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Game Design & Game Programming

Math for Game Programmers 05 – Vector Cheat Sheet

This is the long due fifth article in this series. If you aren’t comfortable with vectors, you might want to take a look at the first four articles in this series before: Introduction, Vectors 101, Geometrical Representation of Vectors, Operations on Vectors.

This cheat sheet will list several common geometrical problems found in games, and how to solve them with vector math.

Complete list of basic vector operations

But first, a little review.

For this, I assume that you have a vector class readily available. This is mostly 2D-focused, but everything works the same for 3D, except for differences concerning vector product, which I will assume to return just a scalar in the 2D case, representing the “z” axis. Any case that only applies to 2D or 3D will be pointed out.

Strictly speaking, a point is not a vector – but a vector can be used to represent the distance from the origin (0, 0) to the point, and so, it is perfectly reasonable to just use vectors to represent positions as if they were points.

I expect the class to give you access to each of the components, and to the following operations (using C++ style notation, including operator overloading – but it should be easy to translate to any other language of your choice). If a given operation is not available, you can still do it manually, either by extending the class or creating a “VectorUtils” class. Th