September 19th, 2006, 05:29 PM
Game Design typically require calculus?
I'm thinking of going into either Game Design or Computer Animation. Do either of those require calculus? I realize this forum specializes in the first & don't expect an answer on Computer Animation.
I've just recently found out that there are pretty much two categories of game developers: programmers & designers (I guess there's more if you could management & marketing). And I know game programmers need calculus, but do game designers? Yes, I know they need to know geometry & trig, etc... but i'm talking about academic programs - do they require calc? My school doesn't have a degree in game design, so I don't know for sure.
Fact is: i'm not very good at calc & algebra. I just placed into intermediate algebra & my father (who thinks you need math for everything... only problem is he doesn't even know what calculus or algebra are) is trying to talk me into taking introductory algebra. This means if I go up to calc i'll have to take the follow: intro algebra, intermediate algebra, pre-calc & calc... i'm not going to take all of these if the program I transfer into doesn't require them.
So - please, if you know whether, on average, college programs require calc for game designers and/or computer animators then please let me know.
Oh... and I have to know by today or else I have to keep the algebra class.
September 19th, 2006, 10:48 PM
Huh, this question is a first. Here's how I'm getting thrown off:
Given that you break down game development this way, I'm not certain what you are thinking about. Give us examples of how you imagine yourself in game development. Making 3D models? Animating models? Programming the game engine?
Originally Posted by Poetic
Honestly, if your only motivation to study maths is to satisfy the requirements for game design in a possible future college course, stop now. You won't get far, not with that sort of motivation.
Comments on this post
September 20th, 2006, 03:38 AM
If we are speaking about level/map design, modelling and general art stuff I don't think you'll need a much calculus. But i do not know what such courses encompass. If the course also requires you to do programming related stuff you could very well run into situation where some good understanding of math is needed...
- Hugh of Borg
The first thing young borg are taught: Keep away from Microsoft software!
September 20th, 2006, 05:46 AM
No, you wont need calculus.
The only aspect of game design which I have ever seen complex math presented in the design document was a game in which the AI used complex equations to assess their goals so that the state machine can transition based on probabilities. The design document has weights and various math equations to assess the next goal. The AI would be more lifelike and profiles could be made so that the AI would seem to have a personality.
Rarely would any mechanics be so well defined in a design document.
"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
- Kristin Wilson, Nintendo, Inc., 1989.
September 20th, 2006, 05:43 PM
Thank you to Borg & Andrew for the help. I also posted this topic here: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=415491
In case you wanted to see the developing conversation. I've decided to take the intermediate algebra course along with four other courses so it wouldn't interrupt my schedule. I think i've found a problem with why i've been doing so badly w/ factoring (a primary part of algebra) and as a result I feel the class i'm taking now seems pretty easy. So far.
Oler1s, truthfully I think that is dangerous advice. Trying to persuade someone to not go forth with their dream because they take math as a requirement instead of because they "enjoy" it is non-sense. I don't know many CIS or SE majors that take Calculus II because they "enjoy" math.
Game design doesn't require calculus, something i've found out today, but i've found out that many people don't enter game design as a seperate occupation. They normally go from being game programmers to game designers and, therefore, i'm going to get a CIS degree - then go on to get a design degree. The fact is, Oler1s, I consider the major principle of game design, computer animation & any art related career (which is what game design is - combines technology w/ art) requires a great deal of imagination & creativity. Will Wright, Chris Sawyer, et al... didn't decide to get out of their dreams of making excellent simulation games simply because they weren't big fans of mathematics.
To tell someone not to go into game design because they don't love math is like telling an entreprenuer not to go into business because he doesn't want to get a MBA.
September 20th, 2006, 05:52 PM
Since you've missed the point of my post, let me ask you this.
At what point of your education are you at right now?
September 20th, 2006, 06:34 PM
Take Calculus, its fun. Honestly, if you're going to go to college, take a buncha classes that aren't even requirements. Take the required classes, but also take others that you think you'll learn something that might apply to what you eventually want to apply yourself to.
