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thedodgeruk

maths needed for games creation

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what maths skills do i need to help me , so far the 2 main ones i can see are :


matrix manipulation
trigonometry

what others do i need ?

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differential and integral calculus
linear algebra
optimization
discrete math
numerical methods

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Linear Algebra ( vectors, matrices, trig )
Discrete Math ( useful for understanding algorithms and recursion )
Graph Theory ( useful for understanding many AI algorithms )
Calculus ( useful for any physics code, but can come up elsewhere )
Set Theory

and of course there is a lot of more computer specific stuff like:
What every CS major needs to know about floating point.
Digital Electronics type math: binary, 2's complement, logic(and,or,not,xor), logic reduction, etc.

And in todays world it is good to take CS parallel processing courses, where you can learn how to break up math problems to run in parallel on multicore machines, or GPUs.

Also, cryptography courses cover a lot of interesting math. You will probably use a library instead of ever actually implementing any of that math. But, secure networking requires an understanding of when, where, and how to use that math. It also shows you where, when using a library that implements the security for you, you will have room for hackers to break in.

Compilers covers "Formal Languages and Automata" or "Fundementals of Mathmatics" type math. If you ever end up really wanting to make your own scripting languages (or understand how they work), these classes are for you.

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I would just like to add, don't let these scare mongerers get to you. It is true that math such as linear algebra, trigonometry and the like are used in game development but this kind of stuff you can learn along the way.

By all means if you want to, and can sit through A level mathematics go ahead, but if you just want to make games, don't think for a second "I can't program games because im not good at math" there is always room for improvement.

On top of that, the actual math isn't that hard once you "know it" (I think mathematicians just like to make simple concepts sound complicated in text) and it's kinda fun since it becomes 100x more interesting when the math is actually applied to some problem you may have in a game. :P

Anyway thats all I have to say.
Good luck!

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I'm not disputing the previous posters, but lest some of the earlier posts discourage you, I'll go ahead and mention that you can easily write a good game with only simple arithmetic and maybe some basic trig, geometry, and vector math.

This answer, given earlier:
Quote:
differential and integral calculus
linear algebra
optimization
discrete math
numerical methods
Would be more appropriate for the question of what types of math can be useful for game development.

Your question, however, was what math skills do I need, which is a very different question. The answer to that question is entirely dependent on what types of games you want to write, so my advice would be simply to dive in, and learn whatever you need as you go.

(Note that I'm assuming here that you're learning game development on your own as a hobbyist or indie developer. If your situation is something other than that - for example, you're about to go to college and want to know what you need to study in order to specialize in writing physics simulations - then you'll probably want to provide some more context for your question.)

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I'll agree with jyk, since I didn't really know a lot of math when I started as well...

Trigonometry, Vector Operations and Simple Physics is a must.
Matrix manipulation is something that most developers would like to know (meh, you don't need to know it)

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Midway through high school, you should've seen most of the math you'll need. Two years of algebra class and one of geoemetry/trigonometry, and you'll be set for hobbyist/indie game development.

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A knowledge of Algebra is recommended for general programming. The "Teach Yourself" books are ideal if your maths is rusty...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teach-Yourself-Mathematics-General/dp/0340965118/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279224244&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teach-Yourself-Algebra-TY-Maths/dp/0340867434/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279224288&sr=8-1

I also agree that you can improve your math skills as you go along. If you're looking for actual education, then the Open University's MU123 beginner's maths course will give you a good grounding in maths...

http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/course/mu123.htm

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Linear algebra is the most important IMHO. Luckily, it's fairly simple (matrices can wait). If you can understand (really understand) vector algebra, You'll be able to solve most of your graphical/logical problems.

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