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Aneesh

Will i make it in game dev ?

13 posts in this topic

 guys, I'm an computer science engineer and I love to get into game development...i just enjoy the whole concept and its always held my interest..Im good at programming
BUT! my whole life ive never ever been good at math...it just doesnt interest me and i never bothered to study it....only a couple of times when my passing the year had depended on it had i given it a look and scored good marks else id alwys manage with the least possible marks to make it thru the year in math...
Now, I know that game programming involves a lot of complex math..do you think its a good choice for me ? I'm willing to learn math if its for game programming but realistically speaking...im 21 and almost zero at math except for the basic stuff....do you think ill be able to catch up in time to be any good at it ? or should I just forget this career? 

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I recon start with 2D games. 2D games really doesn't have that much math in it in my opinion, your only dealing with x's and y's (2 axis).

 

When I looked at a DirectX11 (3D11) book on amazon and read the maths sample part of the book I was totally confused, I guess it will just take time to develop skills developing with 3D environments.

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I was never a fan of maths through school, I think because I never could see real applications for it. Once I started programming for games and 3D applications I began to understand and enjoy it because game dev put all that maths into practice in an area I had interest in. You might find your the same too? Also, you don't always need a deep understanding of the maths behind game dev, just an understanding of what the maths does is fine in alot of cases.

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Try the book 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development.  It's helping me learn the math I need for 2D and 3D game development. 

 

[quote]do you think ill be able to catch up in time to be any good at it ?[/quote]

Well, you know you can learn because you learned computer science ... so yeah, why can't you?  It's entirely up to you.  

 

Don't wait for the right moment, just tear into it and do the work.  Learn something new, figure out how you would apply that in a game context, then apply it to a little test case.  You'll learn it quicker than you think.

 

Roy

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Indeed, there are some areas at the edge of research that requires serious math, like everything touching lighting simulation for example. Also the sound problem is equivalent though has gathered much less attention up to now. Physics as well can require understanding of abstracted math concepts, for example iterative solvers and their internal workings... from time to time, a math-aware programmer will do a faster and cleaner job at solving a problem that he could map to a known math concept (like automatic UV mapping by relaxation using direct root finders instead of iterative spring based convergers like most of us would tend to do naturally). Also, some people may know much faster that something is simply impossible and cannot be done perfectly, thanks to some obscure theorem that he/she could map the problem to, while most of us will struggle for some days because we always envision some new possible way that we believe will improve things.

Another example is with data compression, I have seem newbies believing that they can compress anything with a fixed ratio of 200:1 or something, while there is a clear entropy theorem that says that NO, simply no.

But frankly in my experience, all the rest is engineering, and its the hack brain that works the most.

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im 21 and almost zero at math except for the basic stuff....do you think ill be able to catch up in time to be any good at it ? or should I just forget this career?

 

As ashamed as I am to admit it, I only got a handle on the math side of things when I started my PhD in computer graphics. Point being that it's never too late and is all about applying yourself. I hated the math, it scared the hell out of me and I tried to learn it a few times half-heartedly but eventually I just gave it a serious shot. You know what? It really wasn't that bad. Not a walk in the park, sure, but certainly not the bugbear I thought it would be. Looking back I wish i made the effort and got a handle on it earlier as it makes computer graphics about ten million times easier but hey, saving severe head trauma, the knowledge is with me for life.

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Sounds good. I'd also say go for it. I also recommend one of the directx programming books of frank luna (d3d9, 10 or 11). The start off with good to understand math regarding 3d (vectors, matrices). I also didn't learn this at school but the 'hard way' through reading the pages again and again, practice practice and more practive. One advice, don't assume you understand, do examples, play around (Even with relative simple things as vector additions and multiplications, magnitudes etc.).

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Thanks everyone!

