What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Which sections of maths and physics would I need to study

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#1 wrayn3  Icon User is offline

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What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 08 July 2009 - 10:50 PM

Hey people,

I was just wondering even though I probably am not going to make a game for a while what physics and maths is required to make a good game. Because I'm good at trigonometry (well at least no it). This mainly because I might want to study physics and maths to make a fairly descent game oneday.

If someone tells me the areas of physics I will need to learn I could buy a book for physics and check my school maths book to see whether I already have examples of the maths and I might even buy a maths book.

I think so far I know that I need to study
  • Gravity
  • Velocity
  • Trigonometry
  • OpenGL or DirectX
If there are any others that people tell me or I find out I will place them on this post.

This post is for any people who are trying to find out what to study and don't know what to study for making good 3D games. Also I don't plan on making a 3D game for years I just want to know what to learn to make one.

Thanks
Wayne Rayner

As I said i won't be

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Replies To: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

#2 Guest_Neumann*


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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:17 PM

Study the first college Physics class, a.k.a Physics 1. That will cover the gravity, velocity, and other aspects of motion.

Definitely study Discrete Mathematics and Linear Algebra. Good luck!
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#3 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:26 PM

There are so many aspects of physics and math needed during the game development process, that you definitely have to study some advanced college courses on that. Don't only study gravity and velocity - there are way more aspects of physics you need to know, like different motion laws.

As of math, I would recommend you to be familiar at least with the Calculus course, simply because it covers the fundamentals of math that are used in game development (logarithms, intervals, matrixes etc.). Trigonometry is extremely important too, as you will have to calculate different motion paths and positions.

Bottom line - the AP and college courses is what you should look for at this level.
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#4 wrayn3  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 09 July 2009 - 12:03 AM

View PostCore, on 8 Jul, 2009 - 10:26 PM, said:

There are so many aspects of physics and math needed during the game development process, that you definitely have to study some advanced college courses on that. Don't only study gravity and velocity - there are way more aspects of physics you need to know, like different motion laws.

As of math, I would recommend you to be familiar at least with the Calculus course, simply because it covers the fundamentals of math that are used in game development (logarithms, intervals, matrixes etc.). Trigonometry is extremely important too, as you will have to calculate different motion paths and positions.

Bottom line - the AP and college courses is what you should look for at this level.


Well ok thanks for heads up now two problems with the above post (for me at least anyone else it might be ok).

I'm not old enough for collage or in Australia university and I'm not doing the right subjects to get a entry for the calculas courses or physics or really advanced maths. So basically if your not smart you can't make 3D games. So all I will ever be able to make is 2D games and basically not even that.

Owell at least I know a bit about acceleration and if anyone knows about any books that can teach someone about physics please tell me.

Thanks
Wayne Rayner
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#5 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 09 July 2009 - 12:17 AM

You don't really have to learn your math in school. You can pick up quite a lot from around the web. Granted, if you were to take it in school it would be easier but it is not entirely necessary. There are many types of games that require no math at all, or at least very little. There are tons of 2D puzzle type games that you could learn to program with little math. PopCap had games like Alchemy and Noah's Ark that just basic math would do just fine for. As you try more and more advanced games you will learn more and more math.

Matrices and Vectors are two subjects that you will use a lot though. There are many tutorials available on the net for learning them. Try and learn them.
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#6 Fib  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:47 AM

Quote

I'm not old enough for collage or in Australia university and I'm not doing the right subjects to get a entry for the calculas courses or physics or really advanced maths. So basically if your not smart you can't make 3D games. So all I will ever be able to make is 2D games and basically not even that.


You can do whatever you want in this life. Just because you won't learn it in school, doesn't mean you should give up hope. There are plenty of resources out in this world, other than school, that will help you learn the material you need to know(internet, books, knowledgable friends). Don't give up, just keep on learning! Plus, like SixOfEleven said, there are plenty great games you could create without knowing advanced math concepts. If you really want to make a 3D game, then you can, you just don't know it yet.

There's my encouraging rant for the day :D
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#7 Kanvus  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:31 AM

i think if you wanna learn gravity then making particles or a bouncing object is about enough. the formula for gravity tends to be the same in most cases, 9.8*rate? vpython is super for learning physics with a few lines of code. its good that you know trig. will be able to raycast light nicely and not have a hard time figuring out rotation. velocity is just as simple as gravity if you go with the vypthon thing, there's real good videos on it at showmedo dot com

This post has been edited by Kanvus: 11 July 2009 - 12:32 AM

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#8 Fib  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 13 July 2009 - 02:11 PM

I believe the rate of gravity is 9.8 meters/second/second, or if you don't use the metric system it's 32 ft/second/second

** Edit
But you don't need to use realistic gravity in your game. You could make gravity a crazy value! It's all up to you.