September 20th, 2006, 08:11 PM
Please tell me which point I missed. Currently i'm a junior undergraduate college student. I have an associates in computer science and i'm working toward a CS/SE degree with a minor in management of information systems.
Originally Posted by Oler1s
To answer your question of what game design is:
A video or computer game designer develops the layout, concept and gameplay, the game design of a video or computer game.
This person usually has a lot of writing experience and may even have a degree in writing or a related field (such as English). This person's primary job function is writing, so the more experience they have with the activity, the better. Some art and programming skills are also helpful for this job, but are not strictly necessary. Game designers often have studied relevant liberal arts such as psychology, sociology, drama, fine art or philosophy.
A typical present-day development team usually includes:
One or more producers to oversee production
At least one game designer
Sound engineers (composers, and for sound effects)
This next part is what helped me decide to continue into CS/SE. There were several other great sources, but in the short time I viewed them it appears they've been misplaced:
In short, the ideal game designer needs strong skills from both sides of the fence—artistic and programming. But, if you're headed to college, Computer Sciences (CS) may serve you better in the long run rather than Graphic Arts. With a CS degree, when you get out of school, you can use your programming skills to start creating your game design ideas. If you're lacking in art, you can get help easily. But, even without good art, you can prototype your game ideas.
September 25th, 2006, 01:07 PM
I would take the course regardless of the fact that you want to become a game designer. You'll be dealing with the game engine and will be conversing with the game engine designer which both will require you to understand higher-level math.
You'll basically need to know how what a Matrix is, what a Vertex is, what a Vector is and many many more things. Even if you only work making 3D models in Maya you'll need to know how to write MEL scripts. If you create shaders you'll need to know this also (vectors, floats, ints, matrix). The worst thing that could happen to you is being unprepared while on the job.
I guess the whole thing comes down to: what do you want to do exactly? If you just want to create design documents for the game, you dont need calculus but for anything a level higher than that you will.
September 25th, 2006, 03:47 PM
calc could be crucial for physics programming
February 27th, 2008, 09:23 PM
I'm a freshman in high school and i was wondering if there is any reason to take calculus in high school. i want to be a game designer/programmer (not sure which one i want to into yet.) and am about to pick my classes for next year, so i need to know.
February 27th, 2008, 11:28 PM
Calculus ... In a game ....
I have been making games for years, and never used calculus. However, you will most likely be required to take calculus classes if you want a degree in computers (sorry, I didn't make the rules, lol). Having a career in computer programming of any type, it will definitely be to your advantage to have a university degree in the computer field. So although you will probably never see another line of calculus when you get out of school, I recommend you bite the bullet and take the classes.
Hope this helps you decide
I'm now ending my 2nd year at uni and going into my 3rd and final year taking 4 graphics units. Calculus is vital to be honest, I had to do it (even though its called theoretical foundation II at my uni) because I wanted to do AI (which didn't actually help with my AI lessons tbh) but now I'm going to do a hell of a lot of graphics work making and designing a few simple games. The maths so far covered included integration and differentiation (is that spelt right??) vectors, scalar product, vector product.
Even if you dont want to actually code games but do modelling for games it will still be immensly useful because at the very least you have an idea on how it is going to be implemented in the game mathematically and know not to go overboard with polygons on models if you make them, or the fact you know what the limitations of what you want to do and what you can actually try to do are (the whole eyes bigger than your stomach thing)
A game designer from looking at your context is way way completly different, tbh if you want to do that then your best bet is film studies, like how to captivate the audience and keep them interested etc etc.
If you just want to focus on animation then the maths isn't as critical but is still important to have in those just-in-case situations. Following with the modelling you want to look at doing something to do with digital art and creating textures in photoshop (have a good slr camera will help).
If just coding game what you want then maths is 99.99% vital and no escape from it! as near enough all forms of programming is mathematical in one sense hence the algebra will be handy for simple programming.
Below is the list of subject that my maths module covered:
Logic (The only section that was relevent to my AI :S)
Probability (Didn't help me as much as i thought!)
Maxima and Minima
Geometry for computer graphics (Vectors)
Geometry for computer graphics (Points lines and planes)