# How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

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## 7 Replies - 703 Views - Last Post: 18 November 2015 - 05:41 PM

### #1 Chieve

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# How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:49 PM

So I just started learning computer programming, I've learned all the basics in java and am looking forward to start designing my own games. However I am new to game design and was wondering when will I use stuff like, linear algebra per se? I am assuming a matrix is used in a double array? How does linear algebra actually work. Is it possible that I can do this without linear algebra?

I am usually a strong math student and I can see how statistic, calculus, and physics are used in game design, but not linear algebra. I'll be honest, linear algebra was somewhat difficult for me to grasp. I understand a lot of things but at the same time I have some holes...and I don't know how to fix or solve these...I would receive help a lot but I never really understood the methods to actually solving some linear algebra problems.

Are there ways to avoid some designs without linear algebra? For example, if I notice a specific pattern and know how something is supposed to work, will I be okay?

Also, do you learn these things when you have a job? Did you understand these math theories better on the job or is it the same as when you were in class.

My last question is, I am sure since you are on the job there are always people to ask, there has to be a physicist in the job to help with game design and similarly there has to be some game designers you can always ask for help...so are you necessarily screwed if you don't know?

I am strong in math, just for some reason linear algebra was kind of tricky.

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## Replies To: How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

### #2 macosxnerd101

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## Re: How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

Posted 17 November 2015 - 07:31 PM

We do have a math resource thread with lots of good linear algebra resources. Matrix operations are something with which you should be comfortable if doing game development. So I'd check them out rather than trying to avoid linear algebra.

### #3 Skydiver

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## Re: How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

Posted 18 November 2015 - 01:56 PM

The most common application of linear algebra in games is matrix multiplication. Matrix multiplication is used to compute the 3D projections of points from world space into screen space. If you say that you are going to avoid anything that involves linear algebra than you'll need to avoid any type of game that renders 3D objects.

### #4 Chieve

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## Re: How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:19 PM

macosxnerd101, on 17 November 2015 - 07:31 PM, said:

We do have a math resource thread with lots of good linear algebra resources. Matrix operations are something with which you should be comfortable if doing game development. So I'd check them out rather than trying to avoid linear algebra.

Thanks! Definitely going to check the linear alegra portion

Skydiver, on 18 November 2015 - 01:56 PM, said:

The most common application of linear algebra in games is matrix multiplication. Matrix multiplication is used to compute the 3D projections of points from world space into screen space. If you say that you are going to avoid anything that involves linear algebra than you'll need to avoid any type of game that renders 3D objects.

I was actually good at matrix multiplication so thats fine for me

### #5 macosxnerd101

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## Re: How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:59 PM

By the way- I really disliked my freshman linear algebra class, which was all number crunching and taught online. Once I got into the abstract, proofs-based linear algebra class, I enjoyed it a lot more. There are a lot of deep and interesting ideas here; the trick for you I think is to draw them out. Maybe try the more advanced linear algebra class when you have the appropriate prerequisites.

### #6 Chieve

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## Re: How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

Posted 18 November 2015 - 03:10 PM

macosxnerd101, on 18 November 2015 - 02:59 PM, said:

By the way- I really disliked my freshman linear algebra class, which was all number crunching and taught online. Once I got into the abstract, proofs-based linear algebra class, I enjoyed it a lot more. There are a lot of deep and interesting ideas here; the trick for you I think is to draw them out. Maybe try the more advanced linear algebra class when you have the appropriate prerequisites.

Thanks for the tip!

If i took a computer science course specialized in gaming will i definitely be going over matrices?

### #7 macosxnerd101

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## Re: How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

Posted 18 November 2015 - 03:13 PM

Depends on the course. I've never taken such a course. I imagine some are more mathematical than others. I would consult with the professor beforehand.

### #8 Skydiver

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## Re: How is math implemented in game design and when will I use it?

Posted 18 November 2015 - 05:41 PM

Traditionally, computer graphics classes are math intensive: ray tracing, 2D and 3D transforms, vectors, normals, lighting models, quantization, line intersections, parametric equations, quarternions, etc. I say traditionally because the classic way to teach things as if you were starting from scratch and building your own graphics engine without the help of GPU's or OpenGL/DirectX.

I have been running across some books that do assume that you have modern frameworks and they only introduce the math so that you can understand what is happening in the frameworks, but focus on the techniques to get particular effects.