This post has been edited by Fib: 13 July 2009 - 02:13 PM

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#9 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:21 AM

Well, simple addition and subraction for one :hehe: As far as speed (for bullets and such) is really just a matter of sampling and trial & error. Linear algebra (mainly the distance forumula), trig, and such is quite essential in most cases. It really depends on the kind of game you want to make really...
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#10 erimir  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:38 AM

Are You in Australia? me too, i am a noob also and have high ambitions even though i dropped outta school aged 15!
maths is a cinch if you can grasp trig you will pick up calc no prob, just get some books. i plan to learn c++ from books only
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#11 Aeternalis  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 20 July 2009 - 01:07 PM

I disagree with just about everyone here I guess. Sorry. Where I disagree is the need for heavy math in game programming. It is very possible to code great games without any Algebra or Trig. The reason most of these used to be required is the languages were lower level languages .. C , even C++ .. As Languages have evolved they have moved towards higher level, more human readable descriptions, and the need for the heavy math has been replaced to a degree by the need for understanding the patterns and architectures that take advantage of the existing language built in features.

I am NOT saying you dont need an education.. Im just saying that the heavy math is not a requirement in todays game programming paradigm.

Now if your looking to create your own 3D engine.. and dont want to leverage existing technology.. all bets are off.

Where the math will come in handy is in conjunction with a piece of paper called a degree.. Most large game companies are going to want to see one of those in order to work for them.

Good luck,
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#12 Kanvus  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 20 July 2009 - 01:22 PM

i waz not able to rotate camera without math beyond my own understanding : [ then i did it but do not understand how it works because never learned trigo only up to college alg.

then i see youtube opengl video with jiggling shapes that drop and wiggle and im like, "that must be some math trick" so

im convinced that 'no math' would produce the need to write more out because math is algorithmic, like many of the shortcuts we need to avoid wasting too much work


but in another light you are right. there's modeling studios that save plotted points and functions for us all in a object file we can read into compiler without very very much thought about numbers
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#13 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:01 AM

View PostAeternalis, on 20 Jul, 2009 - 12:07 PM, said:

I disagree with just about everyone here I guess. Sorry. Where I disagree is the need for heavy math in game programming. It is very possible to code great games without any Algebra or Trig. The reason most of these used to be required is the languages were lower level languages .. C , even C++ .. As Languages have evolved they have moved towards higher level, more human readable descriptions, and the need for the heavy math has been replaced to a degree by the need for understanding the patterns and architectures that take advantage of the existing language built in features.

I am NOT saying you dont need an education.. Im just saying that the heavy math is not a requirement in todays game programming paradigm.

Now if your looking to create your own 3D engine.. and dont want to leverage existing technology.. all bets are off.

Where the math will come in handy is in conjunction with a piece of paper called a degree.. Most large game companies are going to want to see one of those in order to work for them.

Good luck,



Okay, so what if you're doing a game like say... Metal Gear Solid. The character is running towards a guard, and the guard can hear a person within a radius (or total distance) of say... 20 pixels or whatever (would be feet or meters in characters view) You would need to make sure that each guard object or whatever is doing a check to see if the total distance between Snake and the guard are less than or equal to that said 20 pixels. How would you do that? The distance forumula.

In the real game though, the "awareness cone" (cone shape of hearing/vision range) is of a triangular shape. How would you determine whether or not the character (Snake) is in the cone or not? Well, you would need to see which way the guard is headed, test the location of Snake in relation to the guard, test whether or not he "alerted" the guard or not, and if he did, increase the "awareness cone"'s size and time how long Snake has been outside it (if he is).

Not to mention to update the location of teh bullets. You don't want bullets that only go in the x or y direction and not in diagonals B) See, Trig plays an important part.

Also, what if you were making a sports game in like 3D or something? What if you wanted to time tricks in a surfing scenrio for max points. You have to determine the location of teh character in 3 directions now, and have to deal with 3D calculus functions to find the concavity of the surface of the water and such. Actually, this is just a guess. I don't fool with sports games or 3D for that matter, so.... yea...
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#14 Guest_Neumann*


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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:46 AM

View PostAeternalis, on 20 Jul, 2009 - 12:07 PM, said:

Where I disagree is the need for heavy math in game programming. It is very possible to code great games without any Algebra or Trig.

Yes, but we're talking about games that do need heavy Math. And there are a lot of them.

Quote

The reason most of these used to be required is the languages were lower level languages .. C , even C++ .. As Languages have evolved they have moved towards higher level, more human readable descriptions, and the need for the heavy math has been replaced to a degree by the need for understanding the patterns and architectures that take advantage of the existing language built in features.

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. The level of abstraction of a computer programming language has nothing to do with Math. High level languages hide the computer architecture and let programmers focus on the problem itself. That's it. The Math is still there.

I don't care what language you're using, you still need to know the formula for the circumference of a circle in order to write a program that calculates it.
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#15 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: What maths and physics is required for Game Programming?

Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:41 PM

Actually if you work for a games company they will have an engine for you to work with, most people unless they specialize won't go anywhere near some of the more advanced maths.

Think of an engine such as Irrlicht or Unity most of the heavy maths is already done for you, understanding maths is definitely important but you can make games without being a maths expert.
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