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Role of Mathematics in Game Designing and Programming. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Media & Entertainment.

Beneath all those fun games, cool character animations, and smart enemy mechanics in all the popular games is one thing: Math. Mathematics is the basis of every game and required for everything to work as designers plan.

Math: The Foundation of Game Design

The way maths doesn’t work until and unless you apply the rules, a video game can’t have rules without math. When you consider it, video games are primarily virtual worlds with lots of rules that keep everything working as planned. The maths you learned in high school and college is no different than what is used to design a game.

Some of the branches of maths used in game development include:

  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Trigonometry
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Linear Algebra
  • Discrete Mathematics

More special elements of math always used in games include:

  • Delta time
  • Matrices
  • Dot and cross products
  • Unit and scaling vectors
  • And scalar manipulations

Math In Programming

Math is useful even on the art side of game development, and programmers who make use of it use it to create the mechanics, characters, and more. Without math, programmers cannot make objects in the game and do even the easiest of things, including movement. Game code linked to variables, vectors, and more are what tell characters to move and stop. So it’s not hard to say why a game without math and programming would just be a bunch of useless art. Together they allow games to resemble our world, such as moving water and physics, as well as to present something outside real world circumstances.

Hence, If you’re thinking a career as a game designer and even a programmer, expect math to be your biggest tool for constructing worlds that players will experience. Thanks to the addicting gameplay that not only works as expected but is fun as well.

Are you a game designer or programmer? Let us know your views on the importance of maths in game design in the comments section!

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24 thoughts on “Role of Mathematics in Game Designing and Programming

  1. Kekeroo says:

    Mathematics? Oh dear…not very good at it. I enjoy gaming but never been curious how it is developed! LOL! But this is good to know thank you dear.

    Like

  2. BayuChem says:

    I was good in Math during my 10th Form! Pythagoras and Euclid are my idols! I can do all algebra equations, those parabola and hyperbole of trigonometry I eat them for breakfast! Try me!

    Like

  3. Hector says:

    It’s amazing how the joint effort of math and art make it possible for games to resemble our world. It’s even more amazing how they can bring fictitious worlds to life!

    Like

  4. Mau says:

    Not a lot of people likes math and reading this made me think that people will get turned off from programming just because of it! I do think that an interest Math is needed but I don’t think it’s as if you’ll do hard equations all day long to create your program. It could just be common sense sometimes. Anybody out here who actually did video game programming? I’m interested to know how they find it.

    Like

  5. Jordan says:

    Yes, thank you! Too many people out there do not know this very basic fact about gaming.

    Like

  6. Nadya says:

    Math is very important. You will meet ignorant people in your life saying that you won’t really use math in real life. Well, guess what, they’re dead wrong.

    Like

  7. Ava says:

    Wow interesting! I didn’t know that math plays a big role in game designing and programming. I now have such high respect for game designers and developers because their job requires a lot of technical skills.

    Like

  8. Rebi says:

    Math is really important in programming. Since in computers, accuracy is very important. But I don’t really like Math that much so I didn’t choose programming.

    Like

  9. sandy says:

    Yeah math is very important in video game indeed. Even the simplest aspect in the game are governed by math, for example in RPG when you take damage and your hit point are being offset accordingly, that is the simplest form of math.

    Like

  10. Jonah says:

    Yes of course, People who develop software and program codes for videogames should be knowledgeable of maths and functions. Although it is not a requirement for all video games, more complex coding calls for it.

    Like

  11. Markus says:

    Once in highschool I found my math teacher entering some codes into his laptop. I was amazed then to know he was actually a videogame programmer. The game looked difficult but later he used it to actually help us understand math.

    Like

  12. I could see how math would play a big role with all that complex programming codes and trigonometry. It must keep the game developers sharp and focused when creating a well designed game.

    Like

  13. vhel says:

    Wow, really. then programming must be hard I assume. I really don’t know much about math but I play almost video games is fun and addicting. So I put in mind that math is fun and addicting too.

    Like

  14. Selma says:

    After reading this, I realized I can never be a game designer or a programmer. To be honest, I’m not good at Math. I really try my best to understand it but I really suck at Math.

    Like

  15. Rina says:

    Math is the basis of any software program. The one that executes the program is not called a “computer” for nothing. It computes the formulae you enter…and the output is your game or application or whatever.

    Like

  16. Vanni says:

    It is expected that you are good in math if you go into IT, be it software or hardware. However, not all mathematicians are good in programming.

    Like

  17. arvin says:

    this is exactly the reason why i changed the course of my college application. i know my capabilities, and i’m not good in math. decent enough to pass but not enough to survive discrete math.

    Like

  18. lester says:

    i can say that i am good enough in math. not really that great, just enough to pass. i had a hard time with it when i was in the university but my hard work paid off. now i’m thankful that i went through all that hardship in math. it’s really useful in my work now.

    Like

  19. Janis says:

    What in the world is discrete math? I love playing games (with my girl) but maths is such a complicated subject. I couldn’t go past basic computation.

    Like

  20. Martha says:

    Of all the types of mathematics listed above, I only passed algebra LOL! But I salute to our mathematicians! Without them, life would be so boring, don’t you all agree?

    Like

  21. Jea says:

    I didn’t realize Calculus and Trigonometry could actually be useful in real-life. Great read! Let me see if how I can use Mathematics in my job.

    Like

  22. jeff says:

    i had the chance to study all those math except applied math and discrete math. they are more than just challenging! so if you’re really interested in programming, you need to be at least good in math, not the best but just good enough not to fail.

    Like

  23. karem says:

    math is actually very useful not just in programming but also in other science fields. as to why math is one of the most hated subjects in school, i guess it is because it’s too challenging for some to the point of exhausting your brain.

    Like

  24. Rex says:

    Wow, this is so cool. I didn’t know that Math plays a vital role in game designing and programming. Folks who have Math degrees should apply in gaming companies.

    Like

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