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Makenator

Gamedev and math

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Hi! Im a rookie to gamedev and I was wondering what kind of math preliminaries should I have? Modern algebra? Discrete maths? Multivariable calculus? What about computer science? I know my c++ decently but should I know all the Alan Turing sort of stuff?

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To write a game you don't strictly need to know any maths or any theoretical computer science. If you can code you can make a game.

However maths is handy and pretty essential in some situations, if you want to write a physics engine (not just simply use physics code someone else has written) you'll need to know some maths, advanced graphics techniques generally require a decent mathematical background to implement and use effectively as well.

Theoretical computer science is not generally going to be directly applicable to games, however there's no harm in knowing it. It can give you a better appreciation of programming and how to construct programs.

Knowing and understanding various fundamental algorithms and data structures is pretty essential, as is understanding basic complexity theory (I guess you can class this is theoretical computer science, however unlike say modeling computation using partial recursive functions, it's generally pretty obviously directly applicable to 'real world' applications).

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Quote:
Original post by Monder
To write a game you don't strictly need to know any maths or any theoretical computer science. If you can code you can make a game. ...

Well, if you are a programmer, you won't get very far without knowing at least algebra. Not knowing calculus, trigonometry, or linear algebra can be a handicap, and will certainly limit what you can do. Basic knowledge of probability and statistics frequently comes in handy.

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Depends... If you're coding physics or graphics, then you should know math inside out- linear algebra, calculus, differential equations, numerical methods.

Also no matter what you do you should have a basic knowledge of algebra and trigonometry. Also understand vectors, quaternions, and matrices. Know concepts like dot product, cross product, scalar/vector projection, etc.

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If you're going to program a game, you will almost certainly need to know at least algebra. However, as mentioned earlier, unless you're planning on coding some physics, you probably will not need calculus. It might prove helpful, though.

I would say that generally you would need to know at least trigonometry if you're going to program a game. You will probably use it for movement at the very least. You could probably get by without it, though.

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I'd never done any advanced maths before (other than high school level), I started games programming and started my course.

When I came to then Advanced Graphics I found I had to know alot of maths to be able to fully understand what is going on. Understanding of vector math, matrices and basic algebra is a must I'd say

But as mentioned before it all depends on what area of games programming you want to go into. Graphical and Physics side of things require very strong maths skills, so definatley brush up on your maths if you intend going into these areas.

But dont let this put you off, the maths that you need can be self taught very easily :)

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
Original post by Makenator
Is it common to use diffrential equations in gamedev?

Yes.

That depends on whether you know differential equations! [smile] Now you could ask me, is it common to use advanced linear algebra in gamedev, and I'd tell you definitely yes, but if you'd asked me that at the time I made my first space sim, I would've asked what exactly advanced linear algebra was. It seems that the more math I learn, the more I use in games.

Way back when, before Google, I physically walked to the high school (which I was not in yet) to ask around the math department for help with doing 2D rotations of points around other arbitrary points. The calculus teacher dug out one of his own old textbooks and found the answer. Now it seems I couldn't manage to build anything without those equations.

So, short answer, don't be afraid to learn the math as you go along. You'll encounter new areas of math as you need them to solve actual problems.

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