrete due to round-off errors, we usually think it''s continuous.

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Trigonometry is overrated. You can learn in a little more than a day almost all of what you need in game programming. Physics is useful, and a basic understanding of calculus helps you to understand physics presented in many books. Matrices and vectors are useful too.

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With the increasing prevalence of APIs and librarys you could almost avoid all but the most simple maths. You might need to know some very simple geometry to get your data structures working or some trig to do some gameplay elements but really almost everything else you can do with existing code.

If you want to rotate,translate,scale you can do it with your API. Collision detection? there are free physics librarys.

Now you might be ready to murder me for these scandalous remarks but wait...

Maths really helps! It''s a lot easier using something if you understand it. I''m in my 3rd year of a physics degree and without using some common maths at my level such as vectors and matrices describing problems would be a hell of a lot more difficult.

How much is too much? Well it depends, if you want to be developing the new methods then knowing the complicated maths behind a subject is essential. If you''re just implementing something that''s been done before then a surface understanding can get you far. In one of my computational physics courses we are implementing things that have been done before and the maths we are using is fairly simple. When you go back to the original published scientific papers the maths looks like a foreign language until you can pick out the key points.

My advice is to look in to the kind of things you interested in (e.g. tutorials for isometric games, basic 3d stuff) and see what they talk about. Then go learn about it until you understand what the people are talking about.

If you have spare time and don''t mind studying maths then more power to you. If you haven''t done physics I really recommend getting a good book on classical physics though.

-Meto

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Thanks guys, appreciate ya stopping by and taking the time to give me some helpful responses. You helped more then you guys probably realize

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Im a senior in a Alg 2 class(in so ashamed) I dont think that what math you are takeing has any affect on 3d game programming. it really does when you are dealing with physics and ray tracers, but for just plain ordinary rendering of animated 3d models you just need to learn specific topics SLERP being one of them. if you Understand Alg 1 Verrrrryyyy well you can do anything with 3d. And as always with regards to school Einstien said it best, "I try not to let my schooling interfere with my Learning". Oh and yeah dont slack off in High school or at least dont fail your english classes becouse you will have a bad GPA and have to get a 3.75 your senior year to get a high enough GPA to get into a good Game programming College.

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I hear ya... Got a nasty 2.0 frosh year, 3.0 last year, but now I have a 4.0. Trying to get into UofO just got a little more taxing since they bumped the GPA req to 3.5 -_- Maybe I should just go to OSU... Nahhhhhh (go ducks)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
In this days,you don''t need your highschool stuff to learn how to create 2D games. All you have to do is look for softwares(like Macromedia Flash) that will help or guide you to create a simple game. But for 3D games, I have no idea for it but again, look for a softwares that will fit your need.

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quote:
Original post by hAL0
I hear ya... Got a nasty 2.0 frosh year, 3.0 last year, but now I have a 4.0. Trying to get into UofO just got a little more taxing since they bumped the GPA req to 3.5 -_- Maybe I should just go to OSU... Nahhhhhh (go ducks)


Go OSU! CWRU is also a good Ohio school, so is Oberlin and Kenyan.

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it''s more important to actuly understand what math you know now then to know alot of math. highschool does a horible job of teaching math. for example, do you know what sine is? you know how to use it, but you don''t understand what it is or how to get it other then it''s a button on your calculator. or better yet, i don''t know if they''ve taught you the vector matrix (aka the collum) method for solving equations, but do you know why this works?

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