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I noticed that when writing a camera for my 2D game that the camera rotational value of -6 and 6 is equivalent to 0.

That is, -6 = -12 = -18 = -24 = 6 = 12 = 18 = 24.

I was wondering if it was considered good practice to always keep the rotational value between -6 and 6, like so:

    public float Rotation
            return rotation;
            rotation = value;

            if (rotation <= -6 || rotation >= 6) rotation = 0;

Does it matter either way?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

In XNA, the easiest way to do this is to just have MathHelper do the angle wrap-around for you all by itself, using code like this:

rotation = MathHelper.WrapAngle( rotation );

Here's what's going on, and how it works under the hood:

Your rotation value is expressed in radians. (Radians are like degrees, but instead of being in a range of [0 .. 360], they exist in a range of [0 .. 2*PI] or [-PI .. PI], where PI is an irrational numerical constant approximately equal to 3.1415927.

To answer your question: Yes, it's usually considered good practice to keep angle values within your selected bounds. As you'd expect, an angle of 0 is identical to an angle of 2 * PI which is equal to an angle of 200,000 * Pi; they all represent exactly the same angle. But because of how floating point numbers are represented in a computer, very large numbers become less precise, so it's usually considered a good practice to keep them close to zero when it's practical to do so.

In XNA, PI is provided to you in MathHelper.Pi, and 2.0 * PI is provided in MathHelper.TwoPi. So a straight-forward way to unwind your angle into the [-PI .. PI] range would be:

while ( rotation < -MathHelper.Pi )
  rotation += MathHelper.TwoPi;
while ( rotation > MathHelper.Pi )
  rotation -= MathHelper.TwoPi;

If you prefer the [0 .. 2.0 * PI] range, then you could adjust the parameters in the 'while' loops above, to use those ranges instead.

In practice, of course, you actually want to use the MathHelper.WrapAngle function that I showed at the start of this answer. But this is the basic idea of what that function does internally.

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This is just the response I was looking for! Thanks so much. – Robert Stephens Feb 19 '12 at 0:20

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