Does game development require maths?

Yes, game development often requires a good understanding of maths. The level and complexity of the maths needed can vary depending on the specific area of game development you’re involved in. Here are some examples:

  1. Geometry and Trigonometry: Essential for creating and manipulating game graphics. This includes understanding shapes, angles, and transformations (like rotation and scaling).
  2. Algebra: Used for creating game algorithms, such as those for calculating movement or determining how game elements interact.
  3. Physics: Important for games that simulate real-world physics. This involves understanding concepts like force, mass, and acceleration to create realistic movements and interactions.
  4. Probability and Statistics: Useful for game design, especially in creating balanced game mechanics or for procedural generation (like in rogue-like games).
  5. Linear Algebra: Particularly important in 3D game development for operations like transformations, handling 3D coordinates, and camera movements.
  6. Calculus: Can be useful for more advanced physics or for specific types of game mechanics or effects.
  7. Discrete Mathematics: Important for logic, algorithm design, and optimising performance, especially in complex games or simulations.

While not every game developer needs to be a maths expert, having a solid foundation in these areas can be very beneficial. For certain roles, like graphics programming or physics engine development, more advanced maths skills are typically required.

Can you explain roles in a game company requiring maths?

In a game development company, different roles require varying levels of mathematical knowledge. Here’s a breakdown of some key roles and how they typically use math:

  1. Game Programmer:
    • Maths Requirement: High
    • Usage: Game programmers use math extensively. They need to understand geometry and linear algebra for graphics programming, trigonometry for rotations and movement, and physics for realistic game mechanics. They may also use calculus and discrete math for simulations and algorithms.
  2. Technical Artist:
    • Maths Requirement: Moderate to High
    • Usage: Technical artists bridge the gap between art and programming. They often need a good grasp of geometry and basic algebra to create shaders and visual effects. Understanding of physics can also be beneficial for creating more realistic animations and effects.
  3. Game Designer:
    • Maths Requirement: Moderate
    • Usage: Game designers use probability and statistics to balance game mechanics and create fair, challenging gameplay. Basic algebra and even calculus can be used to model and tune game systems.
  4. Level Designer:
    • Maths Requirement: Moderate
    • Usage: Level designers use geometry to create the physical spaces in a game. They need to understand spatial relationships and may use basic algebra and trigonometry for layout and level mechanics.
  5. Graphics Programmer:
    • Maths Requirement: Very High
    • Usage: This role requires a deep understanding of linear algebra, geometry, and trigonometry for rendering 3D environments, creating lighting effects, and manipulating images and textures.
  6. Physics Programmer:
    • Maths Requirement: Very High
    • Usage: Physics programmers need a strong background in physics and calculus to simulate real-world phenomena like gravity, collisions, and fluid dynamics in games.
  7. AI Programmer:
    • Maths Requirement: High
    • Usage: AI programmers often use discrete maths, probability, and sometimes calculus for creating intelligent behaviours, pathfinding algorithms, and decision-making processes in games.
  8. Audio Engineer:
    • Maths Requirement: Low to Moderate
    • Usage: Audio engineers might use some mathematics for sound manipulation and spatial audio effects, though this is generally less math-intensive than other programming roles.
  9. Quality Assurance Tester:
    • Maths Requirement: Low
    • Usage: QA testers generally don’t need much maths, though basic understanding can help in analysing game performance and identifying issues.
  10. Producer/Project Manager:
    • Maths Requirement: Low
    • Usage: These roles focus more on project management, scheduling, and budgeting, which may require basic algebra but usually don’t involve complex mathematical concepts.

Each role contributes uniquely to game development, and the level of maths required can vary widely based on the specific demands of each position.

Maths at Scenegraph

Not every role at Scenegraph requires maths, algebra, vector multiplication… but definitely the development within Unreal Engine and our AI understanding.

Creating immersive and interactive applications requires use to check when items collide to trigger events. This is pretty easy inside of Unreal with Events, but often we need to calculate projectiles, especially when using VR controllers.

I would highly recommend the following link to learn more about Linear Algebra. We will be creating basic courses in the future… so stay tuned.