As most of you suggested, I think ill just jump into it and try to learn whatever that needs to be learnt. Reading the replies , first time I feel as if math wont be so bad after all. Might be tough but at the least Im excited to learn it now. I think I'll start off with 2D and then migrate to 3D. Any suggestions on the learning plan for initial stages would be appreciated. 

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    Math actually plays a much higher role in all programming than many notice or admit to.  However in most cases it's simple algebra.  Trig doesn't really come into play until your doing 3D stuff but it will come in very quickly (and difficultly) if your not experienced with it.  That is to say that without having any trig experience you should be avoiding 3D game development like the plague.  You actually need to know quite a few advanced calculations (or at least what they mean) including your sin, cosign and tangent.  I'm sure there will be a wealth of people that have used something like UDK and will contradict what I'm saying but that's misinformation.

 

    When you are using something like UDK you WILL pay out the wazoo to not have to do the complicated trig equations yourself (License fee's, royalties, more expensive license fee's if you ever want to go console, road blocks because UDK is not for Indie's and it will require advanced licenses from Microsoft and Sony that they won't give you until at least your third released title and so on).  If you are at all interested in making profit or releasing on consoles as an indie you need to forget all about UDK right now.  Which in turn means using a code level engine and dev kit, which in itself means...  You guessed it, someone has to code some trig to get it all working right.

 

    Now what you can do is 2D stuff, where the worst you will encounter is complicated algebra and word problems (which are in context of the game you are working on and actually aren't as complicated as what we used to learn back in school about the trains and what not).  There is however a lot more of it than you would imagine, everything from positions, rotations, sprite cell frames, statistics, logic, skill's...  EVERYTHING will need some algebra behind it (this is true in both 2D and 3D).

 

    If you are set on going 3D I suggest you start immediately purchasing models and looking for a specialized 3D programmer to partner up with.  Although there are a couple miracle stories that tell you that you can make a game with no programming experience they are way to far and few between.  You will need a good programmer that can create complex logic code, someone that can handle the trig problems for rendering and most importantly you need the assets to get started.

 

    Advise on starting 2D, tetris, mario, zelda.  Make small demo / clones of those games preferably in that order.  Tetris is just good to get some basics going, animation, translation, rotations, input response, conditional events and what not.  Mario is good to start getting into slightly more advanced game play and logic but still on an easy left to right with some jumping.  A zelda clone will start getting more into advanced game mechanics such as statistics, inventory, world mapping, maybe quests and what not.  Cloning at least a small portion of these 3 games are definitely a good start for a would be game developer.

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I wouldn't be concerned with the math portion. It does get heavy in 3D, but you're not crunching numbers like you did in math class --you're writing algorithms to do that for you! The concepts are what are important, and since you're into programming, treat these math hurdles with the same logic you would when programming something else. Do your research, seek out help on the forums, and read articles online. That's what I did in high school, and although I'm no mathematician, I have done some pretty cool stuff with my own code from scratch.

 

You'll only get better, and you'll find that the concepts you begin learning will aid you in other areas.

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I think that a lot of programmers don't realize how much math they're actually using when they code. A lot of algebra and even some calculus can sneak in there, but good coding practices break it down into small and easily understood components that can make it look like there's not a lot going on.

When you get into graphics programming then geometry gets useful and when you look at physics then geometry and physics (obviously) get really useful, but it's mostly a matter of understanding what solutions people have already come up with so that you don't have to waste time re-inventing the wheel.

For instance, knowing the Pythagorean Theorem can help you figure out things like collision between circles. If you know about the theorem then when you start implementing collision detection you'll suddenly just see where it fits and it flows out naturally. You don't have to go Hollywood-style and grow Einstein hair and spend all your time in front of a revolving blackboard. Just familiarizing yourself with the concepts relevant to your work can help you learn things in a hands-on way.

You should be fine. smile.png
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If you want to make games, I don't see why. I would suggest starting small and building up along the way. Small games can be written very fast and improve your thinking and keeps you pumped.

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