People do have played video games many times but don’t actually know how it loads.

The game has always been a favourite pastime of people of all ages. A game always brings with itself a lot of thrills.

Games today are meticulously detailed. They are adventurous, mysterious, sometimes heartwarming, colourful and stylised.

What are game objects made of?

Inside every big game, you see today whether it be PUBG, Fortnite, Rocket League, you will find these small connecting blocks.

Games

Put these tiny triangles, not in thousands but sometimes millions and you can make a person, a car, a tree, a house, possibly everything you wanted to build.

Unnoticeable in the gameplay

But wait, have you ever noticed them?

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Probably not, because of highly sophisticated algorithms which binds them together as a structure.

Not a regular block

Take a look at this game.

Game Character

Technically what you see here are all squares.

Your screen is divided into pixels and each pixel can display exactly one colour.

That’s been true since the earliest video games.

For example one of the earliest game, Tetrix.

This game has building blocks which arranged in an optimum manner results in higher points.

The higher the pixel density, the display appears more and more close to reality.

Game Engines

Unreal Engine, Unity are some of the top gaming engines of the world.

Game Engines

A game engine basically gives you the tool that you need to elaborate environments.

Working of a Game Engine

Take an example

Let’s imagine you wanted to set a shooting game in the city background.

You wanted to ride in the town and have a shootout.

Shooting in Fortnite

So basically you would start off with some boxes to represent houses, shops, banks, offices etc.

The beginning of the rendering process

In the beginning, they would all be just white but have their relative sizes set in proportion to the real world.

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It is similar to completing LEGO blocks, by interweaving different blocks into one another to complete the scenery.

Game as a LEGO set

And when you’re done the detailed view of the game needs to show up on the player’s screen as pixels.

This process is known as rendering.

LEGO Blocks joined to give a shape

For that process, the player’s computer has to do a ton of maths for the follow through.

Exponential growth in computational power

In the last 20 years, the amount of computational capability has increased exponentially.

Computational Power

GFLOPS is the technical term which describes the computational power of a system.

Increment in computational power over time

It tells you the numbers of calculations(in billions) which can be done by the processor in just one second.

A possibility of faster processing

Now you must be thinking that a powerful computer will render a game more easily.

Faster Processing In Games

Yeah, it does, but the game developers keep on pushing the limits with each and every release of their games.

This adds to the detailing of the gameplay but also makes the CPU run at its peak. Woahh!!!

Game Loading

So the job of the game engine is to keep the number of computations required to run the game as low as possible.

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This makes space for the developers to add a spoonful of more features into the same computational powered processor.

Building Blocks of game

Now, this brings us back to our DNA’s aka building blocks of the game i.e triangles.

Building Blocks of Games

Triangles are used almost exclusively for rendering video games.

They are a way for the game engine to batch pixels, allowing the player’s computer to process more details.

Pixels divided into vectors

For every pixel in player’s game, it looks to the computer as a set of vectors (SVG) which are stored as an x-axis, y-axis, z-axis co-ordinates.

Pixels as set of vectors

A computer translates this data into pixels onto your screen.

Here V means for vertices (the corners for any shape).

Understand it better

Let’s understand it in a much better way.

Take the example of playing “Connecting Dots”.

Connect the Dots

You do straight lines from one vertex to another. Right?

Especially if you didn’t know what would be the final shape you will obtain after connecting all the dots.

Similarly, a player’s computer is playing 3 Dimensional Connecting Dots.

The computer connects dots with a straight line

It doesn’t know what the final shape will actually look like so it keeps on connecting dots by straight line instead of curves.

Connecting Dots with straight lines

And of course, it plays at millions of times faster rate than we do!!!

For them, the equivalent of a straight line is flat surfaces.

Flat surface equivalent rendering

These surfaces are the easiest to render because they don’t require a computer to do any additional math like figuring out curves or depths.

Flat Surface Rendering In Games

So the game engine needs to convert the curved surface into flat ones for the player’s computer to process.

Curved Surfaces into Flat Surfaces

And it turns out, the best way to do that is triangles.

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Do an experiment

Try picking free dots in the air in front of you.

No matter where you imagine those three dots, they always lie on the same plane forming a triangle.

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And no other shape with the vertices is like that.

Now take four points randomly in 3D space.

Pixels Per Inch (PPI)

They can form possibly many figures such as a rectangle, pyramid, rhombus etc.

This results in a larger number of operations required to process the shape.

Let’s take a quick recap of what you read :

So as you can now see that triangles are the best choice for making objects in gameplay as it makes rendering process less complex.


Hence we now come to know that a game is far easier to render with triangles as its basic building structure.


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