This is me in Red Dead Redemption 2.
It’s an action-adventure game with over60 hours of stunning gameplay.
I’m about to brush this horse, and you’regoing to see the dust fly off.
Games today are meticulously detailed.
They’re mysterious and heartwarming, andcolorful and stylized.
And inside every one of these games — Fortnite, PUBG, Rocket League — you’ll find.
Put thousands, sometimes millions, of these tinytriangles together and you can make a person.
or a car.
or an entire world.
But you never see them.
So… why triangles? Take another look at this game.
Technically, what you’re seeing is all squares.
Your screen is divided into pixels, and eachpixel can display exactly one color.
That’s been true since the earliest videogames.
“It was just squares, right, so it was just like a pileof squares to make two paddles and one square that was the ball.
And the fact that I could move something and it moved, was like super beautiful.
” That's Brett Bibby.
He grew up playing Pong — and now he leadsthe engineering team at Unity, one of the top game engines in the world.
A game engine basically gives you the toolsyou need to build elaborate environments.
“Let’s imagine you wanted to make a wildwest game and you wanted to ride into town and have a shoot-out.
So you might start off just creating some boxes, to represent the saloon, the bank and other things.
The main road.
And it would just be all white.
You would just try to get a sense of sizeand scale.
” “Kind of like Legos, right.
Just trying to get a sense of the space.
And so I'm iterating and developing it slowly.
” And when you’re done, the detailed game that youmade needs to show up as pixels on a players’ screen.
That process is rendering.
And the player’s computer is going to haveto do a ton of math to follow through.
In the last 20 years, the amount we can showon screen per second has gone up — way, way up.
This is a standard measure of computing power.
It tells you the number of calculations themachine can perform per second.
… in billions.
You’d think that a more powerful computerwould make it easier to render games.
And it does.
Except that gamemakers keep competing to addmore and more detail, pushing the limits of what even the newest technology can do.
So the game engine’s job is partly to keepthe number of computations needed for each detail as low as possible, so that gamemakers canfit more in.
Which brings us back to these guys.
Triangles are used almost exclusively in renderingfor video games.
They're a way for a game engine to batchpixels, allowing the player's computer to process more detail.
From the computer’s point of view, everythingin your game really looks like… This.
The game engine creates sets of instructionsthat the computer translates into pixels on your screen.
This “V” means these are coordinates forvertices — the corners of some kind of shape.
Imagine playing connect the dots.
You’d use straight lines, right? Especially if you didn't know what shapeyou’re making yet.
The player’s computer is playing three dimensionalconnect the dots, sometimes thousands of times every second.
For them, the equivalent of straight linesis flat surfaces.
Flat surfaces are the easiest to render becausethey don’t require a computer to do any additional math to figure out curves or dents.
So the game engine needs to convert curvedsurfaces into flat ones for the player's computer to process.
And it turns out, the best way to do thatis through triangles.
Try picking out three dots in the air in frontof you.
No matter where you choose to put them, they’llalways be on the same plane.
York: “The surface of the triangle is alwaysflat.
” And no other shape with vertices is like that.
York: “If you have four points, then thosefour points could actually describe a very complex object —” “Four points can describe a pyramid forexample.
” “That results in a more mathematically complex, higher processing power ask just to figure out the pixels on the surface.
” So triangles it is.
Triangles and the ongoing improvements ingame technology make it easier for creators to develop the beautiful games that exist today.
“So in the old days it was like, well thisis what I can do: I can have a fixed screen with 8 things moving on it.
” “I think nowadays, pretty much whatever you want to create, you could find a way to create.
” If you'd like to learn more about how to make videogames, you should click the link and head on over to Skillshare.
Their massive library of over 20, 000 classes on design, business, and technology, also includes a bunch on how to make videogames.
Including my favorite, which is all about how to make that classic snake game.
They have a premium membership too, which can offer unlimited classes on how to improve your gamemaking skills.
Or whatever else you're excited about.
And because you're a Vox fan, they'll give you two months of Skillshare for free.
To sign up, just click the link in the description and the first 500 of you will get two months of unlimited classes, no charge.
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But their support helps make videos like this one possible.
So go check them out.