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Improving mathematics to improve game design

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I work on small games, that till now are all 2d related. Often, I come across problems, answer to which I know exists simply using maths. Havn't been very good in maths myself, I feel myself lagging just because of this. Programming my vision is not the bottle neck. The point is, how can I improve my maths to improve my programming skills? Any ideas? Links? Articles? Good advice? All is welcome.. Thank you all for your time..

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Well games don't generally require much maths apart from in certain areas (3D graphics and physics are the main ones). What problems have you come across that you couldn't solve due to your lack of maths skill?

As for getting better at maths you'll probably want to get a book of some sort with information on new topics and lots of problems to do. You need to just spend time going through loads of problems in order to get better. As to what book you should get/website you should visit etc it depends upon your current knowledge and what knowledge you wish to gain.

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As an example, I had encountered this problem, things like this require proper understanding of maths.

You're right that most 2d games don't require maths, atleast not frequently. But when one encounters above mentioned type problems, answer lies in maths.

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As for getting better at maths you'll probably want to get a book of some sort with information on new topics and lots of problems to do. You need to just spend time going through loads of problems in order to get better.
.

Problem isn't with solving problems, but how to properly utilize one's knowlege in a particular situation is the neccessaty..

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As to what book you should get/website you should visit etc it depends upon your current knowledge and what knowledge you wish to gain.


That is true, but I dont know what to say about my level of understanding though..

Thankyou for your help..

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Original post by Taha Ansari
Problem isn't with solving problems, but how to properly utilize one's knowlege in a particular situation is the neccessaty..

That tends to come with experience. We have community colleges in the US (at least, in North Carolina--I assume other states have them) that provide lower-level university classes, and continuing education classes. I don't know if there's an equivalent opportunity where you live, but you might look into taking a trigonometry class if there is.

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What kind of math are you talking about? Physics? Computational theory? Type theory? Category theory?

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Using brain is often much better than knowing just a math, and have no experience with problem solving. Playing with the problem a little, and doing few drawings, and test programs, is much better than reading any book, or studying on university. Look for example on "ten lectures about wavelets" from Ingrid Daubeshie. Pure math. Shaky.

Softsurfer.com has probably all basics you need for 3D graphic.

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Pardon me for the late reply, I was away..

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That tends to come with experience. We have community colleges in the US (at least, in North Carolina--I assume other states have them) that provide lower-level university classes, and continuing education classes. I don't know if there's an equivalent opportunity where you live, but you might look into taking a trigonometry class if there is.

I believe you are right, in my particular case, better understanding of trignometry should be fruitful. As for lectures are concerned, that could be just it, or maybe, spending more time on revising basic trignometry etc. on my own could be helpful.

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What kind of math are you talking about? Physics? Computational theory? Type theory? Category theory?

I think trignometry is my major concern till yet, then maybe physics and matrix maths for 3d.. I don't think I'll be dealing with other kinds mentioned, atleast till some time.

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Using brain is often much better than knowing just a math, and have no experience with problem solving. Playing with the problem a little, and doing few drawings, and test programs, is much better than reading any book, or studying on university. Look for example on "ten lectures about wavelets" from Ingrid Daubeshie. Pure math. Shaky.

Thats exactly what I do currently; think of a solution, try to implement it, if it doesn't make sense, implement it stand-alone, play with it- strike a solution, using paper-pen makes helps in better understanding as well...

I think I'll take a look at "ten lectures about wavelets" from Ingrid Daubeshie, although I dont like the sound of it (pure maths!).


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Softsurfer.com has probably all basics you need for 3D graphic.

I'll take a look at this link - thank you.

And thank you all for your time...

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from the looks of that link, it looks like you found your problem. however, from what you have given us, there isnt much else we can say other than 'go take some math and physics classes to improve your skills'.

are there any other specific problems you are trying to solve but just cant other than your intersect problem? if its just 2d games you are working on, basic college algebra and trig will help solve those problems. maybe a touch up on college phsyics 1 to get the ideas of basic gravity,friction, etc.

3d games is another story. if you want a strong understanding of the math involved there, then you are looking at calc 3. what sucks is you have to get through calc 2 for that and everyone knows calc 2 is 20x harder than calc 3 :P.

hope that helps.

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Original post by Raghar
Using brain is often much better than knowing just a math, and have no experience with problem solving. Playing with the problem a little, and doing few drawings, and test programs, is much better than reading any book, or studying on university.
Your argument has some validity when talking about programming problems, but for straight mathematical knowedge, 'proper' learning is so much more useful. Playing around is unlikely to lead to the discovery of logarithms, dot products etc.

There are books with names like "Math for Game Programmers" (check the GD book lists). I've not read any but I hope what they do is teach in a normal way the maths which is of most use for games. You might want to look at some reviews on Amazon.co.uk/com for books like this and ask in the Math/Physics forum for recommendations too.

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Original post by Taha Ansari
I think trignometry is my major concern till yet, then maybe physics and matrix maths for 3d.. I don't think I'll be dealing with other kinds mentioned, atleast till some time.

Best idea would be finding a book called mathematical and physic tables. Often only equations are needed, not the underlying math.
I also seen nice resource called somewhat like physic for foreign military rookies. Very grounded and clear style with a lot of examples. More common books are clutered with proofs to unreadable status.
For trigoniometry and other topic we have sosmath web page.

Harsher problems are floating point accuracy problems. Like you can't represent 1D/3 exactly, or a + b = a for b < e*a

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I think I'll take a look at "ten lectures about wavelets" from Ingrid Daubeshie, although I dont like the sound of it (pure maths!).

Actually her name is Daubechies. This is her web page.
http://www.princeton.edu/~icd/

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Original post by d000hgYour argument has some validity when talking about programming problems, but for straight mathematical knowedge, 'proper' learning is so much more useful. Playing around is unlikely to lead to the discovery of logarithms, dot products etc.


Actually logarithms are easy, they are just an inversion of the exponencial function. Every programmer/software engeneer/game developer needs to know logarithms, and modular arithmetic. The funny thing on this fact is they are learning these without mathematical balast, just by praxis. S curve is more difficult to come by. For this reason we have mathworld.wolfram.com

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are there any other specific problems you are trying to solve but just cant other than your intersect problem? if its just 2d games you are working on, basic college algebra and trig will help solve those problems. maybe a touch up on college phsyics 1 to get the ideas of basic gravity,friction, etc.


Kinds of problems that I face often are realized when they come to me, otherwise I can not specifically say that I need a or b kind of understanding, but in general, its the issues one can encounter in a 2d world

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3d games is another story. if you want a strong understanding of the math involved there, then you are looking at calc 3. what sucks is you have to get through calc 2 for that and everyone knows calc 2 is 20x harder than calc 3 :P.


From what I knew, to be good in 3d, one only needs to understand the function that the API exposes, like in Direct3D. Ofcourse, that should help only if one has basic understanding of matrix maths - which all people have who have studied college. Most problems can be solved with this I assume..

..
like in the mentined link, the problem was solved using resulting solution of some quadratic equation..so if one has access to the right resources, shouldn't most problems be solved automatically? <Ofcourse a pure mathematican type person would disagree with this..>

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