Essential Math for Games Programmers


A one-day course and a set of PowerPoint slides are not enough to hope to cover all the material in any great depth. So Jim Van Verth and Lars Bishop wrote a book, with the help of our friends at Morgan Kaufmann:

Essential Mathematics for Games and Interactive Applications, Second Edition, by James M. Van Verth and Lars M. Bishop, Morgan Kaufmann, May 2008, 704 pages, ISBN 0123742978.

Even though I've worked with these systems for years, I found new ways of looking at several topics that make them easier to remember and use. For someone new to 3D programming, it is extremely useful-it gives them a solid background in pretty much every area they need to understand.

-Peter Lipson, Toys for Bob, Inc.

Based on and expanding on our tutorials, Essential Mathematics for Games and Interactive Applications presents the core mathematics necessary for sophisticated 3D graphics and interactive physical simulations. The book begins with linear algebra and matrix manipulation and expands on this foundation to cover such topics as texture filtering, interpolation, animation, randomness, and basic game physics. Essential Mathematics focuses on the issues of 3D game development important to programmers and includes optimization guidance throughout.

And now Essential Mathematics for Games and Interactive Applications is out with a new edition, featuring completely revised chapters on graphics, a new chapter on probability and random numbers, and general rewrites to all the material to bring it up to date and make it easier to follow.

U.S. readers can purchase the book online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It can also be purchased from Amazon Canada, and IGDA members can purchase the book at 40% off.

Table of Contents:

    1. Real-World Computer Number Representation
    2. Vectors and Points
    3. Matrices and Linear Transformations
    4. Affine Transformations
    5. Orientation Representation
    6. Viewing and Projection
    7. Geometry and Programmable Shading
    8. Lighting
    9. Rasterization
    10. Interpolation
    11. Random Numbers
    12. Intersection Testing
    13. Rigid Body Dynamics


No errata for the second edition yet.


No updates for the second edition yet.

First Edition

For those still using the first edition, here are the errata and updates.


A PDF containing errata is available here. Some errata that require more discussion have been posted to the blog with commentary.


A ZIP file is available here with patched libraries and source files. The paths in the ZIP file are set up to match the layout of the CD. To use, extract to the same directory where you copied the CD contents. The password is the second word on Page 37.

Copyright © 2008, James M. Van Verth
Last updated: August 9, 2008