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A question I've often had, how good at Math do I need to be to create 3 dimensional games? I get along with 2d games just fine. I understand everything I'm doing without problems after practise. However, jumping into 3d does seem a little scary and I'm worried my "bad at maths brain" will take it. I love creating games, I really don't want this to hold me back.

Is it possible to learn as I go along or do I need to have some natural math talent to be able to create 3d games? Also... if anyone can find a good place to start for a guy like me I'd really appreciate that too.


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closed as not constructive by Byte56, Nicol Bolas, Sean Middleditch, msell, Tetrad Jun 10 '13 at 19:29

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Basically, points become vectors, positions/angles/scales become matrices. –  Robert Rouhani Jun 9 '13 at 18:45
Practice is the best way. Just throw yourself into a simple game and learn as you go. That's how you learned 2D, isn't it? :) –  ashes999 Jun 9 '13 at 18:50
You're not as bad at math as you think you are. You have the capability to become great at it, but you never will if you tell yourself otherwise. –  Nick Caplinger Jun 9 '13 at 19:27
A surprising number of otherwise smart people think they are bad at math just because they weren't taught their multiplication tables, and then in Grade 9 they couldn't factor polynomials in consequence. There are likely other artifacts of North-American Math un-education causing similar artificial blockages, but this is the one I have seen regularly. Dive in, and practice and practice as you did with 2D games, and you may find that all the math you need is well within reach. –  Pieter Geerkens Jun 9 '13 at 19:33
Thanks very much guys, really helpful advice. And @Byte56, my question is a little more specific, to what degree of Math knowledge do I need and in relation to three.js. –  jskidd3 Jun 10 '13 at 10:11

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Is it possible to learn as I go along or do I need to have some natural math talent to be able to create 3d games?

Yes it's possible, no you don't need any natural talent. Knowledge comes mostly from practice, in 3D just as in 2D.

How good at Math do I need to be to create 3 dimensional games?

Just because you're adding a third dimension to your game doesn't mean you suddenly become inapt to develop it. There sure are concepts to grasp and things to know but nothing that should worry you. At first vectors, matrices and quaternions might scary you a bit, but once you've seen how they work in practice you'll soon understand they're not that complicated after all.

Game development math is easy compared to what true mathematicians manipulate. Pardon the lousy analogy, but you could figure mathematics as an engine: just because you're not an engineer or a mechanic doesn't mean you can't drive a car.

My advice is to do as you did with 2D games: grab a good Three.js tutorial, maybe grab a good book (e.g. Essential Mathematics for Games and Interactive Applications: A Programmer's Guide), and start working.

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What an inspirational answer. Thanks very much Laurent, will get started right away! –  jskidd3 Jun 10 '13 at 10:09

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